With the COVID-19 crisis causing a nationwide lockdown rather drastically, schools and parents, both, found themselves in a unique position. They had to quickly adapt traditional classroom teaching methods to online schooling, to ensure that students did not lose out precious academic time and fall behind on their curriculum. Parents had to be more flexible and open with how they would accommodate the changes being implemented by schools and help facilitate online learning for their children. To correctly transfer to an online classroom, schools had to change the way the curriculum is rolled out.
Simply translating the traditional classroom to a zoom or video classroom may not suffice as one cannot assume that all students have their own dedicated devices. In a lot of households, parents and children share devices. So, finding a balance for parents between their own work and their child’s education can prove tricky.
Teaching had to be designed in such a way that if a student is not able to sign on at the specific time, he/she should not lose out on the day’s teachings. Platforms like google classroom allow schools to put up instructional videos and assignments for students with timelines of completion. This gives students the ease to complete their assignments at any time of the day, and yet keep them on schedule.
The next step in moving to online teaching would is to help teachers quickly adapt to the new technologies and formats which are to be used. Fortunately, lockdown took place just a few weeks shy of summer vacations, and this gave schools the opportunity to run professional development and teacher training programs to bring them up to speed.
Since the training programs for teachers would also have to be conducted online, teachers were put in the shoes of students, which gave them a first-hand understanding of how online classes are conducted, the possibilities and limitations of it, and how to best design lessons for the digital platform. Teachers learned what kinds of content might interest students, help keep them engaged, and what may not work. Their learnings were then applied to their curriculum planning for online classrooms.
The most important part of online schooling is to ensure that students were also understanding and learning the content which was put out every day. Online classrooms actually make this rather easy. More frequent milestones can be built into the online classroom, like small quizzes at the end of each lesson, or one at the end of each week.
Not only can students get immediate results, but they also have the answers at which point they can correct themselves. The results are also immediately provided to teachers, allowing them to assess on an individual level, how well a student is picking up a topic, or where he/she might need some assistance.
Preparing, adapting and learning are there for the three most important aspects of online learning, which all schools needed to quickly execute given the current global pandemic. And given the uncertainty of the future world, schools will have to put more resources into building online classrooms to ensure that the citizens of the future do face any interruptions in their education.