Online schooling: Possibilities and concerns
As the world is made to go into a terrible shutdown due to COVID-19 fears, there is a lot of renewed interest in online schooling, teaching and learning methods.
Online Schooling –
There are three sides to the act of schooling: information, interaction and self-study –
- Information – With the internet revolution, we are empowered with a lot of information and access to teaching and learning mechanisms across the world. These help teachers prepare and integrate the learning schemes of much of the world better.
- Interaction – It is in the second area, teacher-student interaction, where cyber technology has a crucial role when schools are not functioning regularly.
- Self-Study – Students now have access to materials much beyond their text and notebooks for better understanding and revision. Getting good material only requires orientation and cultivating of online surfing around studies, and a provision of time for such works.
How to improve student-teacher interaction?
- The first thing school authorities have to take care of is to make sure that teachers have been provided with laptops/tablets and a steady internet connection for such exercises, for it is not something to take for granted in a lot of places, especially in India.
- Teachers should have basic operating skills in computers and good typing speed. These are investments school managements have to make.
Difference between online and classroom interaction?
A lot of things that are taken care of unknowingly in classrooms will need to be planned into the online scheme –
- lessons have to be broken down to smaller units;
- key takeaways in each section have to be identified and spelled out;
- everyday small little online tests have to be made available so that students get a concrete idea about the interaction;
- videos and notes have to be given for clarity and revision.
Way forward –
- A unique method is ‘Learning Management Systems’. It is a mechanism that create an online means of mediating the teacher-student interaction.
- There is an important requirement in the online learning mechanism. As the school children don’t usually have phones, social media accounts or even e-mail IDs. Much of it requires a legal age and giving primary students email IDs and thus access to a lot of online materials might be a cause for parental concern. Hence, a learning management system, with dedicated usernames and passwords, for each and every student can be handy.
- Those schools which don’t want to work with LMS solutions could always benefit from consulting with e-learning experts who can advise teachers on online teaching, mentoring and evaluation.
- Experts with experience in online solutions and schooling can help in getting the project of online learning started and hand hold all the stake-holders- teachers, students, parents and management-into working as a team.
Source – The Indian Express
QUESTION – Discuss the scope of online school learning in India. How India can explore the same to ensure inclusive education access for all?