Albert Einstein handed his physics class pupils an exam test one day. “Sir, aren’t these the same questions you gave to this same class in last year’s final exam?” one of his teaching assistants inquired after the exam.
In recent years, the education system has seen significant changes. We no longer live in the same world, and in this reality, answers to old questions have changed, and a slew of new ones have appeared. While facing the virus and the ensuing lock down, our intrinsic eagerness to combat, survive, grow, and compete allowed us to thrive and evolve as “learners” and “teachables.”
For the eLearning industry and the whole education sector throughout the world, the previous three months have been extremely disruptive. Thousands of kids were unable to attend school by February, and practically all institutes were closed by March. Nearly 300 million children’ educations have been directly impacted worldwide. Hundreds of traditional educational institutions and schools are permanently closing their doors. In these trying times, eLearning, which was once seen to be a non-traditional kind of learning, stepped in as a hero and saved the day. Students have easy access to high-speed internet and multimedia devices such as tablets, computers, and cell phones, which made online learning a breeze.
Consumer behavior and corporate practices have shifted dramatically. We’re learning stuff we’ve never known before. Not only have consumers become hyperactive in adapting, consuming, and investing in online information, but technological companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Zoom have magnified demand and supply by bridging the gap. The significant rebirth of the online education market, especially in India, is marked by increased choice, enhanced product and service quality, expanded reach, and affordability.
I was unconcerned about the prospect of ‘online learning.’ Watching lectures and participating in seminars via Zoom does, however, need a little more work than aimlessly scrolling around social media or playing Temple Run!
However, I can honestly state that learning online during the coronavirus outbreak was a wonderful experience for me.
The first thing I attempted was to approach each lesson as though I were physically attending it. Fortunately, I didn’t have many early mornings to begin with, but it did help me stay motivated when I watched a morning video lecture at the time I would typically be attending.
Furthermore, I believe that keeping to the regular lecture schedule enabled me to bring structure to my working day… and my life in general! During semester two, for example, Tuesday was always my ‘busy day.’ Surprisingly, it was also the day I most looked forward to! So, rather of avoiding the task, I dove right in. This gave me a strong sense of purpose, especially at the end of each day when I had completed everything on my daily to-do list. It may seem counter intuitive to be productive when you can sleep in until noon.
On the other hand, I believe the opposite is possible… Finding motivation and structure can be difficult at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult during lockdown when you’re gazing at the same four walls all day. My educational plan and agenda served as a wonderful template for achieving the structure I want – all I had to do was continue doing what I had been doing for the preceding few months, practically on autopilot!
SIDHARTH SANKAR MISHRA