Recent experience during the Covid 19 lockdown, the teachers/educators were into one of those situations for which they have Professional Development throughout their life as a teacher, that is , inquiry learning. One of the key ideas is emphasised throughout , that teachers should be 'innovators'. That was put on trial in this 'Covid' journey. Teachers rose to the occasion and acted well. They, bulk of teachers, got used to the 'Online Delivery' of lessons. Although, it is challenging, teachers learned how to use the tools of 'Online' presentation, like Zoom, Google Meet. They experimented with online whiteboards, touch screen computers. Some of the teachers went along with real chalk and board at home. There were no dearth of enthusiasm, questions and queries. But did it work? That is the grand question which will be raised by the teachers' community for a long time.
To partly answer the question we must address a few other elements in education, like the other stake holders in education, for example, administrators, parents, caregivers and business matters. Most important variable is the learner, they drive a major part of it. Their attitude, behaviour and attachment to the existing community. Have they developed or trained to be RESPONSIBLE, Self-driven learners? Or is our curriculum designed to make them 'autonomous' learner? How often we address the 'value' aspect of learning? What does 'result' in a learning process mean; just 'grades', 'credits' or percentages students achieve?
Extract from today's The Economist :
" Universities everywhere have made valiant efforts to function remotely. A few, such as Californian State University, say they will continue teaching only online next year. Ms Maleka doubts that distance study works. She gets top marks, but laughingly admits she has "no idea" what she has learned after being at home since March. It is too easy to ignore lecturers who appear by video, she says, and some hardly set assignments. Like other students, families and faculty, she craves in-person learning."
"Teaching is the process of attending to people's needs, experiences and feelings, and intervening so that they learn particular things, and go beyond the given". As perceived and seen by me: 'Grand Ma' factor, as grand mother only stands at a distance and encourages the beginning walking baby to walk forward. Baby falters, struggles, falls and unconvincingly stands up again and again; eventually the outcome is a 'wonderful walk' , a walk forward. Grand ma provides the driving element, tries to implant the confidence, the inner urge and passion for doing that. Can we do all that 'virtually', online? A big question.
Next time I will dig deeper with the 'technological' part of online learning. Stay tuned.