Within the last few decades, the birth of the virtual conferencing facility was seen as a key contributor to improved, faster and personal communication in a cost-effective manner.
While virtual conferencing was regarded as a mainstay of corporate circles, it has now found place amongst all of life’s aspects, and age groups. The raging debate on impact of a virtual led education or online school education vis-à-vis physical education has multiple takers on both sides of the debate.
During the last few years, the debate around tweaking education systems to skill, task and style oriented ways of the career professional has been commonplace among Industry recruiters and managers. Industry honchos are bluntly vocal around India’s large demographic base, and its lack of a skill, basic time-management, conversing and task-oriented skills.
No doubt the development of online technologies has proved to be a fulcrum to take schooling online – however, a clear by-product of online schools has been certain future ready skills that students have gained access to. There is a growing support for the time and self-management aspects that an online school gets for a student. While the advantages of online schooling are far and many, below we point out key advantages of online schooling that make students future ready.
Some of the most future oriented education structures are oriented at teaching students about the ability of managing multiple tasks, and essentially become great managers in their future lives. Even beyond the professional lives, adults are often required to manage multiple things, driving their decisions by the time they can make available in a day through clear prioritization of tasks.
The benefits of online schooling are driving students to take charge of their. The set hours of live classes require them to configure the first half of the day absorbing course contents, and spending the next half of the day through self-paced learning, planning homework and executing other school related tasks, which otherwise in a physical schooling setup are governed by the arrival at home in the afternoon, and start and stop of home tuitions, or pre-planned extra-curricular activities as per school schedules, routines now largely dependent on self-motivation and immaculate planning.
Moreover, the lack of physical presence of teacher driven pressure ensures that students are compelled to be drivers of their day. Some of the best online school programs allow students to follow their own schedules and customize their study hours, or choose their own curriculum, and align their time availability throughout the day. Some of the best online curricula are designed in a way that students can make their schedules flexible, and pursue their passions while being owners of their day.
Great time managers become great leaders.
Self-Motivation and ownership
Most of the time, online students must learn on their own. The student does not have to go to a physical classroom or even interact with the teacher in a physical setting. Such a setting compels a student to stay self-motivated, maintain ownership in tasks, and practice self-discipline to drive completion of tasks.
Moreso, such a quality set is sought after by employers globally – an entrepreneurial mindset that enables a self-motivated mindset ensuring minimal hand holding, reminders to tasks, or continuous check-ins. Once developed, qualities such as self-motivation and ownership prove to be success oriented skills once in the workforce.
Schedules and assignments are coordinated, structured, and predictable in a traditional academic environment. While online learning is customisable, flexible and anywhere accessible, such flexibility can be chaotic.
Failing wi-fi connections during sessions, managing distractions, quick to adjust changes in learning schedule, and adjusting to changing home schedules are few things that an online learner is required to quickly pivot and adjust to.
Adaptability as a trait reflects attributes such as ingenuity, being successful in resource constrained environments, fast paced analytical skills, and managing change and transitions.
Higher Order Thinking Skills
Most education programs try to inculcate a skill oriented structure. Online schooling enables students to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers via specialized curriculum plans, virtual labs, ancillary skill development programs such as coding, virtual labs etc. Online schooling aims at making students critical thinkers and problem solvers, and the development of advanced capabilities help crack the best professional opportunities.
Moreover, with a trend of degree oriented skilling, the student is better equipped to handle the analytical pressures of higher education, thereby ensuring their excellence in the professional sphere.
Access to skill Oriented Subjects
As we discussed above, the offline classroom was brutal in making a student a puppet of its schedule. The time-table of a physical classroom, constrained by the daily school cut-off time, forced educators to contribute only 1 hour of skills based classes in a week – routines such as coding, general awareness, lateral thinking, and beyond the classroom interest pursuits were limited to activity periods or activity days.
Consequently, hordes of students pursued similar professions, without any apparent heterogeneity. While online education in India is starting to find keen adopters, the benefits were realized much before by its proponents.
Some of the best e-learning platforms in India give students access to course libraries including:
- Coding across age groups
- Access to open courses on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning
- Access to general awareness almanacs over anytime access channels
Additionally, students across best online school programs are allowed to pursue these courses to explore interests and work in a field of study at an early stage, eventually translating those interests into future careers – all this while they continue to pursue their traditional courses
Communication and Collaboration Skills
The corporate world has been well-versed with digital communication channels, especially since the last decade. Specifically in the Indian context, new ways of listening, speaking, absorbing, and conversing were to be learnt once virtual conversing became mainstream.
At the same time, technology savvy generation students were also found on the back-foot with the online school system and the subsequent takeover of online communication.
Better done now than after, online communication has become a mainstay of relaying and capturing education – from attending a live class, to participating in discussions over the online mode, the online channel prepares students for mastery in such a mode of communication.
Additionally, the rampant usage of instant messaging platforms such as those on LMS, Slack, Teams or Google Meet, and subsequently long-form communication over emails, exposes online schooling students early-on to the key fodder of their future work-lives i.e., professional, pointed, and articulate communication over online channels.
Moreover, the added advantages of online schooling have been a sense of collaboration to augment the lack of the physical aspect of the offline classroom. While sometimes a mere physical presence was granted as collaboration in a classroom, students are now required to self-reach out to educators and peers alike. In the process, the student is molded into one who realizes the need to maintain constant touch with classroom stakeholders, and at the same time, become adept at collaboration to drive results.
Hence, while online school education may have many who seem unconvinced about the concept, the evidence is clearly in favor of virtual online classes or online school programs being a key driver to enabling students to become future ready.