Virtual learning and working have been a huge by-product of the pandemic. It has saved many of our lives from coming to a complete halt. And for some companies, this virtual working can be adopted permanently.
Virtual classes have helped students study and learn from the safety of their own home. However, is this new method reliable and beneficial for all students?
Virtual classes have provided many benefits for students and teachers. They have made many things easier in these hard times.
The ability to access coursework from anywhere at any time has made time schedules for studying very flexible especially, for older students. Students can learn at a time they feel most productive, whether it’s in the morning for early birds or mid-night for night owls.
The most important factor of these classes is proper time management. Children left at home for entire days would lead to them wasting time on entertainment, making them lazy and unproductive. During these times we should try to be as productive from home as possible.
In fact, there are many online courses offered by websites for curious learners.
Studying online with visuals and media is helpful for younger students and visual learners. Studying online through these digital platforms unlocks virtual quizzes, competition, and animation which makes studying more fun and holds the attention of students for longer periods.
The National Center for Education Statistics in the USA had monitored the number of students engaged in online learning. The results showed that 5.4 million students took at least one online class amongst which 2.6 million students studied exclusively online. The interesting part is that this was before the COVID-19 in 2014! This shows that online education was preferred by many students to whom the option was available.
Online education for many reasons seen above is excellent. They have bridged the gap between the pandemic and education. However, there are some fields left unconcerned for online learning. One of the biggest being, Technical Education.
Online Class and Technical Education
Under Technical Education, comes many different subjects like Engineering, Medicine and more practical requiring subjects.
In Nepal itself, every year 1000 engineers graduate according to the Kathmandu Post. Similarly there are many students who are applying to Medical school.
Every year there are a large group, globally, who study these practical subjects.
There are many requirements needed in this type of education more important and practical in comparison to others.
Engineering subjects like electrical, civil, computer all need proper materials and resources.
Chemical Engineering students would require a complete lab full of specialized chemicals, not found around our house. Computer students need special courses in a server computer and need to practically test out their coding. They can not just simply code without the supervision of the teachers.
Similarly, civil engineering students would also need many such focused stationary and model designs. Medicine students needs proper practicals setup to practice on.
How will they do all these just studying on a laptop screen?
Another field is Hotel management. Learning how to cook and do the many various tricks of hotel management on a Zoom call is very challenging.
Many crucial physical aspects like texture, right color, taste, and so many other things are compromised online. The students are restricted to one angle and so many things can go unnoticed.
The main question here is how will all this be possible through virtual learning? As the classes get higher, the courses get more specialized and practical. Theoretical learning is a minor part of such technical subjects
Online classes can be continued for the theory part of this education but what about the practical part, the most vital part?
Some demonstration classes can be held online. Yet, they will not yield the same results as physical. Students would have to look at a video of the experiment instead of conducting it themselves.
This means the students are deprived of a deeper understanding of these lessons.
How capable will a Doctor who graduated virtually be? Would you trust to get operated on by a student who has only seen videos of surgery and not done by themselves? How applicable will the codes and designs of a Programmer or an Engineer be in the real world?
These are some very important questions asked by students themselves. These questions can not be ignored. How long will these students continue studying theory and compromising practical lessons?
There must be ways found to ensure the future generation receives proper education and are capable professionals even amongst the global pandemic. These are not just light questions but important pillars of tomorrow’s future.