In the year 2020, the world received a jolt in the form of Co-Vid 19. The virus which was considered to be an epidemic soon spread its reach, deciphering boundaries. While the virus has given us ample reasons to empathise with our situation, it has made us hopeful about the future of teaching-learning- a future where the process of teaching-learning will be an amalgamation of physical and virtual classrooms. While educational institutions have formerly foreseen such a possibility, we at Ekya, are constantly striving towards making the transition a smooth process.
With the gradual shift of taking our classes from physical classrooms, to the comfort of our homes, improvisation in the arenas of learning and teaching has been a necessity. Seeing the current situation, as an educator, my priority has always been to create an environment of inclusion, in my virtual classroom
Being a teacher of Social Science, there is an ample number of tools that I rely on, which helps me to grasp the conceptual understanding of my students. Tools like Padlet, allow me to bridge the gap between students, it allows me to map the attention of the students to the assigned task. Similarly, Discussion forum, 3-2-1 approach, I used to think, but now I know- are some of the many tools which helps me to achieve my purpose of involving my students in a discussion, especially regarding certain topics which a student might hesitate while sharing his/her thoughts orally. Besides this, online teaching has even allowed me to have access to information and videos at my fingertips. Visual learning is often preferred in subjects like Geography. Therefore a graphical video of the formation of the peninsular plateau in accordance with the reading enhances the learning of the students better. Moreover, sharing asynchronous articles dealing with discussion on sensitive or controversial topics plays the role of creating a predefined space that later gets filled with the concepts taught in class. Snippets of some of my practices have been shared below.
Besides these aspects, seeing the current situation, it even becomes important to build a rapport or a feeling of interpersonal touch with the students. Being aware of the fact that students currently are learning beyond compact walls, distraction becomes inevitable for them. However, certain minute practices have allowed me to taper this. I often keep acknowledging the possibility of being distracted during the online class, making the student realise that as a teacher I think on the same lines as him/her. My acknowledgment often contains a suggestion, which I often see my students practicing. Moreover, learning never stops for a teacher. Education programs like SEE Learning allow me to have a comprehensive framework for cultivating social, economic, and ethical competencies.
I would like to conclude my article with one of the tools which I am fascinated with:
I used to think, that online learning and teaching only deals with transforming information from one screen to another, but now, I know that the benefits of online learning and teaching methods are tremendous – it’s an arena that surprises you at every phase, an exploration which is not restricted only to a student but transmits to the teacher, as well.
Overall, it won’t be incorrect to say that with each passing day, the current situation has given us reasons to make learning much more flexible, self-paced, global, and technical-driven.