Online Classes Are A Boon During This Quarantine - And Here’s Why

Shivani Manohar
July 11, 2020
5 min read

After weeks of consuming content in the form of movies and shows, trying out every workout under the sun and cooking every meal in your recipe book until you get it just right, you’ve probably run out of ways to keep yourself occupied. It happens to the best of us. Luckily, this blog has the solution to your dilemma!

The popularity of online classes had been on the rise even before this quarantine forced everyone indoors. But now that all of us are settling into being home all day and are slowly exhausting all sources of entertainment, online classes are proving to be a true saving grace.

A little while ago, I spoke to Sourabh Mutha, a professor of finance, accounting and tax, about this recent surge in digitisation of classes and I got to see the whole situation from the perspective of a teacher.

While he found the level of interaction more in regular classes, as compared to those online, he attributed this to the fact that he had been taking offline classes for years but had shifted online only recently. Given that everyone is pretty much new to the concept of online classes, accessibility was a bit of a challenge for him.

The whole ordeal of muting, unmuting, choosing whom to give access to was kind of a hassle. However, one benefit that appealed to him greatly was the time-saving aspect of online classes. The time that you would otherwise spend getting ready for class, physically and mentally, and commuting to and from class gets taken off your hands completely. According to Sourabh, those students who were eager to learn were profiting greatly but those students who were accustomed to sitting in classrooms, learning via diagrams, preferred to not diverge from that norm.

It is clear that online teaching has not reached a state of perfection, yet. But that doesn’t imply that there aren’t some pretty great advantages of taking online classes.

  • Online teaching tools - Addressing Sourabh’s concerns, there are a number of tools available to conduct online classes seamlessly and in a manner that’s as close to offline classes as it can be.

    Our recommended tech stack:
    - Online Teaching: Zoom or Lessonspace
    - Virtual whiteboard: Milanote or Miro
    - Lesson Plans: Notion (free for educators)
    - Recorded Lectures: Loom (free for educators) or Wistia (Paid)
    - Document Collaboration: Google Docs or Dropbox
  • Comfortable learning environment - Easily, one of the most alluring benefits of online classes is that you can take them in your pajamas, nestled in your favourite corner of the house. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you’re in your comfort zone, you tend to grasp information better. Also, people who are scared to express themselves in front of a crowd may find it easier to speak as they will only be addressing a screen and not a classroom full of watchful eyes.
  • Flexible - Just because you’re taking an online class doesn’t mean you have to sit in one place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. trying not to fall asleep midway. You can plan your class around the rest of your day instead of planning your entire day around that one class. You also save the time that you would spend in getting ready for or commuting to and from your class, time that can be better utilised with learning. If you're somebody who studies better late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, self-paced online classes will work perfectly for you.
  • Lower cost - It’s no secret that the cost of a class can, at times, be the factor that decides whether or not you take that class. Which is why taking online classes you end up saving more money than you spend. They’re easy on the pocket because you can pay only for those select few that you’re interested in. Travel expenses are entirely avoided as you can take these classes without even leaving the house.
  • Connecting with teachers and students around the world - While regular, face-to-face classes allow you to interact exclusively with your classmates and your teachers, online classes can connect you to students and teachers all around the globe. Your location doesn’t matter. If you live in the UAE and want to take a class in Australia, you can! All you need is a computer and good internet connection.
  • Expanding skill set - Along with subjects that are purely academic, online classes also offer courses that are more creative and non-curricular. There is no limit to what you can learn with online classes. You can take a class on coding, you can learn how to play an instrument or even a foreign language.

As a matter of fact, in a recent conversation with Rhea Shah, a language teacher who specialises in French and Mandarin, I found out how she has been able to continue her classes through online teaching. She and her students are saving a lot of time after the classes have shifted to a digital platform.

Her students are utilising the saved time for self-study, and are becoming a lot more independent. They are making an effort to find out the answers to their doubts on their own.

Rhea did, however, express some concerns about productivity, in terms of how much portion she can cover in one class and how well the students grasp her teaching, and also about the number of different platforms that need to be accessed to acquire all the tools of an offline classroom.

She is currently giving Reportcard a go to organise herself, feel free to try ReportCard if you have a few minutes.

Shivani Manohar

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