The online teaching & learning. Will it be the trend now ? by Mousumi Sachdeva

With the sudden change in the environment, living condition and the situation of crisis and fear in the entire world, will the parents and the students welcome the trend of Home Schooling and online learning? Will the teachers in India be able to grab the attention of the students sitting comfortably at home? Will the students be able to maintain their daily studies and follow the online classes and prepare themselves for the assessments and examinations? Are all the teachers competent enough to conduct online classes and provide the real like teaching and training environment?

The sudden attack by the never imagined Corona virus has left the world to standstill. With no cure, the battle against this virus has become highly challenging. There is a constant threat of being infected once you step out of your homes. The lockdown period has already compelled the schools and colleges to shut the institutions down. Examinations have been postponed and the students are in the state of confusion and dilemma regarding their promotions, further studies and their career. With the rising tension in the world, many schools have already declared the examination results online thus promoting the students to the next level. Many schools and colleges have already begun online lectures to continue the progress of the school and college syllabus. With the quality of technology booming high and we being techno savvies, home-schooling or online teaching and learning has no doubt become comfortable.

Let us find the ways the schools and colleges in India are conducting their classes at the present crisis period:

1.Flip Teaching: Flip Teaching has been adopted in many schools much before the lockdown days. However, today it has become one of the most important methods of online teaching and learning. Here the teachers or instructors record their lessons and make the content available for the students through their email ids or the school/college websites. The students can access the content any time they want.

2.Face to Face classes: Many institutions have asked their teachers and instructors as well as the students to open their skype or zoom accounts and attend to the lectures face to face according to a set subject timetable by the school or college authority. Here, the students can directly and instantly clear their doubts during the ongoing face to face discussion.

3.Web-Enhanced Teaching: It is just like the traditional teaching where the teachers declare a scheduled day, time and the topic on the school website as well as send bulk messages informing the same to the students. Here, the course contents are available for the students to access anytime they require.

4.Uploading Course contents and study materials:  Many schools at present are busy uploading the course contents and materials for the students and are sending them individually to all the students on their id created on school or college websites or online portals. The students can download the materials and continue their home studies according to the syllabus provided online. Even, many schools are assigning home tasks as well as projects to be uploaded when accomplished by the students on the school online portals.

There are many other methods of online teaching and learning. However, the teachers and instructors will have to be trained to use such methods to function the classes effectively.

Home-schooling in many ways has become the safest option today. Even if the lockdown is not extended, yet the parents will fear to send their children out to the schools and colleges where they will be exposed to mass gatherings and would have no way to check and maintain social distancing. The virus still exists and would continue to exist for months or even years without any permanent treatment to kill it. In such a situation, no parents would be confident to send their children out in the buses or public transports to attend their regular classes. Home schooling therefore remains the only option for the students and the schools and colleges must get used to offering online classes.

Apart from the academic classes conducted by the respective schools, this is the best time to be taken advantage of various learning apps like Byjus. They have already launched their various online courses for UPSC, K3, K10, K12, CBSE, NCERT, ICSE, IIT-JEE and NEET. The app offers live classes for children and students of all ages thus making learning easy at home. The present scenario has motivated many others to begin such learning apps. The skill trainers are seen to make the best of this critical situation who are seen to continuously market their training sessions for skills including right from the simple spoken English classes, soft skills classes to various professional training sessions through webinars and sessions through apps like Zoom etc.

Gradually the world will be driven by technology and learning and teaching will be confined to the homes sitting online through various apps and systems. Tests and Examinations will become easier to conduct through online and thereby the results declared in the same way. Indeed, the responsibility on the teachers would be no less, but would be added to suddenly cope up with the changing scenario. Equally would be the pressure on the parents to be more careful and observant while their children undergo online classes. Students will have to be technologically smart enough to catch the online lectures without being prey to any distractions.

No matter how much we prove the advantages of Online teaching and learning, we still have drawbacks to make this method completely successful in a country like India. There arises a big question to it- Are the schools and colleges able to reach each and every student of their institutions? What about the section of people who are not techno savvy and even cannot afford a computer or laptop at home? Will the government schools be able to successfully operate online classes and make them available to all the sections of the society, or will only the privileged class be blessed with the education facilities? Till we find the answers, the only thing today we can do is to stay united, help each other, make the best use of smartphones and share everything we can with the peer groups. The schools surely must have their planned solutions to make their classes reach to all the students. The government will be expected to find ways to educate all the sections of the society and make avail the aid of technology to the weaker section so that no one remains deprived.

The world is changing, and so will our country and the various systems. Technology will carry a huge responsibility in the field of Education as well as the other services to make living successful. Online teaching and learning will soon become a necessity rather than a trend. We sit with hopes for the new developments amidst this crisis and fear to see a new awakening defeating the invisible enemy the covid19.

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