We have Punnyasloak (Prinon) Dewanjee, a student from VIT university. in the hope of pursuing his dreams and knowledge, he is expressing his views about the educational revolution we are seeing around us. As a student he understands both the sides of the coin, and feels that online education is a huge leap towards the technological development of our country. it will help the individual shape his future in a better way. Let us see what he has to say-
Q. What are you doing, tell us about yourself? And what plans you have about your future education?
Hello, I, Punnyasloak (Prinon) Dewanjee, am pursuing Graduation (B.Tech.) in electronics and communication from India. Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore (VIT University) was kind enough to allow its renowned faculties and professors to impart their knowledge into me. I have been living abroad since 1997, but I was born and brought-up in West Bengal, and I completed my 10th and 12th from there only.
About my hobbies; my hobbies are swimming, watching movies & series, playing cricket, football, listening to music, and doing research on helpful and interesting topics. My area of interest is in telecommunication engineering.
I am a fresher, but I am a hard as well as smart working person and passionate to gain more and more knowledge. Whatever task I take in my hand, I do with full passion and concentration, and try to complete the task. If I am unaware of an answer I will make it my life to know it, most importantly where and how to find it.My strengths are my quality; my interpersonal skills make me comfortable with others and my politeness with etiquette and manners makes me strong in all circumstances. My weakness is my emotional nature which lands me in trouble sometime. As an ECE engineer my motto in life is to gain an electronics engineering position with a manufacturing or an aviation company where my engineering and managerial skills can be utilized in creating schematics for both new and existing electronic products and leading the administrative workplace as well.
As far as my plan for my future education goes, I’m planning to pursue my MS or Master in Science from a good school in abroad. I have already started the procedure by applying to different schools with my academic transcripts and GRE – TOEFL scores.
This is all about me. Thanks for giving me the wonderful chance.
Q. What are your ideas about digital education system?
Quite simply, Digital Education System is the next architecture which is giving a new dimension and a system which will impart as well as improve all three main components of learning namely contents, learning methodologies and teaching methodologies. It is a dynamic system, which will completely digitize the traditional education system.
There are many problems faced by traditional education system, i.e. all the activities in the organization are carried out manually, teachers have to maintain all the chapter contents to be taught in the class on paper, attendance records are maintained in register books, keeping a track of teaching progress is also a cumbersome task. Whereas this system will prove to be beneficial not only for the organization, but also for teachers, students as well as parents. It will help in scheduling of class lectures, managing library activities and lectures, managing teachers as well as student’s notes, students will be able to get all the contents taught in the class and view class history online from home.
This system will make teaching very effective. The teaching contents will be easily manageable without carrying any paperwork. There will be no need for a teacher to remember all the teaching contents, the sequence of contents and time to teach the contents. Teacher just has to click and drag any multimedia contents, real-time 3d contents and interactive applications related to syllabus which can be shown in the class which will help the students to remember many concepts more than through the traditional way of teaching.
Although this all matters from person to person’s perspective of seeing things but I think this change is good.
Q. Do you think online education system will be as good as offline/ bookish education system?
According to me, there is no invention till date which does not have both advantages and disadvantages. Like that online and offline education system has both advantage and disadvantage. I would say it depends on the student and the program. However, the quality of the instruction has a huge impact on student success. Right now, many online courses are designed in such a way that they demand very little student engagement. Furthermore, students often don’t have a particularly strong incentive to keep up (so procrastination is common). With that all said, it’s not really any worse than the traditional model of lectures, as studies show that students don’t get very much out of them either. But the technology is there for everything to change very soon.
Then the question comes then WHY online education? Well, it offers quite a lot of benefits that influence engagement and effectiveness, like micro-learning, more streamlined content, m-Learning – that list could go on for even longer. Sure, sometimes students aren’t motivated enough, but in my opinion that’s not necessarily a “feature” of online learning – that unmotivated students are the ones that play Candy Crush during offline learning sessions. At the end, every learning mode has their own pros and cons. Nobody can guarantee a single learning mode to be 100% perfect. Instead of comparing the merits and demerits of these modes they should supplement each other.
