Edu Learning Platforms and FOMO Trap – Latest Jammu and Kashmir News | Tourism
Mukhtar Ahmad Farooqi
The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic that has swept the world, creating a crisis of unimaginable scale and scope, has led to the closure of academic institutions in every country. Institutions have made ad hoc arrangements to transition to online learning platforms with agility. Institutions that had robust IT systems and e-learning modules were able to manage better than those that did not, but in reality everyone did their best to learn how to use platforms otherwise unknown learning opportunities for content delivery.
The resulting grim circumstances that led to the closure of conventional learning methods gave a new dimension to education. Various Edu learning platforms sensing the opportunity have started attracting more customers by different marketing strategies. Edu Platform is an integrated set of interactive online services that provides teachers, learners and parents with information, tools and resources to support and improve the delivery and management of education.
Nowadays, televisions are flooded with advertisements of these learning platforms claiming to use innovative pedagogies and best-in-class faculties in specific e-learning courses. Along with other common marketing strategies, these marketers and entrepreneurs use the FOMO strategy. FOMO stands for “Fear of Missing Out”. FOMO marketing strategy is a form of marketing in which advertising is structured in such a way that it entices impulsive customers to make a purchase and close the deal within a limited time. It is meant to inspire people to act quickly or else they might miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on the opportunity that is coming their way so they won’t have to regret in the future. The psychology behind FOMO marketing works because we are reluctant to take risks or fall far behind.
The education sector has taken a giant leap forward after the onset of the Covid pandemic in embracing the new normal of digital transformation. EdTech companies realizing the bright future of our country, as a large portion of the population is marginalized due to the digital divide, spare no effort to market themselves in the best possible way on every media platform. All educational institutions and individuals have fallen prey to these marketing strategies and become desperate to try their hand at any (learning management system) or Edu learning platform out of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Although there is no harm in embracing a positive change, but if it challenges or harms our natural abilities, then something bad is afoot. TV commercials from various Ed Tech companies featuring coding, chess, music, math, etc. like courses that are flashed almost after a cricket match or other strings intimidate parents, especially novices, to enroll their children in such courses so that they are not left behind in this mad rush. There is no doubt that these courses will develop computer skills in learners, but those who are not naturally inclined towards these courses will not benefit from them, but will prove detrimental to their academic growth. Children who do not want to learn these courses will always do wonders in the academic or non-academic fields they have chosen. We have several living examples of people around the world who have done wonders in other areas as well. Coding can help develop problem-solving skills, but what about natural intelligence. It would be like judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree.
When we speak of comprehensive education, the development of all the mental faculties must be centered and not on any particular faculty. On the one hand, we talk about emotional intelligence and, at the same time, we only emphasize logical or cognitive development. In this code freak scenario, I fail to understand what kind of good it will do to those with taste in literature if forced enrollment is done in these online courses. Anyone who wants to do good in any sport, what kind of impact a 2-3 teacher math or coding lesson will have on their sport skill development/growth is debatable. These already overburdened children will crumble emotionally if proper and responsible parenting is not exercised.
The electronic preparation of a company for any digital transformation is essential. E-readiness is a company’s ability to integrate ICT into all its activities. This mainly depends on the availability of qualified human resources capable of using, improving, innovating and adapting new technologies. What to accept and absorb is not the question, but how much and by whom confuses us. Less preparation for these innovative technological tools makes us fall prey to the strategic FOMO trap. These companies even send promotional codes through different media platforms to trap innocent people in this spider web.
It is pertinent to mention that the development of basic computer skills in contemporary times is a must, as digitalization has reached almost every sphere of human existence, business and education being no exception. Ours is a culture where parents guide rather compel their children to take any class primarily based on what the neighborhood child chooses without deliberating on the interests of the child. Excluding our children from natural learning and joyful play means we are grooming emotionally weak personalities.
If everyone gets sucked into this coding fiasco, then we’ll have B.Tech as (with all due respect) unemployed, unproductive human resources. Having studied coding myself, I don’t think it’s surprising that people don’t have a passion for it. Don’t be part of this rat race, your child won’t be irrelevant/trivial if they don’t want to learn coding online or a course that not only is expensive but poses health risks if considered as a whole. As informed and conscious parents, we must avoid code mania because there is a world beyond calculations and programming.
PS: We must realize that the capitalist ethos has engulfed all areas of life, education being no exception. All of these educational technology companies have capitalist interests in presenting FOMO advertisements of various market-oriented courses, thereby spoiling and intimidating our natural decision-making practices. Research has shown that developing emotionally intelligent human resources are better equipped to deal with difficult life situations than those with only academic excellence. The goal of education is not to produce trained/skilled human robots devoid of empathetic essence, but human beings with emotional viability and humanistic values that are productive in both social and economic contexts.