For about a year now, most of the world has stood on a standstill. Oblivious to wealth, religion, or culture, the COVID-19 pandemic has pervaded every sector of life - the economy has receded, tourism has disappeared, and even in places where strict lockdowns have long since been lifted, educational institutions still remain closed.
The multi fold impact of the pandemic is sure to affect aspects of life for a long time to come, and nowhere is that more apparent than in formal education. Schools that have the means to do so have gone online, but questions of the effectiveness of online education are raised regularly, and the fact that educational institutions were wholly unprepared to go digital does not help quell the concerns of parents, teachers and the general populace. One thing is undeniable, however. The paradigm of education has shifted significantly.
The migration of most institutions to the digital world alone has been an important development. While formal institutions have been quick to critique the notion that education could go online in the past, acclimatization to it has made many experts reconsider the hegemony of in-person education, even calling for a restructuring of the system to include more online materials.
The aforementioned stigma against complete online education may not disappear before the platform matures, but the willingness to consider the internet as a legitimate means of formal education is definitely a step towards the right direction.
But problems still plague the online platform as teachers, students and school administrators alike come to terms with the new normal. A large portion of people familiar with the internet only as an entertainment and conversation platform have been forced to migrate to an unfamiliar corner of it. This is especially true for teachers and administrators - many of whom have struggled to come to grips with the hundreds of meeting links, drawing programs, privacy concerns, and many, many more problems that e-learning brings. It is no coincidence that those who persist have come out of it more tech-savvy than they started off. The role of parents and guardians has increased, and in many cases they have had to sacrifice a large chunk of their work time to set up online classes for their children and monitor their progress physically - a problem that is most apparent for younger children. This overhead associated with online classes has taken a toll on guardians and school administrators.
Amid all these complications also looms a lot of uncertainty. There’s no telling for how long schools will remain closed, and with the pandemic leaving huge dents on many aspects of life as we know it, the challenges yet to come can only be met head on with education.
The issue of educating students to provide them the required skill set to help recover from this slump is all the more important for institutions right now. It is a question of societal responsibility, and those with the capacity to contribute to it must do so - schools are central to the times we face as we rebuild.
Administrators of schools, too, have faced problems, especially as many institutions are ill equipped, both resources and personnel wise, to manage online resources and give individual care to students on the online platform.
The biggest bottleneck has been managing things that happen outside the lectures, which then translate to a poor overall learning experience - things like assignments and evaluation, examination, the communication between the school and the learner/guardian, management of teacher's workflow, and issues of admission and payment have been huge headaches for administrators. Translating physical infrastructures already present for these things into the digital sphere has been a monumental problem. As the prospects of schools reopening soon recedes, the need for a proper Digital Learning Platform has never been more imminent.
Endorsed by hundreds of schools and available on web, iOS and Android, Veda's Digital Learning Platform removes the overhead so that teaching and learning become the major focus, bridging the gap between online and physical classes. Connection is the key to effective education, and a centralized platform like Veda that bridges students, teachers, guardians and management together on a single, secure platform solves many of the problems plaguing the sector.
The overhead on parents is reduced as they can track all concerned information on their child - the classes they have, their assignment and status, their attendance, progress and assignment reports, routines and notices, in their own time. A mode for suggestions and feedback aids both the parents in being heard and the school in making teaching and learning efficient and effective.
Schools can use it as a centralized platform to deliver notices, assignments, and progress reports, in addition to carrying out effective online exams and delivering online results on the platform - complete with analysis on a student’s performance, and topics that students have been struggling with. The app is also complete with the feature of online admission and billing, with integrated payment options for admission and school fees.
Teachers can use the Veda Guru app to take classes seamlessly integrated with Zoom, provide and evaluate assignments, take attendance, and make subject plans and reports with ease, reducing the overhead of maintaining disjointed databases of documents from the administrators and teachers alike.
Students can breathe huge sighs of relief as the app tracks the routine and delivers notifications of classes and other activities to them, which they can access on a single tap. The app is also complete with E-Classroom, which provides students to engage even deeper with the knowledge gained, with the help of videos, additional reading material, and Multiple Choice Questions - even providing visualization of student analytics to the teachers and the administration.
Veda’s Digital Learning platform covers all bases to make the online learning experience as close to the real thing as it can be. In a volatile learning environment of today, staying true to the roots is an effective tool, which when paired with E-Classroom can augment the teaching-learning experience to be as good as it can be.
As the educational paradigm shifts, and more and more of learning is done online, adoption of platforms like Veda by formal education is an inevitability - a fact that students, teachers, and school administrators alike should embrace.
Online education should not be treated merely as a mechanism that we've come up with to deal with schools being closed. As Digital Learning Platforms come into the forefront, augmenting traditional education with e-learning is the road to a better educational future.