Are Online Classes Providing the Same Value as Classroom Learning during the Covid-19 Phase?
Posted: Aug 05, 2020
No one could have thought that a global pandemic would be so powerful that it would disrupt an entire academic year, stop classes and cancel exams for students across the country. However, to counter such stark realities and ensure that their students do not lag behind in their learning, many educational institutions including the best IGCSE Board school in Gurgaon moved all classes to the digital mode.
While the students started consuming their academic content via computers, laptops and mobile devices, the very method of completing curriculum online sparked a debate. There have been differing views on whether these digitised classes actually help students learn or if they impede academic progress.
Thoughts against online classes
To a considerable extent it is true that gazing at the screen for extended periods of time is harmful for health and body posture. With the schools shifting to online medium, there will be longer hours of screen time for children – it puts more strain on their eyes, keeps them physically inactive and is not a practical way for continual studies.
Besides affecting their health, attending classes from individual homes is also quite isolating for students. They do not have their friends around and essentially learn all by themselves. The role of teachers also appears limited because the students cannot be supervised as effectively as in physical classrooms. Lastly, parents are often too busy in their own errands to check their children at online classes. Such factors adversely impact learning.
The situation is not so bleak: Online learning works, if strategized effectively
And then there are many others who feel that online classes have not really increased average screen time. This is because children today are anyways hooked to electronic devices such as TV, mobile phones or tablets for several hours. This has only increased during the Covid-19 phase as people have to stay quarantined inside their homes for safety reasons. They cannot even attend social gatherings including weddings and funerals and can interact with their loved ones only through digital apps.
By giving 1- 4 hours of their day to online classes, children can actually utilise their ‘screen time’ fruitfully. Furthermore, a leading Cambridge IGCSE school of Gurugram does not force its students to stay glued to their screen throughout the class. Teachers use a blended approach by conducting a variety of activities between the lessons.
For tiny tots in pre-school, there is painting and craftwork. The children in kindergarten tell stories and recite poems. Students in primary wing can have yoga sessions and participate in simple science projects such as germination of seeds, building of a chart for human digestion process and using scientific methods to test the nature of different materials such as plastic, paper and cloth. Senior students can also be assigned projects as per their stream of studies.
It is easier to complete such activities at home where children can gather the materials and have more space to use them freely.
What we should also understand is that desperate times call for desperate measures. Even if some parents, students and teachers do not approve of online classes, they realise that digital platforms are the only channels to stay connected at a time when direct human interaction is not safe.
Furthermore, by stopping online classes completely and waiting indefinitely for schools to reopen, we will hamper not only the academic progress but also the brain development of children. Students must get proper brain stimulation and for now it can only be provided by their teachers through online classes.
With little breaks in between to rest the eyes and some off-screen activities, your children’s virtual classroom can be as valuable as the regular class. Just keep in touch with their teachers and talk to them at least once a week to stay aware of students’ progress in this learning-at-home phase.
Author bio - The Gurgaon based campus of Amity Global School enrolled its first batch of students in 2008 and has been helping young scholars imbibe the virtues of education year after year. A tailored approach to academics, sports and extra-curricular activities is the hallmark of the institution.
Michael harley is a writer at Search Engine.