Online classes — How effective?
Samaira Guleria, Class X, Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh
The rapid spread of the coronavirus led to the closure of schools and a prolonged lockdown made schools switch to online classes in the interest of health and safety of school kids. With all that has been written and talked about with regard to “online learning” over the past decade, the perception is that now is a great time to put tech to work and implement this modern methodology to address our current situation and limit face-to-face interaction especially in schools and colleges. But there are a number of issues that need to be considered in this changed scenario.
Is the infrastructure in place for online learning?
In order for the online learning to become effective, the most basic need is that a teacher is able to connect with the students. This not only requires a computer or a mobile but also internet connectivity. Of course that connection would need to be made for each and every student for which each teacher is responsible. In case of a country like India the actual number of students having access to computers is actually very small and even those who have a computer may not have internet access. As of now the online classrooms are more of a reality for children in urban centres and we can count out the students in rural and remote areas completely.
Do the teachers have lessons prepared specifically for “Online Learning”?
Teaching online is not the same as teaching face-to-face in the classroom. The class is far less captive with many more distractions in each student’s personal environment. The lessons need to be far more engaging. Feedback from every participant is more important with online learning. Summative assessment is essential and must be ongoing. Learning is not a passive exercise online. Interaction is the key. Teachers need to be more aware and more demanding of student participation.
Does each teacher have the mindset to be an online teacher?
Being forced into a situation that affects one’s livelihood and challenges lifelong beliefs is not a good way to introduce a person to a new way to perform his or her job. A longstanding fear of educators is that some day they will be replaced by computers. Personally, I don’t believe that will ever happen, because education is best served through strong relationships of students and teachers. Technology however, will change the way those relationships take place. Forcing people into performing a job they don’t believe in can't have a positive outcome for anyone. A majority of teachers have never been trained to teach online. They have been taught how to teach in a classroom. Kids sitting in rows where a teacher can see them is not the same as connecting with students online.
A pleasant day-dream
Ekamdeep Singh Arora, Class VII A, Saupins School, Chandigarh
Once I woke up and corona virus was gone.
I quickly checked the news on my ipad as there was no newspaper due to this epidemic. It said that yesterday night some group of great scientists from India made the virus antidote and within 14 hrs the world was virus free! No new cases, zero deaths and a 100 per cent recovery of the infected people.
I was very happy and proud of my nation. Once again we proved our mettle to the world. Wow!! I would be going to my school like normal days now. Getting back to the normal routine was so exciting!! I stepped out of my house and the fresh pollution-free air greeted me. I had never felt such a refreshing air in my whole life. I was really amazed to see such different types of flowers blooming and birds chirping all around.
Hey, a beautiful group of peacocks was on the lush green grass at the roundabout. I had crossed this roundabout a thousand times earlier, but had never seen such a scene. The leaves on the trees were all thick and fresh and looked marvelous. My city beautiful never looked so young and beautiful before.
I was relishing the scenery around me on my way to school when a thought crossed my mind that how the nature had healed itself with no human intervention.
As I stepped into my class, all my classmates were very happy and were excitedly greeting each other. We were very enthusiastic to attend the school after such a long time. After coming back from the school, I cleaned my dusty bicycle which had been lying untouched at the same place for months and paddled around, singing my heart out. This was a priceless moment and I relished the regained freedom from the lockdown.
Suddenly, a familiar but firm voice came from a corner. It was my mother’s voice. But why was she upset? Someone is shaking me!!!!!! Loud noise is coming….
Oh! It is my mother asking me to get up and attend my online class.
Alas, it was indeed a dream, a pleasant one though.
I quickly got up to attend the class, but all this while I was thinking about my dream and really wished it to become a reality soon. This lockdown is a time for all of us to introspect.
We, humans have interfered so much with the natural environment that the Almighty had no other option but to make us realise that we have to respect the things around us that we take for granted. Moving out of the house and greeting people now seems a far fetched dream. All the components of environment have to coexist, only if we had realised this earlier.
I pray to God to forgive the mankind for not being kind to nature and bless us out of this pandemic.
Mobile Phones: Boon or Bane?
Akshit Kanwar, Class- VIII, St. Mary’s School Chandigarh
Mobile Phone is one of the biggest boons of technology for human beings in today’s world. It has become the most essential item in everybody’s life. Almost everyone, everywhere seems to have a mobile phone so much so that it is difficult to imagine one's life without it. It has made everybody’s life easier. Earlier, people used to write letters for communicating with their friends and loved ones but these took many days to reach. But now because of mobile phone we can communicate instantly and easily.
There are many apps in phone which we can download as per our need. These apps are helpful in studies. We can get study material, online classes easily through these apps. Mobile phone is a terrific source of entertainment and time pass. We can play games, watch movies, listen songs etc.
Besides all these advantages, we still can't say that it is a boon. It has many disadvantages also.Long use of mobile phone is harmful to our eyes and can lead to many health disorders like migraine, obesity, insomnia etc. It distracts students from their studies and they perform poor in schools as well as in colleges.
It is one of the best invention till now and has both positive and negative effects. Undoubtedly, if mobile phones are in right hands they are a boon.
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