Online Education: Making New Normal Work till Real Normal Resumestext_fields
The importance of the word normal has increased significantly during the lockdown. The most common usage of the word being in the hashtag's form on social media as the "new normal"
Everyone wants life to get normal "again." On one hand, people like hearing the word normal because to them abnormal is the dangerous word and the opposite of normal while on the other hand, when it comes to life's success and status, people want better than normal. However, most of the world isn't willing to pay the price for the "better than normal" life and success. The same is the case for the education sector.
Online education, online learning, online teaching is becoming the "new normal." When it comes to online education, the school management, teachers, and students could be at either of the 3 stages: Adapting, Skilling, or Upskilling when it comes to using technology for education.
Most educational institutions are putting effort to adapt, to get teachers, students, and parents to adapt to online education through shorter classes, lesser study pressure, change of school timings, etc. Many teachers at an individual level are trying hard to skill themselves through mostly the free resources available through YouTube, blogs, websites, free courses, or experimentation. Some educational institutions would like their reputation to be that of upskilling for marketing, awards, and achievements soon to follow for efforts during the lockdown and beating their competitors.
The problem is everyone is just "trying to make it work for the moment" and letting go of the opportunity to bring long-lasting change in the education system in India. The new education policy could either bring hope or fear to the educational institutions depending on their willingness to get out of their comfort zone for years and being happy blaming the system as a whole, syllabus and board exams, outdated teachers professional development and education, parents lack cooperation, shortage of funds, talent or infrastructure to make things work better in the traditional classroom education.
Most of the teachers, parents, and thus students are all waiting for life to get normal instead of making the most of this normal and building new, innovative systems of education where the online education becomes a separate model that can continue after lockdown alongside developing better traditional education practices derived or inspired from an online education model of and by the institution.
Despite the consoling hashtag of "New Normal," one reason-most of the education sector isn't "being present at the moment" or thinking and "building sustainable online education solutions" is because of the fear mode. This stems from the lack of skills where only the presence or association of an engineering or technology giant from the education or professional background can bring better skills.
The fear mode could also stem from the lack of resources where either the most popular resources are looked at for reference without context or modification as per the need. It could also be due to extensive dependence and reference from the traditional classroom setting instead of the unlearning and relearning method. The inability to focus on long term online education solutions could be due to the lack of smart work and immense focus on hard work, using technology, and not making it for teachers rather than teachers working on it. Good online education models in the long term are likely to attract more students and the trust of students and parents, bringing more business and impact.
During the "new normal," it's important to debunk the myths around online education that it's easy, that only a certain age group or content can be taught online, that only if you build your own platform, more business will come, that it's important to make it work for the moment till "real normal" resumes.