26 May 2020

Learn online strategically, grow and succeed, whatever the situation !

The coronavirus has made many people go towards virtual classes. This is something that shall continue even later which is what we need to understand.
Image Source : theconversation.com

For all of us globally, going to college  was and is a path for  upward mobility. People do pay a lot for this, whether in India or abroad. People in India even pay for travelling and spend a lot of their savings on it,

Even in America, this is a challenge for many. It has now  become yet another 21st-century symbol of privilege for the wealthy. In 2019, the  cost of attending a four-year private college on an average was over $200,000. So, for a four-year public college, it was over $100,000.

Now, Covid-19 is about to ravage that business model. Mass unemployment is looming large and make education out of reach for many. This is as far as America is concerned. Even in India, the situation in main stream colleges is quite grim.

Till now, online education was put into the equivalent of a hobby at most universities. Now, it has become a backup plan.

As far as students are concerned, now this is more than just a back up plan. Students can enrol into any college and learn all the skills they need. In a sense, this is true democratisation of education.
\This has now shown significant growth over the last decade, as the internet and education combine to provide people with the opportunity to gain new skills. Since the pandemic and lockdown, online learning has become more centric in people's lives. It has forced schools, universities, and companies to remote working and this booms the usage of online learning. Even before the pandemic, Research and Markets forecast the online education market as $350 Billion by 2025, so the numbers might be updated after analyzing the growth impacts of COVID-19 on the online learning market. 

About the market
There are numerous online learning platforms in the market such as Udemy, Coursera, Lynda, Skillshare, Udacity that serve millions of people. The  are also getting shaped by different user verticals as well. While Skillshare is mostly for creatives such as giving courses on animation, photography, lifestyle, Coursera is mostly academic with giving access to university courses. 
Top tier universities are also democratizing the learning by making courses accessible via online. Stanford University and Harvard University give access to online courses under categories of computer science, engineering, mathematics, business, art, and personal development. 
These all show one thing, there’s a huge demand from people to learn online. The reason for this demand and rapid growth of the market with a wide variety of platform options for different groups of people may be the rapid change of the world. At the recent $50 Million round of Udemy, president Darren Shimkus says, “The biggest challenge is for learners is to figure out what skills are emerging, what they can do to compete best in the global market. We’re in a world that’s changing so quickly that skills that were valued just three or four years ago are no longer relevant. People are confused and don’t know what they should be learning.” At this moment, online learning is becoming a huge catalyzer for people and companies to help the adoption of this rapid change in the world. 

Advantages of online learning
All those online learning enterprises have a massive amount of user data which enables those platforms to use machine learning algorithms that can enhance the learning patterns of people. Machine learning algorithms use pattern recognition which can personalize the content for each individual. An example is when a student repeatedly struggles with a concept at the course. At this time, the platform can adjust the e-learning content to provide more detailed information to help the student.  This makes everyone learn at their own pace and schedule.  Feedback is also given to all, almost immediately.
The instantaneous feedback loops inside the platforms which are provided by other online students or the platform improve the learning curve. This also offers shy or more reticent people the opportunity to participate in class discussions more easily than face-to-face class sessions. 
This is definitely becoming a new way of learning for all in the new digital world we are in.
Students, join in and learn more to succeed in your jobs and career. This will take  you to greater heights.

In Sum
We know that change is the only thing that is certain in the world. With the pandemic, it is staring at our face. However, it could be a new way of learning, perhaps even better than the current system. After all, things have changed a lot since the introduction of computers. This is bound to increase when we realise the many things that can be done remotely. The question is only of when this is likely to take place.
It would help if all of us logon to the online world and then move forward to become global success stories. This is surely possible with the internet being accessible to all of us. What one needs of course is a passion for learning and growing all the time. In a sense, pandemic or not, this is a good way to lead one’s life. We could learn as many skills as we wish and keep learning and growing. This would of course be beneficial for our personal growth as well as our careers. For, we are as good as dead if we cease to think and by extension, learn

Let us all then convert the challenge of a crisis to a learning journey and succeed by learning and growing.

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