Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, most of us have been holed up in our homes. Work from home has become the new normal, and so has “learn from home.” For those of us who were in the middle of our school/college years, we have had to force ourselves to sit in front of our laptops and complete our studies from home.
While this might seem daunting, online learning and online education hold a great deal of importance in today’s technology-driven world. Online learning is a term used to describe distance or correspondence courses that are offered across the Internet. They cover a wide range of subjects, prices and audiences. According to latest figures, nearly 6 million students are engaged in online courses as part of their higher education programs. The number is even more when it comes to vocational courses.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence over whether you should wait for things to open up to resume physical classroom learning or opt for online learning and education, here are some reasons why we think online learning and education is the way to go; especially during a pandemic:
1. Study while you work
Distance learning has long been part of our educational framework with open universities like IGNOU which offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various streams. The idea behind it was to allow people to pursue their education while doing other things, such as working jobs etc. That is one of the reasons diploma courses in jewellery designing, gemology, etc. are thriving at J K Diamonds Institute of Gems & Jewelry.
The biggest advantage of online learning is that it allows you to study at your own pace while you work. You don’t have to worry about not being able to earn while you study online courses.
Generally, some finish their studies and then work, some work for a bit before pursuing higher education and some get their degree, work for sometime before choosing to study further. The issue with pursuing higher education is that some people may never be able to quit their jobs depending on their income and background.
Some choose to leave their jobs to study because it can be stressful and tough to give equal attention to offline classes and handle the pressures of a regular job. This is why online learning is more effective, as it offers students a platform which allows them to work along with pursuing their studies. Students can choose the time and duration of their classes. This offers flexibility and enables them to maximise productivity.
2. Freedom to learn any subject
There are some barriers to physical classroom learning such as – budget concerns, staffing, syllabi, and inability to cover all interests. Colleges and universities can’t teach every subject under the sun; they might have to pick those that attract the highest demand. Additionally, they can’t keep running a class because a handful of students attend it. They might stop offering a particular course/class if there isn’t enough demand for it.
Here is where online classes gain importance, especially in a pandemic. Online learning removes such barriers and allows education to flourish. You can find courses about nearly any subject – ballet, gardening, design, storytelling, acting etc. – on online platforms. Interested in learning jewellery design online? You can check out the online courses we offer at JK Diamonds Institute.
Institutions such as J K Diamonds Institute specialise in industry specific courses that guide students in a particular niche and provide them with practical training. The end result after doing the course is an expert jewellery designer or a Gemologist.
A lot of the time, the institute/college/university we wish to attend is either unaffordable or located in another country entirely. This dissuades students from applying to these places entirely. However, this problem can be easily addressed with online education.
J K Diamonds Institute in association with Learnathon have concluded training sessions of students from over 10 countries including India, Canada, US, UAE, Kenya, Oman, Mauritius, among others In this day and age, students are not bound by geography and can apply for courses anywhere in the world. Since we all live in an internet-driven world, students can also access these courses anywhere and anytime.
This helps in making the whole process comfortable and cost-effective. This kind of flexibility also allows the individual to enjoy their learning rather than make it seem like they are fulfilling a requirement.
4. Comfort of learning from one’s own home
It can be quite stressful to get up in the morning, commute to one’s school/college, even while pushing through an illness. On some days, one just doesn’t want to leave home. One of the hidden advantages of online classes is that it allows for greater flexibility and provides space for self-care.
If you pursue online classes, you can continue your education without setting a foot outside. You can study for your classes from your bedroom, coffee shop, staycations, etc. Online learning gives you the option to pursue your education in a setting that suits you the best. For example, some people can’t concentrate without silence, some need music in order to focus – whatever your jam is, you can create the environment you need to study better.
5. Flexibility of learning
Between learning and family responsibilities, it is often difficult to make time for anything else. Our lives tend to become too overscheduled. For those who still need to juggle work, home life and going back to school, online classes provide individuals a unique opportunity to learn while they grow professionally as well.
To earn your master’s or diploma degree online, you study on your own schedule. You may not have time in the morning or afternoon to study but you are able to carve out an hour-long window each evening for your course.
Alternatively, you might want to split your sessions. In a physical classroom, students have to sit through an extended period of time but when studying in online classes, you can choose to split up your study sessions. This flexibility allows for a better work-life balance.
