5 Reasons Why Teachers need to adopt to e-Learning in times of global pandemic
COVID-19 has stopped our lives globally. Everything has come to a grinding halt. The fast-paced life across the globe has suddenly been brought to a screeching halt. And, as of today, we don’t know when we would be able to start again.
Employers had to give “work from home” to their employees… even those who had never done this in the past are now doing it. Whether they were equipped or not, they all had to do initiate “work from home”. They are putting in the efforts to do it and have set protocols for reporting, communication and for ensuring that the work goes on. The corporate world understands this that if the work stops, their future gets impacted, first in terms of revenue and then if the lock-down continues for long, it might even become a matter of survival. So they are making their contingency plans and implementing them as well and ensuring the work continues.
But what about us teachers?
Schools, colleges, universities, coaching classes are all shut down and many important exams postponed indefinitely. How are we teachers trying to make our way through this lock-down?
March is relatively a very action-packed month for most of the educational institutions. We have school exams during this period. Undergraduate and post graduate colleges are in mid-semester with a rush towards completing the syllabus. Most of the inter-college events are over now and students have finally just started taking action towards their studies with end-semester exams commencing from mid-April and May. Lots of competitive exams are lined up from April onwards for admissions in the next level of educational institution across the globe.
With the lock-down, at this time, everything is going to be impacted. Everything will either get delayed or rushed up when the situation comes back to normal. There will be a mad rush to complete the syllabus or get the results out and secure admissions. Worst affected would be the students who are in their final critical years, who were working so hard to get admission in their dream colleges. They suddenly have lost direction and their future has become hazy. Even though they did everything right, they are currently feeling that their whole world has crashed.
We teachers need to help our students stay engaged and stay connected, especially with this crisis approaching us at the highest speed possible. We not only have to ensure that their academic momentum does not come down due to the closure of schools and colleges, but also that their morale is high. Now, how can we do that?
5 reasons why our teachers should adopt elearning in these times of pandemic are:
1. Educational Continuity Plan – Students are suddenly feeling lost with no classes and are losing the momentum. To ensure the academic rigor, the regularity, and discipline, teachers need to re-start the classes. For this, they will have to use the online mechanisms as the physical spaces are closed.
2. Meeting Curriculum Deadlines – To ensure the exams are conducted on time and results declared in a timely manner, we need to finish our curriculum as close to plan as possible. Else, there will be a ripple effect in the next year impacting everything ahead. To reduce the impact over the next years, we need to take lectures online and finish our syllabus as planned.
3. Students’ Engagement – Homework, project work, journal writing keeps the students busy and engaged in their studies. It kind of keeps them motivated to study, revise and practice and thus they stay connected to the curriculum. We need to do these activities online so that we keep our students engaged with us.
4. Reducing loneliness and isolation – Meeting classmates, interaction with teachers, classroom discussions is an integral part of a student’s life. The lock-down and social distancing have suddenly brought a lot of isolation for a student. By conducting online lectures, the teachers can simulate the class like environment which will make the students feel connected to their friends.
5. Communication and Coordination – Regular communication with teachers motivates the students to keep working towards their goals of achieving success in their courses. With the closure of schools and colleges, this communication will not be there, which in turn will make the students lethargic and lose interest in the subject. By using online mechanisms we can ensure excitement and interest remain high to learn and achieve.
Even though this has been a highly debatable topic and we have examples of both success and failure of e-learning initiatives, in these times of global pandemic, e-learning is the only solution to stay connected with our students. Many of us believe in traditional methods of teaching and I also value them a lot. I do agree that social interaction in the classroom, face to face teaching and discussions are very important for a student, but at this moment, when social distancing is the only way to keep the world safe, we all need to adopt e-learning. At least till the time we overcome this situation and things return to normalcy, for the sake of the mental health of our students and their future, we teachers will have to upgrade ourselves and move to online teaching.
There are very simple and free tools available that can help you move towards e-learning quickly like:
- Zoom meeting
- MOODLE Cloud
- Big Blue Button
- Google Hangout
- GoTo Meeting
To use these tools all you need is a mobile phone with camera and internet connection. You can even teach subjects like maths and science, where you need a blackboard to explain complex equations and diagrams.
Whatever you choose, you better choose before we lose our young learners.