Going Digital - What We Need To Remember As A Principal, Teacher, Parent And Student

Damayanti Bhattacharya, Principal, Jasudben M L School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary | Thursday, 03 December 2020, 13:36 IST

Damayanti Bhattacharya, Principal, Jasudben M L School and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary

As COVID-19 unleashed itself on the world that still continues to grapple with it, people are gradually beginning to adapt to the new ways of living. For students, their parents and educators, online classes have become the new normal. The entire education system has seen a wave of change with technology and digital media serving as the strongest currents. The status quo demands a great deal of adjustment and assimilation from the teaching and learning fraternity.

Turning to the digital model of operations end-to-end has not been an easy task for anyone, but teachers, parents and the student community must remember the following factors so that they can enable each other to sail through successfully.

Though teachers are not the frontline corona warriors, it is worth appreciating that they are burning the midnight oil to ensure they impart knowledge in the most effective and engaging manner. They are constantly endeavouring to be creative to keep students motivated to learn.

Being tech savvy was never really a prerequisite for most teaching jobs but with the revolutionary online learning system in place, it has become extremely important. Those who are not well-versed with computers or digital media are finding it hard to adapt as they are accustomed to the traditional way of teaching.

Students now attend classes from the confines of their homes and not having a cut off from the family atmosphere is not always the best bet for them. Helicopter parenting has risen to new heights. For instance, parents are heard passing comments or prompting answers when the teacher asks questions to their child. They must remember to get involved only when it is required to avoid friction and embarrassment for the student.

“Essentially, this is a whole new way of education that is bound to open up a world of opportunities for all fragments of the industry”

For parents of younger children, especially those in the pre-primary and primary sections, the work has certainly doubled. They have to accompany the child for every class to assist them with gadgets and instructions from teachers and while teachers do understand this, it is also important for parents to acknowledge that teachers are facing equal or greater challenges. Some teachers go on to teach with their own toddler/preschooler on their lap. So this is not the time to complain but to comply. Only then will going digital for education become a worthwhile process.

Substituting the age-old system of classroom learning with a tech reliant framework will be of greater advantage when certain basic rules like dressing up neatly, holding a proper posture and maintaining decorum of the (online) class, parents refraining from shouting, etc., are followed strictly.

Principals or heads of institutions must be most understanding and accommodating of the situation mainly towards the teaching faculty as there is a massive amount of effort being put in to match up to the regular way of educating. Acknowledge and reward staff wherever possible to applaud their hard work and stimulate their inspiration.

Principals must remember that in a tech savvy generation, teaching methods can quickly become obsolete, as there is always something new happening. Encouraging teachers and equipping students to be updated with news and other subject-related topics is the best way to teach them to grow, both in the personal and professional capacity. Also encourage children to pick up tasks around the house or adopt a hobby to expand their horizons. Students today spend most of their time on their laptops, their phones, and other digital equipment. Finding out what sources they can refer to, online, and knowing which websites offer the best information can certainly prove to be an effective way to guide students and teachers alike.

Essentially, this is a whole new way of education that is bound to open up a world of opportunities for all fragments of the industry. The educational sphere is redefining itself and educators, learners, parents and families must closely associate to allow a seamless transformation. The traditional teaching system is now being complemented by technology more than ever and classes over video calls are the new normal. It is but practical to move swiftly towards a digital education structure because almost every task today can be executed by use of technology and learning shall be no exception.