Mr. Ravichandran Halasyam is a visionary academician and teacher trainer, with a career spanning over 42 years. He has experience in many education boards and a variety of schools that cater to different social groups including differently abled, ethnic, and multicultural groups.
On an episode of Let Us Hear by Amrita School of Engineering, he presents the current condition and challenges in online classes for Indian school students and how to increase its effectiveness.
Since lockdown, stakeholders of schools have been divided among their views on how education should be carried out during this pandemic. While online classes need to be held to prevent break in education, many students and teachers do not have access to devices and internet, the basic requirements for online classes. Online Learning and Teaching (OLT) sessions that schools across India have been conducting, have revealed the hidden inequalities and infrastructural issues in our society. Mr. Ravichandran says that a student’s success in OLT is determined by the ease of digital access and ability of their parents to support learning at home. For lesser privileged students, the probability of success is thus too low from the start.
Teachers are also struggling with online classes. Many did not own devices with internet connection or have digital literacy until lockdown. Online classes also take more time for preparation than offline classes. This has led to high levels of stress among teachers. Mr. Ravichandran suggests teachers give themselves time and space to learn the new applications and figure out own ways in using them to conduct effective classes. He recommends using full-fledged software with online whiteboards and collaborative platforms, if affordable for the schools and teachers.
A lot of factors like speed of internet, system, apps being used all determine smoothness of an online class. With the change in platform for the classroom, new challenges in its management have also come up. The lack of physical presence and emotional connect affects the teacher-student relationships. The informal education schools provide for children like behavioural skills and discipline, is also disturbed.
In the existing scenario, digital learning is the best bet but experts warn that the increased screen time may impede the students’ development of social skills, increase their irritability, and reduce their ability to concentrate, in the long-term.
How To Stay Organized With Online Classes
In current times, with classes being taught online, teachers can get stressed about them. There are many ways to remain calm. Getting disciplined and organized is just one of them. However, the teachers must also know that inundating the students with rules and regulations and expecting them to be disciplined and organized in every aspect of the class is not a very good idea.
Online Education No Substitute For Classroom
Till a while ago technology was complementary to the school room education. Now, with the pandemic, technology has become a substitute. But what many fail to understand is that technology cannot completely supersede the classroom education. There are a lot of steps and guidelines to be followed to ensure that the online classroom can live up to being a medium for quality education.
How to Establish Learning and Behavioral Expectation in Online Classroom
CRM and OLTM are just management methods to neatly navigate through transitions and interruptions in any classroom setting. Only now the classrooms are all online. Effective teaching practices are closely related to management and motivation. Teachers must be ableto establish appropriate student behaviour in classrooms to ensure that the students utilized the limited time effectively.
Tips For Effective Classroom Management
In these trying times every teacher is doing their best to connect with their students as well as provide them quality education and it is a lot to handle at one go. So handling online classes, while people are watching be it parents or other teachers or teachers' superiors, they always feel as if on display and being judged for their work. However they have to find ways to not be affected by these things. Online interaction and maintain emotional connection with students and understand how to gauge their 'audience' and manage their class effectively