Dr. Anusha B
Since a couple of days, it has been a tough time for almost everybody around the world. With the increasing cases of Covid-19, Lock-down has been a challenge for many of us in many ways. Starting with the shortage of food essentials to managing the household. Being a mother and an academician, one of my major concerns in the aftermath of Lock-down is coping with the academic continuity of pupils. It has been more than a month since government of many states in the country has declared holidays for schools and colleges. In such a crisis, one has to be more organized to cope up with the bigger challenges coming in the future. The challenge of keeping our children engaged and connected with the academics. It is important to understand that the responsibilities and expectations of both Parents and Teachers are not hampered in spite of such disrupted situation around us.
We understand the usual classroom teaching has its own set of advantages of interactive lectures, making it convenient to convey the lessons effectively. Students can also enhance their various life skills that are directly linked to school curricula of languages, mathematics, science and social sciences etc (Jain, 2011) . Students could give seminars in classrooms, solve case studies, take assignments, Projects, etc. Now the Question is how can we still meet all these expectation during Lock-down?
Technology has seen rapid advancements and evolution. Today, we see technology run our life. With the current situation in their mind, many educational institutions have initiated extended usage of technologies to reach out to their students without compromising on the effectiveness of learning process. Educators have many options to implement. Online classes are one such option to keep students engaged and maintain the continuity in their learning process. Off late, Zoom cloud meeting is one such option that has become very popular. Employees conducting meetings across borders earlier used it. Now, we see the application is also widely used to conduct interactive online classes. All students can be part of the class, interact with their teachers and co-learners, raise questions, create discussions, and give seminars, so on. There are other means to reach out to students like Google Classroom. The application is mostly suitable for High School, Secondary and Higher Education students. Teachers can create a separate classroom for their subject and add participants to it. Teachers can create and add study materials and/or videos with a description posted about what is expected to be done by the students. Assignments and Questions can also be added where students can enhance their thinking abilities.
While the topic comes to life skills, Educational institutions are doing their best in live classes. However, some skills are learnt efficiently while experiencing it practically. We, as parents play a major role in inculcating various skills into a child’s character. The responsibility falls on parents too, to home‐school their wards at least until the educational institutions are reopened. We can adopt the following means to instill the values like- questioning, setting up challenges, spending quality time, encourage them to think out of the box, helping them in selecting suitable online resources, being creative with space, encourage learning through real life experiments and observations, active discussions over dining table, so on. As a parent, your child’s involvement in your daily activities helps them keep the continuity in their learning process. Say for example, if you are a parent of a preschooler, while reading a newspaper you can ask the child in identifying the alphabets and circle it; If you are a parent of a teenager, gardening may help the child in understanding the reproductive system of a plant; and if you have a child studying in High school or Higher education classes, you can have an active discussions over the current issues which may encourage them in self learning and researching more about the topic of discussion.
One can adapt many other creative ways to keep your children involved, help them recall and give them exposure during this tough moment. However, one has to stay tolerant and understand that children are also going through a transition period. Both, teachers and parents need to help them in this hour of need. One has to turn this time into the best of the opportunity to understand your children.
About the Authors:
Dr. Anusha B is currently working as an Assistant Professor at Krupanidhi Degree College, Bangalore. She holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore and a Doctorate Degree from University of Mysore.