By Alka Kapur Principal Modern Public School Shalimar Bagh
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives. Nor the one that is most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” (Charles Darwin)
The COVID-19 pandemic has caught us all unsuspecting and made life difficult for us. But as long as people think innovatively, we can always find ways to survive and make things better. Even though the education sector has taken a hit, solutions are being discussed and discovered to get the life back on track.
Various government bodies and educationalists across the country are doing a commendable job of finding innovative ways to help students continue their learning process safely at their homes. E-Learning has emerged as a saviour for both the students and educators and almost all the schools and institutions have adopted it to provide uninterrupted education. From chalk and board to virtual classes and social gatherings to social distancing – our life indeed has turned topsy-turvy.
Given how widespread the crisis has been, it might take some time for the old days to return. Therefore, we need to put our best foot forward by embracing the technological aids that have emerged during this time.
But before we can learn new things, we need to unlearn some old ones as they are counterproductive and aren’t practical.
Virtual learning instruction programs
School managements need to prepare a virtual education strategy. For that, teacher education programs need to be conducted. There’s a huge difference between addressing a classroom full of students and addressing those students virtually through a screen. Virtual learning instruction programmes would be beneficial for the educators by allowing them to get comfortable with the new ways of teaching. Students, on the other hand, were habitual of the smart class concept in school, but watching the teacher on a screen is a new experience for them as well and would need some adjustment time.
New ways of assessment are needed
Standardized test will change or might disappear completely. Paper-setting, evaluating and grading can be done more quickly with the help of technology than via traditional means. This will help the teachers focus more effectively on teaching and course improvement.
Offline classrooms allowed teachers to easily monitor and interact with children – something which is difficult to achieve with virtual classrooms. Therefore, to keep the children engaged, educators will have to innovate ways to bring in the element of interactivity and collaboration in their e-learning modules.
Also, we will need to come up with some way to ensure that students still get to bond with each other as it is essential for their development. Social interactions are necessary for shaping students into well-rounded, responsible individuals and it is our responsibility to ensure that they do not miss out on this important aspect of schooling.
Embracing the technology
Technological skills like blockchain, cloud computing, user experience design and video production need to be given preference in the school curriculum as they are becoming highly desirable skills in the job market. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is just around the corner and the world is moving towards total digitization. At such a crucial juncture, it is important for us to prepare our students accordingly, so that they may become successful in the future.
At last, families will have to play the role of hall monitor and teacher; thus, their accountability as stakeholders will increase. Today’s children have grown up surrounded by an array of electronic devices. They can’t imagine a world without smartphones, tablets, or the internet. This essentially means that the current generation of parents of school going children is the first that has to deal with the hazards of excessive exposure to screens. The best way to limit your child’s screen time without forcing restrictions is to have a talk with them and explain to them the importance.