Not long ago, if school was an extension of home for value education, much of the academics stayed with school. Parents and teachers were two sets of important people in the life of a school going child. Both had a symbiotic role in relation to holistic development and learning of the child. But with emerging digital and online technologies the traditional roles of both teachers as well as parents is seeing an upheaval of change. So, both parents as well as teachers are facing challenges of this change.
Yogesh Makkar, Founder & Director, Kapdec, An Academy for E-learning, offers some key ideas that teachers and parents must know to handle these challenges and stay futuristic for the benefit of the children.
First for the Parents:
The role of parents in ensuring the holistic development of their children remains crucial without a change. In the new and emerging scenrio, parents also have the crucial responsibility of complimenting teachers’ efforts by engaging with their wards regularly. Here are some important tips for parents in this regard:
- a) Leverage Technology: The new ways of learning including the use of games, videos, and educational apps can significantly enhance the learning potential of students. Especially the gamification of tedious subjects like mathematics and science can help students grasp the concepts effectively. As parents, you should encourage the adoption of new learning platforms so that the knowledge transfer to students yields the desired results.
- b) Focused Approach: Focus is key to effective learning and helping children to stay away from distractions can significantly boost their learning capabilities. You need to make sure that at the time of learning, mobile phones are out of children’s reach. Discourage the use of any kind of Audio-Visual aid during study time and motivate them to focus single-mindedly on their studies. However, it’s also necessary that your wards take short breaks in between as studying continuously for hours can dampen the effectiveness of the learning experience.
3) Encourage Experiential Learning: Parents can complement online learning by inspiring their children to be involved in hands-on practices such as reading, drawing, painting, etc. Children can also be encouraged to learn new languages and apply concepts in real-world situations. These practice-oriented activities are very effective in upping the learning quotient of students by making the knowledge-gaining process fun and entertaining.
Despite the enhanced role of technology, teachers continue to remain at the heart of education system. In fact, the role of the knowledge facilitators has become even more important now as online learning methods fall considerably short on the aspect of personal interactions. We all missed the lack of personal touch during Covid-19 and specifically, students found it difficult to clear their doubts in a completely online mode of learning.
That said, the changed learning scenario of today has mandated some significant changes that teachers must do to remain significant amidst the onslaught of online modes of learning. There’s no need to shy away from adopting technology; rather, faculty must strive for an optimum blend of in-person and online teaching for delivering a complete learning package to students. Below are some suggestions that can help faculty to maximize the learning potential of students:
- a) Pedagogical Alterations: In order to stay relevant amidst the increasing influence of technology, teachers must come up with adaptations to their conventional pedagogical approach. It is a hard fact that the use of the in-person lecture model is not sufficient in this era of remote teaching. Today, a number of mediums are used for imparting education to students. From television to radio and from mobile phones to computers, these channels have literally converted every household into a classroom. Take, for instance, the Republic of Sierra Leone. The country in West Africa has adopted Radio as the primary method of imparting education. Students listen to a recorded lecture on their radio sets and ask questions on-air through the given facility of a toll-free number. It’s obvious that in such a drastically changed environment, teachers have to adopt necessary adjustments to their pedagogy or else face the danger of being irrelevant in near future.
2) Calibrate Time Distribution: In the wake of changing learning scenarios, it is critical for the faculty members to recalibrate their time between teaching tasks, student engagements, and doubt-clearing sessions. Unlike the conventional method of teaching where the maximum time is devoted to lecturing students, instructors in this new-age scenario must focus more on engaging with students and enhancing their curiosity for learning. Schools and educational institutions should extend flexibility to teachers so that they can quickly calibrate the distribution of time in accordance with the new era of education.
3) In-depth Knowledge: It goes without saying that authority on the subject matter is one of the very basic prerequisites of becoming a good knowledge facilitator. Many students today refer to the internet for information which is full of half-truths and false information. The wrong knowledge acquired from the world of the web makes unsuspecting students vulnerable and prone to being misled at a crucial juncture of their lives. In such a scenario, teachers must play a proactive role and equip students with the right knowledge and information related to their own respective fields. This can immensely help to save impressionable minds from being swayed away by unreliable sources of information.
Two-way communication involving a free flow of information with students is a common theme that both teachers and parents must integrate into their respective approaches. In the wake of cut-throat competition and sky-high expectations, students often feel tremendous stress and pressure on multiple fronts. In such conditions, it’s essential for both teachers and parents to regularly interact with students and encourage them to talk openly about their fears and vulnerabilities. It’s equally important that students must be given a patient hearing so that they feel inspired to spell out things that trouble them. We need to be respectful of their concerns and encourage them to adopt a positive approach even if they encounter a failure in their life.