Had the COVID-19 pandemic not changed the way the world functions, a lesser explored dimension of education for Indian students may never have been evolved. The traditional chalk and blackboard bound education in India is witnessing a paradigm shift. The schools are temporarily closed for the students and the teachers are using all the possible means to reach them. The obstacles in conducting physical classrooms have created ample opportunities for digital classrooms. Thus, a comparison between digital and traditional learning methods has also started.
Though the objective of both the mediums is to impart knowledge to the students, the benefits of the digital medium are becoming prominent. Keeping a scenario where the students have access to both traditional and digital learning methods, it is interesting to explore which method is better and why for the Indian students.
- Blackboard Vs ‘Smart-Board’: Imagine a blackboard as a canvas on which the teacher writes and draws to get the attention of the students. A typical blackboard has its own limitations. On the other hand, a ‘smart-board’ that captures the attention of the students for a longer period of time can make a classroom lively and engaging.
- Pages of a book Vs Pages of a website: The dynamic character of the web-world makes it powerful. A learner with eagerness to know more can access countless content and knowledge resource material on the internet. The unlimited scope to gain knowledge on any subject gives added advantage to the students.
- Tests Vs Assessments: The questions and answer section of any textbook plays a crucial part in overall learning. The students are assessed on the bases of the correct answers. At times, the process takes time, but unless the answers are checked the assessment remains incomplete. The digital learning/e-learning methods provide an effective solution to this through digital means, the online assessment of the students is possible, that too instantaneously. Various online scholarship for Indian students provides the opportunity for the students to take tests and earn scholarships. There are many scholarships online available for students who have free registrations. Such Monthly Online Scholarships give a lot of benefits to the learners of all the grades.
- One Way Vs Two communications: In traditional methods of learning the teachers delivers a topic, and most of the time it’s one-way communication. The digital space provides the opportunity for two-way communication through webinars. The students can interact and give quick responses through the chatbox. The students can raise queries without disturbing the flow of the session. The two-way communication makes the teacher as well as the students more satisfied with the entire process.
- Homework Vs Online Assignments: After school hours, during holidays, or in general, parents nag their children constantly for home-work. It is an observation that children don’t have much inclination towards reading and writing at home. However, learning is a constant process. There are ways in digital methods of learning to motivate students to keep practicing reading, writing, and solving mathematical problems. The integrated artificial intelligence in online assignments allows a child to give answers through audio and touch-screen technology. Applause or a smiling emoji on a correct answer, and correcting the wrong ones instantaneously engages the child’s in the learning process. The quick response system engrosses a child’s mind and doing assignments become a lot more fun.
- Physical limitations Vs Anytime Accessibility: The digital space gives the liberty of anytime access, not bound by time or date. The traditional teaching environment involves students and teachers in a specific physical space. The physical classroom set-up is bounded by space, time, and date. On the dispersal of a physical classroom, the environment, and the learning process halts. In the case of digital classrooms, the recorded versions can be accessed anytime from anywhere. This gives freedom to the learners to choose preferred time zones. This set-up is beneficial for the students in advance courses, distance learning, and e-learning modules.
- Delayed assessment of learning outcomes Vs Instant assessment of learning outcomes: For any teacher, it is important to assess the learning outcomes of the students. In traditional learning method result of a test- paper helps a teacher in assessing how much a student has learned. This process takes time and can delay the assessment of the learning outcomes of the students. In the digital learning method, through an Online Education app, a quick assessment of the learning outcomes of the students makes it easier for a teacher to check and evaluate the learning level of any students.
The digital learning method is an extension of a traditional set-up. To bridge learning gaps between students and bring them to a grade-appropriate learning level, it is important that both the methods work hand-in-hand ultimately empowering a teacher and student.