Every weekday at 9 am, 15-year-old Maulik, a student at Gurgaon’s Amity International School, heads to a desk in the room adjoining his bedroom and turns on his laptop. Like millions of other students in the country—and around the world—he has been attending classes virtually. In his case, on Microsoft Teams. His mother too, working from home, attends parent-teacher meetings via Teams.
Online learning in the form of “massive open online courses”, or MOOCs—think Coursera or Unacademy—has been around for years but has lacked the real-time collaboration and feedback loop of classrooms. Most often, online degrees are considered inferior to in-person programmes, as is also the case with distance learning programmes offered by universities.
Educational institutions have been laggards in technology adoption, but the lockdown necessitated by the pandemic in 2020 accelerated digital transformation in schools and colleges across India, especially in the top tier ones,