Online teaching: what I think

Shefali Sompura

Covid-19 has brought in its wake unprecedented changes in all walks of life including education and how it is transacted. During the initial days of the pandemic we still had hope that schools could reopen at least for the new academic year. The realization that we may not reopen schools any time soon was disappointing not just for the teachers but the children too. Children eagerly wait for the new academic year to begin. They are always excited to go to their new class, meet their new teachers, spend time with their friends sharing their joys, sorrows, lunch and play with their school mates. They are enthusiastic and full of joy when in school.

The forced move from traditional teaching to online was not easy as it required good internet connection, mobile phones and network. And while children are familiar with technology and are more adept at handling computers and tablets, online learning was new for them too. It was not just the teachers but the students too who had to orient themselves to this new mode of learning.

But parents, siblings, friends, everyone got together and slowly many schools were able to create some kind of a daily school routine. Teachers and students got used to meeting virtually every day. Teachers learnt how to engage their students online and students learnt to take more responsibility for their learning.

Like with most things in life, online classes also have their pros and cons. It is easier to take attendance online but then you can’t see all your students at the same time and you can’t tell whether they have understood what you are teaching them. The possibility of one on one interaction is very little. Of course, teaching has become more varied with teachers consciously using engaging activities such as quizzes, puzzles, videos, etc., but excessive screen time is a concern. However, since opening schools at this point is not a possibility, we will have to find ways to balance the pros and cons of online teaching. It is the only way to ensure some kind of normalcy in this pandemic. Like a parent I know shared, “We believe that online learning is a boon in the present times because it allows imparting education without jeopardizing the safety of our kids. In online learning, there are no limitations to what you want to learn. Earlier one was bound by his/her geographic location and on the availability of a teacher to learn, but that is not the case anymore.”

Teaching online is difficult for the teachers and learning online is not very easy for the students but let that not deter us. We have done a commendable job so far and if we continue in the same way we can finish another academic year successfully.

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