The hybrid classroom is one of the most debatable topics regarding modern school reforms, with proponents proclaiming that it helps personalize education, cuts costs and allows students to be more productive. It is lauded as the great new savior of education. However, is this instructional method the evolution of education or is it all just a hoax? This article shall bust some the myths regarding hybrid classrooms. Phil McRae, a professor at the University of Alberta, believes this system hinders students from building human relationships. It does not build a resilient, creative, entrepreneurial or empathetic society, which is a hallmark of a high-quality educational environment. On the contrary, it diminishes the many opportunities for human relationships to flourish. Besides this, acquiring the software and hardware technology for the online aspect of such classrooms comes with a very hefty price tag that, usually, private, small institutions are not able to bear. The technical engineers and resources that are required, besides the teachers to deal with the online part of the course, must also be reliable and easy to access. Any hiccups or lack of organization may bring along the looming danger of failure. As these courses are very resource-hungry, they are also pretty expensive and thus not easily accessible to all. Moreover, once your class is officially internet friendly, into the picture come, the hard-to-withstand, distractions. The digital world is full of these. A notification here, a pop-up there. These end up taking the students’ minds off the course. The ability to resist the temptation of surfing the internet or replying to e-mails during classes is possessed, but by a few. According to Times of India, nearly 85% of Indian students in higher institutions feel they have learnt only half of what they are supposed to since teaching went online due to the onset of the pandemic. The recordings of the lectures, that are provided in such courses, are also major culprits in obstructing the pace of development of children as students tend to rely on rewatching videos of lectures to grasp a concept. The result? Their brains become slow on the uptake of new concepts and ideas. This is a major shortcoming in later professional life. Let’s not forget the teachers either. The immense increase in their workload due to the existence of both online and offline platforms in such courses results in stress and depression in many teachers. This eats away their mental well-being and their ability to teach well. In conclusion, before adopting any methodology, we must make sure that our students are ready to embrace the new way of thinking and learning. Also, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Do we possess the required infrastructure to implement it? Are our teachers trained enough to execute it?’ As a great thinker once said, “every experience is unique and cannot be replicated under different circumstances.” ~

Aaditya Jindal Class X

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