How to harness the power of Online Learning in this Pandemic?

The declaration of pandemic and nationwide lockdown in March 2020 brought the whole country to a standstill. It also meant forced closure of schools and physical education infrastructure for an eternity.

Ultimately, it also implied that schools, teachers, and parents had to look for alternatives to keep the learning curve going. Thus, came the wave of disruption of the traditional education system due to Covid-19 and opened new avenues of exchanging knowledge, imparting education through various online learning mediums.

However, with high drop-outs and slashed school fees, how long can the small schools in India bear this?

It’s a clarion call for schools, teachers, and parents to embrace the givings of technology to make the most of it and make online learning the new and better normal.

Benefits of Online Classes

Online learning enables learning from anywhere, anytime by turning gadgets into learning hubs for students. It is easily a rejuvenating opportunity for children and young adults.

Professionals who are managing work and studies together absolutely love the online learning method. It is more convenient as online learning enables them with on-demand learning and manage work simultaneously.

A survey by KPMG suggests that the initiatives by Government, such as SWAYAM, E-Basta, RMSA, Skill India, and Digital India, are also along the lines to promote e-learning in India.

Teachers who could manage a batch of 60-80 at most without paying personal attention to every student can now upload videos accessible to all and sundry. Teachers also use the concept of “flip classroom” to turn rhetoric classes into formal discussions.

Best Practices of Online Learning

Amidst the lack of a solid foundation to support the entire education hub of schools, there are yet several ways to make the experience of online learning better. Schools, teachers, parents can adopt some of the hygiene protocols recommended :

For Teachers

  1. Kindly pre-schedule the classes
  2. Share the meeting link via email so that the students can mark it in the calendar.
  3. Ensure you have a good internet connection.
  4. Ensure students are on mute if they are not speaking.
  5. Conduct classes where background noise is nil or minimum.
  6. Set aside some minutes for introduction and discuss features like “raise hand” so that students can raise doubts if any.
  7. Make use of polls, chatbox, whiteboards to ensure that the whole class participates just like in a physical classroom.
  8. Encourage students to ask questions after presentation abiding by the online etiquette.
  9. Set clear expectations for your students regarding the syllabus, schedule and due dates, doubt sessions, and how you will communicate.

Tip for Students

  1. Try to keep videos on.
  2. Keep yourself muted unless you’re speaking so that background noise can be kept at a minimum.
  3. Your back must face a wall, or else make use of the virtual background.
  4. Follow the ergonomics rule, such as keeping the laptop at eye level.
  5. Encourage students to go through the class videos and lessons after the virtual classes end.

Guidelines for Administrators

  1. Conduct assembly sessions to disburse important news, conduct group prayers.
  2. Do not overpack the classes as it can strain children’s eyes by spending long hours before the screen.
  3. Offer counseling services to students and teachers.
  4. Organize virtual training sessions for teachers to make them adept at taking virtual classes.

The Grey Cloud of Challenges for Online Learning

Financial

The pandemic has caused parents to lose jobs and find another more difficult to add to the woes.

With the inability and reluctance of parents to pay schools feels, high drop-out rates, and lack of Government aids, Private Schools in India are limping on a very thin line.

Government Rules and Regulations

Government aids are the straw for the drowning schools in India. However, different state governments have taken up the matter differently.

Private schools in Maharashtra have been called to submit their fee structure after rumors and complaints of indiscriminate fee-charging made rounds.

As the plea of the Rajasthan State Government to slash schools by 70% for CBSE schools and 60% for Rajasthan state board schools went turned down, the State Government has now come up with a new order.

All the private schools in Rajasthan have been summoned to produce evidence of online education for the last year to avail Government support to keep the schools running.

However, it is nearly impossible for schools to create the necessary testimonials and avail Government aids without a structured didactic teaching method.

The emotional and social gap

Schools must also understand that the young minds of children get distracted quickly. Majorly, the gap left by lack of peer learning and extra-curricular activities can be met only with an organized and integrated solution to bring every entity in this education system into a single platform in a synchronized way.

Education Management System

The best practices do help a lot, but schools in India lack a one-stop solution for all the members of the education ecosystem – teachers, students, administration, and management.

Educational technology empowers schools to support them integrally at all facets: academically, administratively and facilitates easy management. It is high time that schools learn to harness this untapped power to empower and equip schools.

Though the concept of such a system is not new to the world, the Indian education system is still exploring and adapting to it.

An online learning management system provides the framework for creating, delivering, managing content for every aspect of education in the learning ecosystem.

How EdPrime Helps

EdPrime positions itself as the complete education partner for students, parents, and schools. Its three-layered approach gives a wholesome is scalable, and flexible as per the needs of the host.

For Students

It permits students to skim through their syllabus, download reading materials, submit assignments, and track their performance. It nurtures students to become self-learners as they can set and track their performance.

EdPrime also allows students to make the best use of online learning opportunities through extra video lessons and collaborative tools such as polls and gamified learning to maintain and engage the vibrant minds of children.

EdPrime’s hybrid education model enables students to get the best of online and offline mediums of classes.

Provisions have also been made for the students to enrich their vocabulary by learning new words every day, staying inspired with “thought of the day,” and updated with the latest news.

For Teachers

Similarly, it enables teachers to upload lessons, tasks, update and track student’s attendance, manage assignments, distribute grades, and keep track of the syllabus and examination schedules. Teachers can also create links for online classes and send the updates through the same channel.

A lot of manual work and paperwork is resolved and allows teachers to focus more on teaching and manage less.

What more? Proper logs of the classes are created with all the details like Class, Subject, Topic, Date, Duration, Attendance, Class mode, Class Link. It is easy to download and can always act as evidence when needed.

For Parents

It also serves as a transparent channel of communication between the educational institute and the parents. Parents have access to pay fees, check the child’s attendance, assignments and performance. Additionally, PTAs can be attended more conveniently from home.

For School Administration

We also empower school administration by helping them manage new admissions, manage students, conduct examinations, collect fees, manage cheques, manage incoming and overdue fees, manage staffs and payrolls to the extent that they can go paper-free. They can also manage schedules, alter them and issue new orders just with few clicks.

Do Your Bit

We understand teachers have been working hard all year round amidst the epidemic to ensure students don’t stop learning. But a shred of evidence will now determine the destiny of many schools. We implore schools to trust our advanced LMS  and school management system to support seamless online education in the new normal.

Author:

Susnata Panda
The author used to be a dentist in her former life and went on to pursue MBA from the prestigious XIMB. With a strong foundation in content writing and inclination towards Research and Advanced Technology, she currently works as a Marketing Intern at EdPrime. If missing can be found in food courts and library!
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