Why teach online?

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Akmal Saleem
Students have changed intensely — they are now adapted to the pleasures of learning anywhere, anytime, in the comfort of their beds and the safety of their homes. They have also been introduced to digital socializing and, as teachers have witnessed, chat boxes are full of students sharing stories with each other during and after class. Students also use search engines more deftly and independently. They are working on collaborative projects with greater ease, showcasing stages of a portfolio, sharing pictures or YouTube videos that they have made. Bandwidth issues notwithstanding, students are
learning fast how to become digital leaders in this brave new world of online education. They have found a springboard for their digital footprints, and have discovered that there is learning beyond borders, space and time. We are in the process of creating a generation of independent learners, You Tubers, bloggers and digital entrepreneurs who need direction, encouragement and empowerment.
Schools can contribute with setting up the infrastructure — the driving tools as it were — for this post- pandemic growth. Many institutions find themselves stalling this growth, hoping for a return to ‘normal’ soon. Whilst we all hope for the best, what this ‘normal’ will look like, is anyone’s guess. Change is always hard, but it is also perhaps the only certainty we have in life and, as they say, every change can be turned into opportunity. Online teaching gives educators a wide platform to increase their outreach and impact — it’s highly improbable for a university professor to speak regularly to a group of audience
that extends to hundreds or goes into thousands, but live webinars provide the opportunity to share teaching and learning in unprecedented ways. Knowledge sharing has always led constructive change in the world — online teaching now offers this revolutionary capacity