Q. What according to you are the major challenges that a student might face during this educational revolution?
While instructors need to put in intensive work and time to design the instruction, students need to equip themselves with technical proficiency to decode the course material. There are few common problems faced by students during this educational revolution and which can be solved through proper initiatives for the students’ future benefits:
Switching from traditional classroom and face to face instructor training to computer-based training in a virtual classroom makes the learning experience entirely different for students. While passive listening and notes taking are expected in a traditional classroom, online discussions or creating a web page demand springing into action. Students with a “traditional” mind-set find it difficult to adapt; however, they need to accept the new learning circumstances with an open mind and heart. Understanding the benefits of online learning and even discussing them with their peers may change this mind-set and better prepare students for online classes according to me.
Self-motivation is an online learning essential requirement; however, many online learners lack it, much to their surprise. Students need to find the motivation to follow the new educational trends and also properly equip themselves for future challenges in their education and careers. Only a positive attitude will help them overcome the challenges in online learning.
Many students are not provided with the high bandwidth or the strong internet connection that online courses require, and thus fail to catch up with their virtual classmates. Moreover, most of them live off campus and find it difficult to keep in tune with the technical requirements of the chosen course. The only solution to this problem is knowing exactly what kind of technological support they will need for a certain course before enrolling in it, as well as properly equipping themselves for the course’s successful completion.
Time management is a difficult task for online learners, as online courses require a lot of time and intensive work. Furthermore, whereas it is mostly adults who prefer web-based learning programs for their place and time flexibility, they rarely have the time to take the courses due to their various everyday commitments. A regular schedule planner would be a significant help to these learners, as they could even set reminders for their courses and assignments. However, I feel Online learning is a good news, but at its initial stage it poses certain threats to students. Attitude change and technological literacy would help them gain confidence in order to succeed in their courses with a positive vibe.
Q. What positive changes do you think we might get from this new educational technology?
The 21st century is a time of variability, uncertainty, chaos, ambiguity, and rapid, exponential change. Any experienced teacher knows that there are many different ways to organize students and group them together at different times, around different subjects, activities and skills for maximum learning effectiveness. It simple terms; no child is the same. Every student learns at his or her own pace. Educational apps, search engines, videos, portable technologies and interactive activities provide students with a nearly endless supply of information and resources. Use of the educational technologies including, but not limited to, the tools below support 24/7 learning:
- Online lesson plans
- Educational apps
- Interactive games
- Online video and graphics
- Accessing books and articles via tablets and e-readers
Q. What technological impact do you think might happen due to this revolution?
Online learning changes the way that students of all types and ages interact with and access information. Its effect depends both on the student and the institution making the change. A well-developed online course, just like a well-developed traditional course, can open up new worlds of learning for students.
Access: Online learning increases access to education for many different types of people. For those with time-consuming daily obligations, the flexibility of an online course, or even an online degree, can mean the difference between getting a high school degree and a college degree, or an undergraduate degree and a doctorate. In rural areas where resources may be tight, online courses can broaden the scope of education for students. Those with disabilities, such as an inability to see or hear, may also find that the technology available to them in an online course makes learning easier.
Efficiency: If developed properly, online classes may increase efficiency and course productivity. To supplement lectures, teachers can provide access to tools that facilitate discussion and active participation. In an online environment, teachers can reach students with different learning styles more easily. For example, they could post a video lecture for those who learn best by listening, a diagram, photos or video for those who learn best by seeing and an interactive game for those who learn by doing. Online assessments may help teachers identify those students that need some extra attention, making it less likely that these students slip through the cracks than in a traditional setting.
Costs: Online learning may decrease costs for institutions and students alike. Students can save money on gas and other travel expenses, while maintaining a full-time job that may not have been possible with a traditional education. Although program development and technology may cost more initially, institutions may find that they can reduce costs due to decreased facility usage and an increased student to faculty ratio. Each institution will differ, and depending on its situation must analyse the costs and benefits of implementing online education.
Q.What are your views about proctor?
A proctor is a faculty or staff member who provides support and guidance to students and members of a student organization. The proctor not only serves as a representative of the group in an official capacity, but also as a student advocate. A proctor is one who gives ideas, shares insight, provides a different perspective and encourages students. As a staff member of the university academic community, the proctor provides a communications link between the students, the university, and the management. (The term “proctor” is interchangeable with “Faculty Adviser/Sponsor”). A proctor can become one of your academic life’s most valuable assets, if he/she is utilized to their fullest potential, the students will forge a strong relationship with a member of faculty who will share their success and act as a resource when needed.