The official enthusiasm for the online mode which derives from the obvious possibilities of extensive reach it offers must take into account that online education cannot be simply old wine in a new bottle. The new medium requires new modalities.
We need to remember that the online mode was never designed as a permanent solution. It is not okay to normalize online mode, and our experiences of teaching during the lockdown should invite us to think about the limitation of online as a mode to teach.
It is evident that the continuation of online teaching that was initially viewed as short-term measure beyond a year or perhaps more for some, is leading to higher levels of fatigue despite greater familiarity and ease of using the mode. While most teachers feel that they are now better than before in dealing with pauses, viewing only their own faces, dealing with students’ indifference and ever-changing technological tools, they also feel even more ‘irritated’, ‘demotivated’ and are ‘losing stream’.
This new series of articles on Confluence examines how online education in India evolved during the coronavirus pandemic.
This discussion is intended to gather the experiences and thoughts about the present and future of the education with regard to the pandemic, from academicians and non-academics cutting across disciplines and geographical boundaries.
The digital media is therefore, in many ways, a gift to simpletons who believe in whatever nonsense is thrown at them, and even more so to the creators and designers of this nonsense. The various platforms on the internet, from Facebook to YouTube, on which one can “say or write anything”, are literally like freely available weapons to be used by any know-it-all – innocent or partisan –to throw drivel at everyone on the street. It is not the case that there was no stupidity in the world in earlier times but the means to make stupidity ubiquitous were absent, thus limiting the amount of nonsense that could be created and injected into the system, and also the speed at which it would propagate.
Epidemics have both, a clinical and scientific side as well as a governance and public health management side.