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Digital Education in India

What Is Digitalisation?


Digitalization refers to the process of converting the services, products, or anything and everything possible into digital form. The era of the 21st century is also referred to as “The Era of Digitalisation”. The process of digitalization has a close association with the advancements in technology. Digitalisation of resources means the process of shifting the availability of resources in an online mode from finding it only in an offline mode. An example to explain this could be the use of phrases like digitalization of books or knowledge which means accessing the books in an online mode through various websites or surfing through various websites available on search engines to access awareness or knowledge around a concerned topic.


What Is Digital Education?


Since the early 2000s, various advancements and developments have been carried out in the field of technology, from computers and laptops to smartphones. The past two decades have seen huge changes. The increase in digital resources was growing gradually until early 2020. The world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and people were forced into their homes. With consecutive lockdowns, the world witnessed a major shift from offline operations to digital platforms. In the field of education, students from schools, colleges, etc. were supposed to take online classes instead of offline classes. This marked the monopolisation of digitalization in the field of education.


The Economic Times defines "digital education" as "a learning system based of formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources." Digital education is commonly known as online education or e-learning. The use of computers and the Internet form the major components of e-learning.


Digital Education In India:


The pace of digitalization in the field of education in India has been different at different levels. The students receiving technical education had greater access to digital resources in comparison to students from other courses. That is to say, there was gradual digitization of higher education in India pre-covid. Another difference in availability was based on the level of affordability. As India is a developing country, a large section of its population resides in rural areas where the literacy rates are very low, along with the poor availability of various basic facilities like sanitation, health care, etc., technological advancements are a far-fetched dream for them. As for the urban population, a large section of the population is poor, and affording other miscellaneous costs associated with online education is too burdensome for them. All this shows the high level of challenges in digital education in India due to the digital divide that exists.


Need For Digital Education:


Digital education is the need of the hour and the present scenario stands very much as an example of the same. With the historic shift in the educational base, the need for the promotion of digital education is inevitable. Various reports and statistics from reputed sources state how even in the coming times, the field of digital education is going to show consistent increments, and associations adhering to it would serve the greater interest of the people. The government and various other organisations are working relentlessly to promote the plan of digital India in the education sector. Also, in recent years, various legitimate and credible websites have entered the field of education, providing degree and online courses to students.


The degrees are as compatible as a degree from any university or college, and the involvement of diverse and distinguished personalities from around the globe helps in the further advancement of knowledge associated with the concerned topic. Hence, the resistance to or lack of online learning might turn out to be a major growth barrier in many cases.



Pros of Digital Education:

Convenience:

Time constraints do not apply to online classes. Various e-resources are available 24 hours a day for interested students to access at their convenience. Students in online mode are also not required to travel to certain destinations and can complete their courses from the comfort of their homes.


Flexibility:
Online courses have a lot to offer in terms of flexibility. An individual can prioritise his various activities and can work on a schedule for them. Nobody in this mode is forced to dress up a certain way, be present at a particular time, etc. Online education, in general,
aids in the reduction of a variety of unnecessary time wastes


More Individual Attention:
A lot of students are introverted, and some just aren't comfortable asking questions in class for fear of being ridiculed. Online education here eliminates that fear to an extent. Instead of saving the questions to be looked upon by Google or to be asked to the teacher later, students can spontaneously look them up or drop a text or email to the
concerned authority. Hence, the chances to learn are enhanced.


Larger Reach:
A lot of online education platforms offer faculty from around the globe, ensuring diversity and a higher degree of information. This allows the students to be trained by distinguished and renowned personalities, proving to be a major boon for their skill

development and enhancement. All this, from the comfort of one’s home.


Financial Benefits:
The online courses have been proving cost-efficient. The fee for the same course in the offline mode is much higher in comparison to the online mode. Along with it, various other charges like travel costs and expenses spent on living in a city different from one's
hometown could also be saved. In a way, all this proved to be pocket-friendly.


Self Discipline:

To get the most out of an online course, students need to be utterly disciplined and focus on the subject. This would act as a focus-building exercise for the interested students. Self-discipline is an art one must master to succeed in life, and online education, in a way, would promote the same.



Cons of Digital Education:


More Time-Consuming:
Online education is more text-oriented, i.e., to say that communications here have a higher propensity to take more time and not be as rapid as in the offline mode. Also, in online mode, a lot of students complain of zoning out of topics mid-class, so reiteration
is required.


Easier To Procrastinate:
Since the timings are more flexible here, there's a higher propensity for them being procrastinated and, in the end, there being no improved results. In classes, the fear of
teachers ensures people are on time.


A Sense Of Isolation:
A lot of students might not be able to make friends due to the absence of physical communication. Communication enhances lots of skills, and hence it would prove to be
a disadvantage.


Requires More Zeal:
Online classes require more zeal and interest on a personal level. There isn't any pressure or fear of the vigilance of teachers. Hence, a lot of students who still used to make something out of offline education would have no such forces to push them
through.

Problems Due To Electricity:

Villages and remote locations often complain about the poor state of electricity in the areas where they reside, and according to various facts, India still does not have 100% electricity penetration. Electricity is one of the basic requirements for online education, considering the use of power in charging devices like mobile phones, laptops, etc.


Lack Of Proper Internet Connectivity:
Good internet speed is required to join live sessions or stream various educational resources. The actions of watching videos or using heavy applications can consume more data and if joined via phone there are high chances of lag in the meeting or data
exhaustion.


Lack Of Equipment Required:
An online class requires equipment like a laptop, desktop, smartphone, etc on the end of the students, and as a teacher, they are required to have a whiteboard, suitable
camera, and various other requirements. This results in a digital divide.


Technical Knowledge And Awareness:
A lot of experienced teachers around us are elderly and do not possess substantial awareness of technology. There is a high propensity for students to miss out on the wonder of these teachers.