How education changed in the last few months Classrooms are not the same anymore and it will not be till we walk out of the pandemic. Learning will be through screen for a long time now, reports Education Times UMarch, no one Knew that Mdia would have to make a dramatic transition towards digital learning. But with the COVID-19 pandemic leading us to reimagine new ways of learning, virtual learning has become the new normal along with a sudden spike in e-learning platforms. "The adoption of online models has been highest im the K12 segment with India having over 151akh schools which cater to 40 crore plus students. Since the digital adoption in this segment was extremely low In the pre-pandemic phase, the challenge provided a big opportunity to school adqministrators to swiftly switch to online mode," says Antarpreet Singh, director Digital Learning. Indian School of Business (ISB). HEIs too had 10W digital adoption initially even though the UGC and AICTE had set 20% target for online learning. which was not being complied to. "Within a few weeks of the lockdown, UGC gave approval toenhance online learning component to 40% for 950 plus universities. The real evolution of our education ecosystem whl take place in the post-pandemic phase, wherein every educational institution will have to craft its own 'blended digital reclpe'," Singh adds. Y Schooling via blended =a, learning format While many schools struggle to impart online education during the lockdown, others have seamlessly adopted with blended learning models already in place. Studies have shown that blended learning methods and traditional teaching in the classroom with online learning tools are more effective than simple face to face lessons in the classroom, says Stanley Anthony, principal, St Xavier's School, Sector 49, Gurugram. Why coaching moved online Post-lockdown, several coaching Institutes converted thelr regular offline classes to online mode for both new and old batches to help students prepare for varlous entrance examinations such as JEE Main, Advanced and NEET-UG. "Live classes and video tutorials, soft copies of the study materials were given to students to continue thelr study schedule," says Partha Halder, centre-nead, FIIT Fr JEE, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. However, he says that this 1s not at par with classroom coaching as there 1s no face-toface interaction. Additionally, edtech platforms such as GuruQ, BasicFirst are increasingly meeting the demand for personal online tutoring during COVID-19 crisis. D'Q Proctored exams sa for falr assessments Online remote proctoring, which permits students to take exams from home, is picking up the pace. "The challenges of ) lenges of student in this mode 1s checked con: tinuously through the webcam and online learning screen capture by means of AL Repost COVID-19 ports are produced for the evaluator as test logs alongside screen captures percent percent of the student and his screen," says 2 students 2 8 Mano) K Arora, vice chancellor, in India do students BML Munjal University that decided not have are not able on Al-driven remote administered smartphones to study mode for the selection test of engiand laptops properly due neering students. to frequent Dower outages Duo Virtual lab experience H To provide lab training Im times of the pandemic, several institutes are resorting to percent of ~ virtual labs. "They enable students students to undergo lab experience on thelr admitted desktop and moblle. The feature 1s that they created with the help of ICT tools. are not able Since January, over 26,000 users optto focus ed for virtual labs at IT Guwahati," on studies says TG Sitharam, director of the during online institute. While INT Hyderabad has classes recorded over 1,00,000 Users of virtual labs since January, over P 69,000 users have resorted to 7 remote experimentation in NITK Surathkal. 3 "When using these labs, students can _ make mistakes with' out worrying about the equipment getting damaged." says Maneek Kumar, dean, School of Engineering . and Technology BML I Munjal University.