Dr. Maithili Tambe, CEO, The Academy School, Pune

Dr. Maithili Tambe believes in Margaret Mead’s words, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” She doesn’t believe in education merely as a tool to collect and disseminate information. She is of the firm opinion that quality education will uplift society. A Bachelor in Dental Surgery from Bharati Vidyapeeth, Dr. Tambe is the CEO of The Academy School (TAS), Pune, and has set off on a path to transform the education sector for the better. 


With the changing times and technology becoming more accessible to everyone online learning and hybrid learning has been gaining great attention. But what really is the difference between the two and which way of learning is the most effective? These are some questions we all have in our minds as we see the education sector taking different shapes around the globe. Online classes take place 100% online while hybrid classes are partially online and partially offline. Hybrid learning is also called blended learning, which includes lessons that require laboratory experiments or in-person group activities that are done in offline mode. 

Weighing the Two

Make no mistake, both online classes and hybrid classes have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. While online classes can help you juggle through various other things you might be caught up with (For eg. If your child does not seem to take much interest in studies but is doing very well in curriculum activities, you can dedicate a flexible amount of time towards their scope of interest while also making sure they receive their necessary education online.), it can also mean that you leave everything up to the student to assess, evaluate and learn everything without anyone else’s help, or without speaking about it with a friend, or to a teacher one-to-one. 

In hybrid learning, your child dedicates a certain number of days towards going to school making like-minded peers learn and socialize with their friends and teachers while spending the other days focusing on other curricular activities. But at the same time, there will be a constant break that can often break the rhythm that a student is in, be it online or offline. Both these methods will have an impact on the child, positive or negative, and will also give them exposure to different atmospheres. 

In such circumstances, hybrid learning stands out and provides the balance which may benefit a student more than online learning. 

Communication Barriers are Addressed

Many believe methods to get hands-on components and save transportation and many other expenses when not required. Though there are many non-challenging subjects that can be completely conducted online, it has still been proven that when students meet together and share their thoughts and perspectives about various topics helps them to challenge themselves while looking and learning about various perspectives that a problem can be tackled with. In many ways, it has been shown that even though online classes have been a great benefit to students, it has not challenged them to the best of their potential due to a lack of socializing with like-minded peers and building relationships with them. 

Is 100% Away from the Place of Education Recommended? 

While some students are active during the online classes it has been a major concern for teachers that many other children do not interact during online classes, making them feel either outcasts or students not taking their lessons seriously. It has also been observed by teachers that often many students appear only for examinations and this could be a grave concern for the teachers and parents. Even the all-online giants who were all during the lockdown phase such as Byju’s are joining the offline education and creating coaching centres. They know it cannot be all online, not all the time for 10 or 12 years. They will also be thinking of choosing a hybrid mode. 

In hybrid learning, it is essential for students to go in person at least once or twice a week which keeps them in touch with the feel of education. Besides, the Indian culture is deeply rooted in the association between teachers and students (or Guru and shishya). It is believed that teachers encourage young minds to think, hands to create and hearts to love and unveil the true potential of a student.

Online classes set no geographical boundaries, which makes them very accessible to constantly travelling students. You can have access to your pre-recorded sessions any time of the day no matter where you are. Your only barrier could be a good internet connection. Unlike in hybrid classes, you might be asked to be present in person a couple of times a week because of which you will have to be present in the city or town that you have your classes in. In hybrid classrooms on the other hand attendance, the deliberate use of technology automatically reduces the need for excessive screen time. Because ultimately, the focus is not a student merely attending but on students’ engagement and participation.

As much as online classes help your child work according to their personal progress from the comfort of their homes, hybrid classes allow your child to progress at their own pace but the influence of their peers and intervention of the teachers will keep them levelheaded and grow together. Hybrid classes only require you to invest in technology, not completely depend on it. In the long run, this will matter a lot. Hybrid learning will encourage capacity building and help transform a student’s mind towards positive growth. 

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