The pandemic has brought a lot of changes in to our lives and one such change is the introduction of online classes for the students. Today we have Ms. Ruby Goel, a mom-blogger, enlightening us about how online classes have become our new normal, its pros and cons, and the role of parents.
Q. Tell us something about you and your kid.
First of all, I would like to thank Ezyschooling for providing me with the platform to express my views on the topic “how to cope up with online learning”. By education, I’m an engineer but right now I’m working as a facilitator and a blogger. I know the problems that kids and their parents are facing as I’m a mother of two kids as well and as a facilitator, I understand the school’s point of view, the teacher’s point of view, and as well as from the student’s point of view, and how they are adjusting to the same. So that’s why I thought of speaking on this topic and have a chat with you all.
Q. What are the changes that have come into your lifestyle During lockdown?
There has been a drastic change. Actually, we were not acquainted with such a situation as sitting at home for the whole time with our family. I have a toddler and he had a fixed routine earlier but now there is no proper time of eating, playing, or sleeping because he knows I’ll be available for him all the time. So, yes it was quite difficult in the starting when it happened but gradually, we adapted and started living with this new normal. We are happier now as we can bond much better by sitting together and by sharing household chores like cooking and cleaning. So yes, the chances are good but they have some cons also at the same time.
Q. What is your opinion on digitalization and e-learning being the new normal?
Actually, it was the dream of our prime minister, five years back he had already thought of this thing but we the citizens of India found it somewhat difficult to do everything online like if we wanted to purchase something, it was not easy for us to be on the sites and purchase without checking it. Even giving online education was unthinkable. Though the platform was available to us as there were many sites offering online education.
But, people didn’t prefer them as they thought that it lacked physical touch, but we have adapted so gracefully and I’m very happy that complete nation and its citizens have adapted it so nicely and we are doing so many things online, like learning online, having classes online, even imparting education online, and people are doing their business online and so on. It has become the new normal for us and I’m very happy that technology, at any point, was not compensated and everything was available to us at a good level and we gradually came to know and adapt this thing.
Q. Online e-learning become a new challenge for kids, what is your opinion on this?
Yes, it is a very much new task as I have told that kids are getting used to it. Giving the example of my daughter, when the lockdown was announced during March, she was very upset about not being able to meet her friends and she was worried about how she will be able to go to school but gradually she shifted to this platform and I am very happy to discuss that she has learned so many things during this time period. Not only she is taking her online classes but also, she has become good at art and learned calligraphy online.
Homeschooling goes side by side with online education. So, I get the chance to explore new things within her. Currently, she is also having her own channel and her own page, so this is how I am exploring different opportunities in this time period. With our old lives intact, we have adapted very nicely to digitalization and kids have also adapted to the same in a nice way.
Q. How online learning is different from regular learning?
In regular learning physical touch is there. If a student is interacting with a teacher there will be a proper understanding between the teacher and the student, the teacher can understand the difficulty levels of the students so the students can go further with their studies but in online learning, this thing is lacking. So, somehow kids are finding it difficult to concentrate, as while learning online it is difficult for them to sit at a place and watch the computer constantly. It is quite straining for their eyes. Nevertheless, we are adapting to this new thing and we are searching for some measure to encounter this problem nicely and hence, we are taking some steps so that everything can go smoothly.
Q. What are its advantages and disadvantages of online classes?
Like I said, with regular classes, there is physical touch. Children don’t feel that they are in some isolation as they can easily talk to their friends. They can find themselves learning in a visualization method as the teacher can narrate them the stories in a dramatic way and learning online, somewhat, feels different as you don’t know how many participants are there and you can’t chat with anyone face-to-face while that thing was there in regular classes. On the brighter side, we save time as students have their classes for 2-3 hours, and for rest of the day, they are free to do other things.
Otherwise, earlier they had to be in the school up to 2 pm and after they return, they sleep for some time till 5 pm and then they go out to play. So, like this, the whole day was getting wasted earlier and now, I am getting more time to find out different things to do and explore different things as well. Moreover, I find online learning more convenient and flexible like whenever you want to you can learn different things and most importantly, distance problem is not there as you can talk to the respective teachers and take guidance from them. Another thing, you can refer anywhere for good guidance on any of the subjects you want and not restrict yourself to a certain area.