Additionally, when learning online, you can revisit past classes, go through the lesson plan to ensure you’ve mastered a section before moving onto the next, do additional research or organize your notes. This allows online learners to move through the course at their own convenience and ensure they get the most of it.
6. Student-centric approach
Unlike traditional physical classroom teaching methodologies, there is greater scope for meeting individual students’ needs in an online classroom. This also gives a better chance to interact more with the teachers.
Sometimes, in a physical classroom system, students might hesitate to ask questions due to fear of what others might think of them. However, in an online setting, there is less inhibition around these things. Not only does this help students grasp concepts easily, it also develops their communication skills, which are essential in today’s times. Learnathon’s discuss forum on its app and the ability to directly message the trainers helps the hesitant student to resolve their doubts during and after the class.
Apart from teachers, it also provides a greater opportunity to interact with other students. The Internet is a borderless space and it is one of the greatest benefits of an online education. Through an online course, you can meet people from different parts of the globe. If your course includes live webinars and classes, you also get the opportunity to meet and discuss things with them. And when the pandemic finally abates, you can then meet them in-person at some point.
Each interaction will offer more opportunity for depth and growth as you explore more and gain more skills.
7. Boost your resume
The best part about online courses is that there are short-term and long-term courses you can apply for, depending on your needs and interests. You can finish most of the online classes quicker than a typical semester-long affair.
If you’re looking to improve your resume, focus on courses that add to a specific skill set that will help you apply for your ideal job. You can also focus on online courses that will help you make a more enticing candidate. For example, if you are applying for a jewellery designer position, you can take short term courses, like those we offer at JK Diamonds Institute, in Jewelry CAD designing or Gemology.
Even if the courses you do are not directly related to the job you are applying for, your prospective employer will know you are open to learning new skills. Plus, your extra skills might give you the edge over other applicants!
8. Lower education costs
If you go by the traditional route, getting an education can be a costly affair. However, online courses can be availed for much cheaper costs for a number of reasons.
There is reduced overhead costs as you don’t have to pay for classroom space, campus infrastructure, utilities, etc. People with specialized experience may not work in academia but they can offer their valuable knowledge at lower costs. At J K Diamonds Institute of Gems & Jewelry, the faculty teams consist of business owners, traders, manufacturers and exporters themselves for all gems and jewellery educational courses.
9. Improved communication and collaboration
Working in a virtual environment with others can make you a more effective leader. In online classes, you engage in discussions with your fellow classmates on discussion boards, communicate with instructors via email and collaborate through different software programs. As the course progresses, you will also become better at presenting your arguments succinctly, verbally and through text.
Participating in discussions online is all about communicating your idea clearly. Another advantage of online classes is that you get to interact with teachers and students from all walks of life. You could meet your next business partner or collaborator in your online class. For any subject, you can compare notes, share insights, and broaden your horizons. Alternatively, you can connect with them via LinkedIn or other social media platforms. This also helps you expand your network and work in a planetary fashion.
10. Lessens commuting
Living in this pandemic-ridden world, studying from home without having to move outside can be a blessing. You don’t need to worry about your health and safety. Pre-pandemic, commuting from your home to your place of work/learning can be an added chore which could easily take up to 2-3 hours, depending on where you live.
Since online learning has no commute involved, you can use that time to brush up on your subject and devote more time to learning what you love.
11. Online study resources
Learning through online classes and courses provide numerous resources in the form of e-books, e-journals, quizzes, videos, photos, interviews, live Q&A sessions etc. It also depends on which institution you are studying from. In an online learning program, you’ll be registered as a student of that institution, with access to learning resources as an on-campus student. Most institutes today are transitioning to being fully functional online. J K Diamonds Institute of Gems & Jewelry associated with Learnathon in the year 2017, way before the pandemic struck, to bring a series of courses in the gems & jewelry and luxury industry.
In case you don’t attend a class, recorded lectures are made available so that you can catch up before your next class. There are also plenty of free resources available for students.
So, what are you waiting for? Go enroll for that course you’ve been wanting to learn for the longest time! If you are interested in jewellery designing and branding, we offer online courses in Digital Luxury Branding, Jewelry Designing and Professional 3D Printing at JK Diamonds Institute of Gems and Jewellery. You can check them out here: www.learnathonworld.com.