We have stepped into a new academic year. The question ‘when will the interactive classes start?’, is there in everybody’s thoughts. Maybe it would become possible if at least 70 percent of our population gets vaccinated or if the virus causing Covid meets with a natural death. But since both these possibilities are difficult to happen immediately, we will have to carry on with our digital classes. And for the same reason, digital classes should be more effective Much rests upon the way the students attend their digital classes. Their physical and mental presence is greatly required while they attend classes.
How can this be made possible?
Making Lap top/ Wi fi facilities available for all students and teachers.
No doubt, people will frown when they read this because it is difficult for many parents to provide even smart phones and internet for their wards. But allow me to state the reasons for saying laptops need to be provided.
1) Distraction on the part of the learner is a major problem in digital learning. When students use their smart phones, the tendency to open whatsapp, instagram, face book and you tube is more. It is needless to say that the his would take their attention away from what is being taught in class
2) The use of lap tops would prevent the students from getting addicted to games, social media and videos.
3) The use of laptops, tabs and desk tops will lessen the damage caused to the eyes and necks. Peering into the six inch screen of the mobile for long hours is totally unhealthy.
4) If the student does the learning on a tab or lap top, it is easier for the parent to monitor how he/ she attends the class. Desk tops re the best in the case of students who need strict monitoring. It should be kept in a place where elders can keep a watch over the student and make sure that there are no distractions. 5,The durability of the laptop is more than that of a smart phone. Once you spent money for a good lap top or dask top, you need not think about it for another 8 or 9 , years.
Now, Regarding The Money To Be Spent On A Desktop Or Laptop
1) You must have heard that time is money. Every day of yours has worth which can be calculated in terms of money. If we are to calculate the capacity for work of a 10th standard or 12th standard student, as Rs 500 per day, for one month, ie 25 working days, it will be Rs 12500.For one year it will be 1.5 lakhs So one year would cause a loss of 1.5 lakhs per student and just think of the loss suffered by a school in which there are 1000 students!!such a loss has to be prevented at all costs. We have to move onward with our digital classes and that too equipped with suitable devices.
2) last year school expenses had been less. The money which was not spent on bus fare, uniform and sundry other expenses can be utilised for getting a lap or desk top for your child.
3) It is imperative that students should get themselves to work and make an income of their own. This would increase their self-esteem and help them to know the value of money. I am proud to say that from the age of12 itself I used to go for work on holidays and time after school in order to support my family.
4) Most children have pocket money kept aside to buy toys or books. This money can be used for getting themselves a lap top.
5) Buying a lap top on an instalment scheme is also viable. Under such schemes by paying an EMI of1800 or2000 a good laptop can be procured.
The charitable organisations and genorous individuals who come forward with offers to get students mobiles for their studies should think on the effectiveness of mobiles and substitute mobiles with lap tops. They can supply these on condition that they are to be returned after use. This will make the student take more care of the gadget.
Develop a healthy online culture.
Sitting before your lap top or smart phone, you should be careful to have the correct posture. Also, you should take care of your appearance, avoiding shabby dress and unkempt hair. Be polite and disciplined as when you attend a real class.
Have a proper room or space for attending your online class. Don’t change room every other day The room should have enough light. If possible, keep a speaker and headset handy.
Parents should acquire enough technical know how
It is good to learn the operation of the child-parent app for parents to monitor their kids. We should keep in mind that online teaching will continue even after Covid. The trend will be blended learning, ie. online teaching along with classroom teaching. In the field of higher education, orders have been placed to implement blended learning. PTA meetings, training programmes for teachers and special classes for students can be conducted through online platforms on holidays or after class hours on working days
Last year, I was able to conduct more than300 training programmes and coaching classes for parents, teachers and students. People from more than 500 countries have participated in my training classes. To be truthful, I prefer taking virtual classes to taking classes confined to classrooms.
A word to teachers
Without proper preparation no teacher can take an online class successfully. The teacher should be able to command the attention of the student and retain it. Conducting classes through online platforms (Zoom, Google, Meet, Microsoft, Teams, Webex etc.,) the teacher has immense possibilities of which he/she should have full awareness. Videos, powerpoints, games etc… should be used effectively to make the classes appealing to the students.
May this year bring new delightful experiences in digital learning to all involved.
Personal Transformation Coach
National Coordinator, IPCAI