Make students feel at home while teaching online during COVID-19

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  9 Jun 2020 7:33 AM GMT
Make students feel at home while teaching online during COVID-19

By Anjali Razadan

Hyderabad: Pedagogy is the relationship between an educator and learners, with respect to culture and techniques that are being used for learning. It focuses on building prior learning and developing skills and attitudes and, for educators to present curriculum in a most appealing way to students, by merging it in a way to suit their needs and culture.

Ramayana, the saga of Tretayuga eulogizes not just Lord Ram but also expounds the significance of following Dharma in life, like a cascade this epic, has flown down from the cliff of a divine mountain and made it to the land of the present day.

Passing through different eras, the pedagogy of preaching this epic has been through a consistent revival, from recitals and memorization of verses to make it accessible on television and streaming services, a blend of diverse mediums has confirmed its eclectic reach to the masses, empowering them to comprehend and practice its teachings in their lives.

The education sector has been no exception in today’s technology-driven world. The COVID-induced pedagogy has defied the contours of traditional teaching and learning methods. Admittedly, in an emergency scenario, teachers don’t have the luxury of “ideal" teaching conditions. Pandemic pedagogy demands flexibility, creating a “virtual reality" of classrooms without compromising quality.

In pandemic pedagogy, the classroom setting has undergone significant changes. Several technological solutions provided by the likes of Zoom, Teams, and Skype have brought the teachers and students together in a virtual environment. It appears normal now. In pandemic pedagogy, technology has ensured that virtual-teaching delivery is as good as in a regular classroom. Pandemic pedagogy brings huge challenges, too, for both students and teachers.

The best medium of teaching should not only be pertinent to the subject matter and diverse needs of the learners but also the prevailing scenario.

It is extremely stressful for the student, who appears on the screen during zoom sessions and may have a family member or someone close to him held up or quarantined in a far-off location or stranded in a foreign country. Similarly, the teacher may be delivering the lecture while working in the kitchen or planning to get medical attention for his/her child. The challenge now lies in helping the students feel at home in the new set-up and lower their anxieties. The social-distancing measures and stay-home orders present an opportunity for teachers and students to reach out, share their fears and anxieties, adapt to the new “classroom", seek mutual support and, above all, perform well in the new academic set-up.

It is also a fact that the use of technology in education is resulting in different concepts in the system, for instance, the move from teacher-centric education to student-centric education and that technology-based education is more transparent and does not make a difference in front versus backbenchers or girls versus boys.

Pedagogy in digital education is an important link between course content, educationists, technology, and course-takers. The democratization of technology is now an important issue, comprising internet connectivity, telecom infrastructure, affordability of online system, availability of laptop/desktop, software, educational tools, online assessment tools, etc. But

This is an ideal time to experiment and deploy new tools to make education delivery meaningful to students who can’t go to campuses. It’s a chance to be more efficient and productive while developing new and improved professional skills/knowledge through online learning and assessment.

As lifestyle wouldn’t ever be the same after Corona time, so wouldn’t be teaching the old school medium of instruction will be swapped with the new pillars of ‘Blended Learning’, that orchestrates face to face plus online teaching and ‘Heutagogy’, focusing on creating self-sufficient and self-determined lifelong learners, who can endure and blossom in a global knowledge economy – learners who have the competence to inventively apply skills and proficiencies to novel situations in this ever-changing, intricate world.

(Anjali Razdan is the CEO of GD Goenka School, Hyderabad. The views expressed in the article are her own)

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