“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-Nelson MandelaIn a world where ignorance leads to suffering in innumerable ways, education is indeed the need of the hour. Defining education is a difficult task as education is often confused with literacy. The question that arises then is what is education? Is it a polished metropolitan approach to the profanities of urban life? Is it a rebellious voice raised against the socio-political atrocities committed upon us every day? Or is it, in plain and simple terms, the methodology that makes us realize the worth of things and their value in different aspects of life? But where the answer plays an elusive temptress, the questions become more and more baffling. Broadly speaking, education can be defined as an experience which makes us think, feel, decide or arrive at conclusions in a particular way. Therefore, a small incident like learning to walk to acquiring a degree in philosophy, both come under the broad umbrella of education. Education is that which teaches us facts and truths of life alike.Now that the more difficult task of defining education has been dealt with, let’s figure out the categories that education can be divided into. Education can be a formal and an informal one. Formal education is meted out to us in educational institutions whereas informal education is a self-didactic process which we continue to perform every moment of our lives.Which is more essential to us is debatable. Today’s urban standards of living ensure that all of us have some degree of formal education imparted to us in schools and colleges. But the problem is, degrees and certificates do not guarantee a good education. In that regard, education becomes more of a vanity than a necessity. Education should not only make us competent enough to curve a niche for ourselves in the whole wide world but it should also encourage independent thinking in us. It should be the mentor and the guide that helps us discover, learn and formulate. And as our dearest Sir Mandela points out, education should be the weapon to forge changes in a world of stagnant ideologies and redundant mediocrity. It should inspire us, encourage new thoughts and rejuvenate defunct lessons learnt from the past.Thus, it is good education that matters in the end, not the mode of acquiring it. Good education should therefore imply anything that helps us in doing all the above and has to be a conglomeration of formal and informal education. Our education should make us individuals who can dream of a better world and execute the ideas into reality and that is only possible when we have a balance of formal and informal education.
Online education is the method of getting education without any teacher via the internet. It is being delivered with the help of electronic media and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT). You can get education in the form of text, images, audio, video etc. in e-learning. You are free to study at any time in your home or workplace. It is the new technique of learning. Most of the schools, colleges and universities in India are offering online learning to their students. Online education is good to save paper. It includes multimedia learning, Computer Based Instruction (CBI) and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). It is best suited for flexible learning and distance education. Instead of traditional education like classroom, it includes new technologies like getting educational information via the internet. Online learning is also called computer based learning. Different types of educational technology tools & media are used for it. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is going to deliver e-learning classroom in each affiliated school for online education.Advantages of Online EducationOnline Education has many pros. It is helpful to get a better education than traditional learning methods. It is considered as the most convenient way to pursue primary and higher education. There is no need to travel to the college. Students can access their courses 24 hours in a day. It develops internet skills to the students. Students can get up-to-date content that is always available at the time of requirement. It supports faculty-to-students and student-to-student communication for better learning. Students have continual access to study materials. E-learning programs charge less than traditional schools. It offers comfortable learning environment.Disadvantages of Online EducationAlthough, online education has many benefits and best fit for the 21st century, but there are some disadvantages that should be considered. One-on-one interaction is found in traditional classrooms, but in online learning, it is missing. Although, students can interact with teachers through email and any other electronic media, but actually talking is not present. For those students who can’t manage their time, online study could be disadvantages for them. Most of the students prefer to listen to the lecture of teachers instead of reading from text formats and it is also a big problem in it.It is best for pursuing higher education. It has a lot of advantages and some disadvantages. Students should have a better understanding about it before taking decision to pursue an online degree.