Q. Are you supporting this online education/online teaching platform?
It’s not that I’m supporting, if we are trying to adapt something then why not. There’s no need to find problems in that but there are cons as it strains the eyes and I get frequent headaches. I find it difficult to see the screen constantly. There are some benefits also, I can be with my toddler all the time like I get more time than before as I am working from home. It goes side by side, if it has cons then it has pros as well. Also, I don’t think that we are going to send our kids to school anytime soon, therefore, it’s going to be like this and so we have to adapt this.
Q. What’s the role of parents in the learning online of kids?
Earlier the school was there, the watchman was there, the teacher was there and the complete responsibility of the child was not on the parents at least up till 2 pm. Currently, the kids are at home and as they are getting an online education, the teacher cannot guide them, they cannot teach them the disciplinary factor, they cannot tell them the protocols or how to work online also they cannot provide one-to-one interaction, they cannot check their notebooks so, here comes the role of parents.
They learn from online education by visualizing the online content and the presentation provided by the teacher but there is a major role of parents because teachers cannot check the concentration of the child, whether the child is sitting or just has switched off the camera and the mic and just by marking the attendance they cannot check this. So, here comes the responsibility of parents, whether the child is actually studying online or just passing time for the sake of attendance and whether he/she is taking down everything in the notebook or not and understanding the concept or not.
Parents have to guide and also cross-question their children and if the concept is not clear then he may need to request the teacher to explain it again. So, like if a four-year-old is studying phonic stanzas then the teacher may sing it or guide them in different ways but you never know as a teacher how much the kid has grasped as he cannot appear for the test or show the presentation so, it is the job of the parents to look after this matter.
Regarding the senior students, which protocol they are following or whether they are listening to teachers or not, are they opening different sites that they are not supposed to, in these matters supervision of the parents is required? So, parents have a major role to play in the case of online learning.
Q. So how is your daughter's experience of attending online classes?
Actually, my daughter is quite disciplined so, I’m not finding it very difficult. She often tells me, Mumma I have my classes don’t disturb me now. But otherwise, I have seen some of my students faking things so, in that case, we need a personal touch, and interaction, with the parents. Now the interaction has increased with parents and we are also interacting with students so, it is two-way communication.
So, parents have to support the teacher to impart good education. I am very much connected with the teachers as I need to ask about the assignments, like how my daughter is doing with the assignments in the notebook and if she is properly taking down the questions from the screen or not or I need to get the print out on time so this is where I need to play the role. Otherwise, she is disciplined in her studies. I also guide her with other things like to take a break and walk around or wash her face.
Q. What are your strategies for managing both online classes and kid hygiene at the same time?
Yes, it is very much difficult, here comes the role of the partner like both husband and wife have to support. My husband is very supportive so I can take my classes as well as my daughter is able to do her classes. Otherwise, my toddler wouldn’t let us do our work on time. So, we take responsibility in turns, like whenever I get time in between I take care of the child and my husband works, so like this, we have divided our responsibilities.
Also, when my daughter isn’t having her classes, she too takes care of him when I am taking classes and it goes like this side by side. So, we have bonded really well during all this time. We understand each other’s things in a better way.
Q. What are the precautions you have taken during online classroom study?
If we talk about the different measures that we need to take while online learning, what I have done is put a glare screen on the laptop. One can connect the TV with the internet connection so that the classes can be displayed over there and the students can sit afar from the T.V. with a headphone and can learn so that they would not face any adverse effect of online education.
Also, one should provide a better place to sit and study so that it would provide a better concentration while learning. So, these are the things one can take care of. Also, kids should get up and take a walk inside the house for some time and they should go and interact with others. Different types of interaction must take place, otherwise, they will just glue themselves to the screen and will search for different websites other than the one providing online education.
Q. Any message for kids the parents out there?
Yes, I must say that here parents and teachers both have to play the same role and they both have to interact and solve the kid’s problem and we need to understand that it is not only us who are going through this. It is our kids as well. We have to understand their point of view too. They are not going out to play or meet their friends.
So, we should make time to interact and explore new opportunities for them, so that they can keep themselves entertained. We should also do some activities which are not related to the stream work, there are different games we can play with them like Ludo. So, if we would interact with them then it will bring back the natural happiness in them so they won’t miss their friends.
We can also ask them to talk to their friends over the phone or chat with them online and they should be given this much freedom to talk to their friends so they could also bloom like a flower in this pandemic.
Lastly, I hope other parents find some measures to keep their children well-concentrated during online classes. Thank you so much.
To explore the world of Ruby and her 2 lovely kids, follow her @raisingtweenntot