- Blog By
Dr. Shivkumar Chinnusamy
The Indian Public School
June 01, 2021 | In Blog
These are unprecedented times and most of us thought the academic year 2021-2022 will be back to normalcy, but nature thought otherwise. We are in the midst of the second wave of COVID, which happens to be more severe than the first wave with the virus affecting all age groups.
This literally means that we are looking at one more year of online learning and it is high time that we not only adapted to it but also adopt strategies that will make it engaging, interesting and relevant for the students.
During the last academic year, most schools spent a great deal of time building and ramping up their IT infrastructure, finalizing their online platform, training teachers and students and also preparing resources for online teaching and learning.
Online classes happened seamlessly in most schools with children adapting to it easily. They were initially excited about this new way of learning especially because of the usage of technology and the freedom that came with learning from home. Though there was a lot of effort put in by every school, gradually the interest died down during the later part of the academic year. There were learning gaps because teachers could not provide individual care to students who missed peer interaction and support as they were confined to closed environments and a monotonous teaching-learning process.
It is high time schools learnt from their experience of the past and adopt strategies to overcome the challenges. Otherwise, learning gaps will widen and it will be too hard to bridge them once things return to normalcy.
Strategies that can be adopted to build a conducive learning environment:
- Creative applications and tools:
There are lots of creative applications and tools to make learning more interactive, engaging and interesting for learners. These applications and tools kindle curiosity and increase attention spans, thus making learning less strenuous.
- Flipped classrooms:
Engaging students in the learning process: The teacher can discuss all basic content or lower level of learning and the resources can be shared as handouts or videos with clear directions for students to learn outside of the class hours. In the classroom, students can be segregated into groups to participate in higher levels of learning through group discussions, presentations, debates, etc.
- Guest lectures or Expert talks:
Involving experts from different fields to handle certain sessions to teach or reinforce concepts and provide deeper knowledge. Children usually love to see new faces and hear new voices.
- Exchange programs and collaborations:
Schools can tie up with other schools for exchange programs where students can interact with children from other schools for regular academic sessions, co-curricular activities or engage in projects with clearly laid down learning outcomes.
- Hybrid sessions:
Hybrid sessions are a combination of online and physical classes. Children attend online sessions for few days a week and can be called for physical regular classes in small groups for individualized academic support and for learning from one another. This would not only help them improve academically but is also vital for their emotional development particularly during times like these where social interaction and play are curtailed.
Schools need to adapt and focus on more creative ideas so that children are not left behind in their skills as well as learning outcomes. Any shortfall in the efforts of the school will have a greater impact in the years to come.
Also read: ONLINE CLASSES – “BENEFICIAL OR HARMFUL”!