Once upon a time, the scene in the classrooms would be like shown below. A person Mr. Know-it-all transmitting knowledge to several people who know nothing at all.
The starting of this article is misleading as the scene is kind of same even today:
So, with the advancement of technology in the last century, why does the modern form of education still look the same? Why has the so called future of education, including Online learning not been able to replace the conventional methods of educating young minds?
Online learning challenges:
Herein the answers lies the biggest 3 barriers for starting to learn from Web:
- The first in the fundamental understanding of the role of the teacher. A teacher isn’t merely transferring information from himself to the pupil. If that were the case, television, radio or internet would have done a much better job. Rather, real education begins when the teaching medium encourages the student to learn himself/herself rather than teaching him directly. Real education is the encouragement of the curiosity inside a student, his/her ability to think, reason and logic.
- Second is the ability of the human nature to get used to a completely new form of getting information. An online course is designed in such a way that maximum number of people throughout the globe get benefit by it. Thus, a personal touch to an individual student is almost impossible in this scenario of things. There is simply no way the abilities, capabilities and limitations of a single student can be taken care of in this model of education.
- It is true that school education is highly heterogeneous when it comes to the different strata of the society including geographical location, financial situations, caste and creed etc. But this can also mean that tailored solutions are provided for whatever is required in a region. A local guy in a small village in Sierra Leone would teach the village kids exactly what they need than the one-size-fits-all model of the Online learning environment.
Technology is a tool. It has to be used to teach. Yes, students definitely learn more with the aid of videos, multimedia, info graphics and audio inputs in addition to the teacher. A medium like YouTube, Khan Academy, Coursera or EDX can really change the perception of the world for a young mind.
But to ensure that this is done in a correct way, we need a humane touch called Teacher.