Coronavirus impact: education sector shifting to digital learning

The COVID-19 outbreak has set off alarm bells across the country. No sector is unaffected. The education sector has been hit, with schools, colleges and other institutions ordered shut down until March 31. Most examinations have been cancelled or put off, people are postponing their assignments and important lectures. The latest reports state that the total case number of confirmed cases has reached 130 and is rising with every passing day. The situation requires all educational institutions to take immediate steps to address the obvious anxieties of students, families and staff and inform them about the steps being taken to deal with the unexpected disruption. 

India’s education system is impaired, and students are unable to follow their regular academic routines. In wake of this emergency and keeping the student safety in mind and their academic concern, JD Institute has taken the initiative to provide the facility of telecommunication, skype call, zoom call and access to other virtual options to fill the gap of learning. It is giving training to students and teachers to use technology to facilitate virtual classes and exchange of information. Undoubtedly, this is a very crucial time for students. So, the move is aimed at easing the pressure on students and helping them use their time profitably without compromising on the quality. 

The institute is providing pre-recorded videos of lessons to students in which teachers explain the subjects and topics extensively. After a week, students will be asked to prepare their own notes, and can get their doubts cleared via a skype call. The institute institution is arranging group calls of about 20-30 minutes for each batch to avoid the gap in their studies. Ironically, it has taken the COVID-19 outbreak to get the whole education sector to shift to digital mode and with both human and technical support.  

The edu-tech industry is taking the lead in increasing the efficiency or effectiveness of current practices and pedagogical change. The deployment of technology is opening up new avenues of learning for students of all ages and flipping the traditional notion of classrooms and education by breaking the geographical barrier. Technology is leading a pedagogical change while addressing issues that affect learning, teaching and social functionalities. Technology can, therefore, be seen as a tool, a catalyst for change. We hope that this dreaded pandemic is controlled soon, but until normalcy returns, it is digital learning that will bridge the gap between teachers and learners.

(The views expressed in this article are by Ms. Rupal Dalal, Executive Director, JD Institute of Fashion Technology. doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)

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