With students and professionals forced to stay indoors, the appeal of distance learning is compelling.
( This story has appeared in the April 2020 issue of Science Reporter)
April 5 2020: For parents with young children, the challenge of how to slip in some study time into all those hours of TV binge watching, has been met. The answer is e-learning: Internet-based curriculum-based coaching, at which leaders like Byju's, Unacademy, Khan Academy etc have excelled for some years. There are over a hundred India-specific e-learning apps, most of them in the form of Android apps. And many lifted their pay walls during the Covid-19 lockdown. The walls will come back once full normalcy is restored -- but many parents may see the value of distance learning as a long term investment.
At college and university level, India is fortunate to have in place a platform like SWAYAM which offers hundreds of free MOOC -- Massive Online Open Courses -- which are recognized for obtaining credit towards degrees by many universities. This has ensured uninterrupted learning to lakhs of students in recent weeks of academic upheaval.\
The other emerging stream of learn from home addresses the mid-career upskilling of professionals, largely in the IT sector where entry-level knowledge can quickly become obsolescent. Leaders like Simplilearn, Edureka, Coursera and Udemy manage to connect tutor to student in times of national disruption -- as long as an Internet connection works.