It’s almost impossible to name the realm that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Education is not an exception. Because of shutdown students and teachers all over the world are forced to shift their practices and turn to new technologies as they teach and learn.
Online education is not a new phenomenon. However, if until recently it was one’s own preference, COVID-19 left no choice but to adapt to new remote schooling reality for instruction and teaching still has to be delivered. This mode of learning has always had mixed feedback from teachers, faculty and students, and now these recent events can alter the landscape for online education long term. It’s not news that college is quite different from high school, and group lesson is not the same as a 1-on-1 class. Approaches to teaching are different: high school teachers may walk students through the lesson, while college students are expected to do more studying and learning on their own. One thing that unifies them is that now everything is moved to academic cyberspace.
How to teach in new realities
It’s fair to say that some of the teachers will be venturing into online education for the first time, and teaching outside the physical classroom can become a huge step out of the comfort zone for many. Translating their expertise into a new teaching modality in such a limited time frame can be challenging. The simple form of remote instruction can be videoconferenced lectures supplemented by emailed assignments and tests. The other way to do it is by involving various forms of technology-enabled learning and software. There are a lot of e-learning platforms on the market that will help teachers deliver quality content and manage the teaching process. The goal is to preserve the quality of education while transitioning into online space.
On the other hand, it is equally important for teachers to engage students in the process. This can be done through creating interesting engaging presentations, visual and audio content. Make the learning process entertaining by organizing some virtual party or flash mob. To succeed teachers should provide students with guidance about working remotely, outline studying plan and any possible changes, ensure effective communication between teacher and students and among students, focus on engagement, compassion and flexibility.
How to learn in new realities
Education is a two-way street. As much as educators need to deliver consistent high-quality educational content, it is also crucial for students to stay on the right track and adapt to new realities. Make sure you as a student put that tech-savviness to good use and embrace the benefits of modern technologies. Look for support and assistance from your teachers and peers (whether they are your classmates or friends). Schools and colleges have online resources and help centers to support their students during this challenging time. Besides traditional education, there are a lot of online learning resources, virtual communities and blogs that can be a great source of information. Last but not least, online tutoring, which has a lot of benefits. It allows students to have a 1-on-1 learning experience, learn at their own pace and get qualified academic help on demand.
The bottom line here is that both students and teachers must recognize the professional burden placed on one another and cooperate in every possible way. Remember, #WeAreInThisTogether.