Education is undergoing a major shift worldwide, in the wake of the Corona Virus pandemic. The education sector is one of the few that have unique opportunities to cut the negative impact through online learning.
While Covid-19 has brought a massive transformation in the way we learn, this might be the best time for the schools to switch to online platforms.
Social distancing and lockdowns have become the new normal and people are unable to send their children to school. From high school to higher education, schools have no choice but to teach online.
Although online degree courses have been gathering speed for years, they remain the secondary mode of education. Classroom teaching had previously remained the primary mode of learning. The shift that education has been witnessing since the onset of COVID-19, will sooner or later, force every school to adapt or wither away.
Why online classes are important
Let’s agree that telling a student to drop an entire year is not justifiable. From children in kindergarten to post-graduate students, no one would like to see the year pass without achieving anything. Besides pursuing a career or graduating, missing a year is not good for the psychological health of students. As a result, continued learning is important for the mental and psychological wellbeing of students.
Let’s analyze the conditions in remote areas where schooling is connected with so many other societal complexities.
There have been surveys that showed that in remote areas, if a student remains out of school for more than a year, he or she is unlikely to return to school. As such, many organizations that focus on educating children in remote areas, don’t want to give up. They are helping the affected children transition to online education.
Top players in global online education
There many online study websites that offer courses for students ranging from nursery to degree level. The major ones are;
1. Edx – Founded by Harvard and MIT, Edx is a non-profit organization and has come up with the best courses available for students. You can watch the courses on YouTube and download the video for offline learning at your own convenience.
Those who want to have a knowledge of various topics rather than earn a certificate can select the audit option. Furthermore, there are categories, such as Master’s Degree and Micro Masters, that serve as academic credits for students when applying to universities in the US.
2. Alison – This is a comprehensive study website for online degree courses. You can select from various subject areas such as art and design, computer, mathematics and so on. The website also offers courses that are apt for professionals.
Founded by Galway, Irish, and Ireland’s social entrepreneur, Mike Feerick, on April 21, 2007, the website has over 1,000 free online courses. There are also over 12 million learners and 1.5 million graduates on Alison. The site also boasts of a good user interface, is easy to navigate, and offers easy enrolment options.
3. Udemy – One of the most popular websites among students is Udemy. It is for learning the basics of different subjects. This website offers courses at a heavily discounted price.
Also, the learning sessions are broken into easy parts to help students understand every concept with great ease. Quizzes and case studies after every session are available. They are a great way of helping students assess their knowledge of the subjects.
4. Ascend Math – This is a popular e-learning platform that offers classes to students of all ages, from kindergarten to Class 12. This is one of the best websites to study online for free as they are running an offer for schools in the wake of COVID-19. Schools can use the platform for 300 students, free of charge until June 30.
5. Coursera – Coursera has been the first choice of professionals and graduates who want to learn new skills. There are many courses that Coursera offers across all the disciplines. They also extend a free one month trial to new users. You can also find various free courses on the platform labelled ‘Audit the course’.
At a time when the world has been adversely affected by the Corona Virus, students are pondering over their future. These online learning tools would be very helpful. Various ed-tech platforms, such as Aula, Raftr, etc also offer teaching tools to remote areas free of charge.
The education industry has moved in the right direction and this is the right time to convert a crisis into an opportunity.