While schools have moved to an online learning module because of COVID-19 lockdown, and there's uncertainty about when they will resume, Avnita Bir, Director Principal, R N Podar School, thinks there are several positives to this situation.
In a discussion with BOOM about the new COVID-19 related mode of schools functioning online, Bir shared how they had to use innovations in order to adapt themselves, which led to a positive outcome.
"Poddar schools have been efficiently conducting online classes since last March, and the transition was quick. This is because we have been using Google Apps for Education for the last ten years." she said.
Apart from teaching, yoga and cooking classes, we also glued our sessions with 'life skills,' said Bir. "Teaching children 'life skills' is much more impactful now in the lockdown. Children are much more open, they needed it, and it had a big impact," she added.
Bir says though teachers are emotionally stressed, they have coped well. "There was initial anxiety, but after they learned the tools to teach online, they're become creative in finding solutions to teach whatever concept they might have difficulty translating to online classes," she said.
Bir emphasised that this had made teachers value the work that they do, which was not always the case.
She says the silver lining is that the lockdown has help children develop 21st-century skills like adaptability and how to respond to a situation, which were just theoretical skills before.
Another good outcome of online learning has been the way of assessment. Bir says they've transitioned to open-ended question tests and other qualitative ways of testing. "The other thing that we tried with work really well was building trust in our children and asking them to monitor themselves."
Not being able to access all the resources that schools offer, children are more emotionally vulnerable at this time. But they're not alone, teachers are feeling it as well. "So a lot of our time is going in trying to measure and gauge the emotional well-being of all stakeholders," said Bir. But this is that the bond between teachers and students has strengthened. "Children are doing something new, where they'll take care of the teacher," she said.
She sums up her experience by saying, "We can leverage the positives of this. We would never innovate the way we have otherwise. In the future, we'd want to take forward a blend of both, -- the old models and the new norms that we are experimenting with," she concluded.
-Children are more emotionally vulnerable at this time, but the bond between teachers and students is strengthening.
-Teachers are using innovative ways to explain concepts for online learning.
-New ways of testing are being used which are not dependant on only marks.
Watch the full interview on YouTube or click on the link here.
Updated On: 2020-07-20T18:42:12+05:30