6) What is Learnt from Online Trends in School ?

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

for the parents

Locale: India
Strata: Pre-primary

Unprecedented scenarios of a problem come with untested trials of its solution. Days of crises, although being urgently coped by implementing multiple solutions, is also of the time to gather data for testing the efficacy of such solutions, hence find difficulty to impose practical regulations on each of the solutions, unless contemplated mostly theoretically. Therefore, based on expedience urged and experience shared so far, the lessons learnt are assorted below as per the groups involved in Online Education.

  1. Children – should be helped to understand the reason behind online class, the scenario the world is going through, by teachers and parents as well, so that children can get accustomed to whatsoever online methods a teacher is using. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”-MLK,Jr.
  2. Parents – should not dictate schools on the choice of methodology to be applied, but must continue to provide feedback, including the positives, otherwise the methods, though preferred by many parents, could be discontinued due to lack of mention of positive feedback by those many, amidst aggressive mention of negative feedback by a few. “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.“-Martin Luther
  3. Teachers – should innovate and suggest methodology to improve the teaching process during the pandemic, such that the chosen method benefits all of the children with least fallout in the long run. “All labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.“-MLK,Jr.
  4. Schools – should proactively revise the structure of the fees, including the reduction of amount heads like school-bus charge if any, and administer regulatory standards of online teaching, such that the decisions bring ease to both parents and teachers as well. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.“-MLK,Jr.

A problem of trending, is that it does not consider the alternate minor paths which too could have become trends, if supported, with its own set of benefits. While survival is of the fittest, the trend is of the most successful as well as most popular, unless enforced differently by regulatory authorities and stakeholders. It is such teaching enforcements, when amassed statistically, can fixate the course of the future generation, be it for better or worse, if driven by popularity of ideology rather than clarity of methodology.

Idea Suggestions

Discourse :

  • Previously What is Trending out of Online Shots in Pre-Primary School ?

5) What is Trending out of Online Shots in School ?

“We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone; we are not alone when we imitate.”

– Eric Hoffer, an American social philosopher and Bruce Lee, a Chinese American martial artist philosopher

for the parents

Locale: India
Strata: Pre-primary

A reform not only substitutes the old with the new, but a part of the old is cast off as irreplaceable, while a part of the new is added up as irreversible. Moreover, for the part that is substituted, it is either not homologous if analogous, or not analogous if homologous. More are they structurally same, the more different functionally they are. Indeed, among all alternatives, the Online Live imitates the old school offline mode the best, but not without its own set of challenges, a few of which are stated below.

  1. Dedication – Lacking school environment and real face-to-face instructions from teacher, cannot reinforce desired behaviour of little children during class hours. This could result into children playing with uneducational toys during online live class, simply due to the sheer availability of various soft-toys at home, unlike at onsite schools.
  2. Discipline – During class hours, switching technological all-in-one mute option by teacher, shall not permit chat among little children. The option of socializing with friends is mainly available during break-time/recess at onsite school which is immaterial during online live distance education at home.
  3. Determination – The adherence to the subject being taught, is a matter of abstract interest being developed in the topic, rather than the tangible interaction with the teacher. Greater interests can be inculcated with various educational tools, that can be made available through Recorded Video of Digital Education instead of Live Chat of Online Education.

Owing to the delicate and intricate nature of children, the simulation of the offline for pre-primary is very unlikely to be as straightforward as the online for post-kindergarten children, whose behaviour is already half-trained with above attributes. Nevertheless, the mitigation of difficulties with above 3D aspects in the arena of Online Live class, requires innovative methods, hence unseen, untested and unproven before the necessity posed by a crisis. Until the capture of trending data and analysis of its effects, it is advisable to have faith on the teachers’ intuition so as to allow a uniform chance to untrending ideated methodologies, that might turn out to be better or as good as the trending ones.

Online Trending

Discourse :

  • Upcoming What is Learnt from Online Trends in Pre-primary School ?
  • Previously What is Overshot by Online Expectations in Pre-Primary School ?

References :

4) What is Overshot by Online Expectations in School ?

“The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives …

The education of the senses has, as its aim, the refinement of the differential perception of stimuli by means of repeated exercises.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator best known for her writing on scientific pedagogy

for the parents

Locale: India
Strata: Pre-primary

Expectation, when translated into demand, can enforce fulfillment, whereas demanded by inexperienced, can render a new possibility into an improbable event, even if the event is favourable. Such is called overshoot, implying an aim too high to be correct. Likewise, in contrast to popular demand of Online Live Education, the usual disregard of Digital Education is given below, in terms of its few benefits, especially for the sake of pre-primary children.

  1. Visual receptivity – silent learning materials, are often not preferred by some parents due to no display of face of the teacher talking live.
    1. Pictures/Photo – relate the real world with means beyond bookish layouts ; this is popularly known as flash cards in offline mode of learning.
    2. Animation/Video – develops the ability to cerebrate a scenario only by seeing ; this has been missing in offline learning so far.
  2. Audio receptivity – pure audio clips, are repelled by some parents due to no display of face of the teacher talking live.
    1. Sounds – relate the real world with means impossible by bookish layouts ; this is a training to stimulate imagination and curiosity like going to school, outing to zoo, etc. that is otherwise not advisable during pandemic.
    2. Expression – develops the ability to focus on listening so as to cerebrate a scenario ; this is a training to improve the child’s attention, that is otherwise difficult in distance learning.

The question therefore remains with the parents and teachers, whether to envision online as a mere replacement of offline, or a new upgrade to education, that is, as a simulation of offline through virtual classes, or as an opportunity into innovation through digital lessons. Typically for pre-primary children, it is therefore necessary to embrace the present-day, not as a new normal, but so as to seek a better normal that leverages the digitization of education, irrespective of whether it employs face-to-face interaction or not.

Digital Literacy

Discourse :

  • Upcoming What is Trending out of Online Shots in Pre-Primary School ?
  • Previously What is Expected of Online Alternative in Pre-Primary School ?

References :

3) What is Expected of Online Alternative in School ?

“How would you prepare my (KG) kid for ‘public-speaking’ without coming online live ?”

– A parent demanding at parent-teacher meeting, of his child for public speaking skill at the age of learning the foreign language, in kindergarten standard ! This was notably during those days when a certain remarkable advertisement to book a coaching session on public speaking (for entrepreneurs) was flourishing in YouTube.

for the parents

Locale: India
Strata: Pre-primary

Among the alternatives of various modes, Expectation is often skewed over the one, that has either the highest frequency of Familiarity if experienced, or inversely the lowest degree of Undesirability if not comprehended. The experience by parents, of their old school, and incomprehension by children, of unnatural artificial means, have raised the expectation for Online Live sessions, hoping to simulate offline natural/physical gathering in an exact manner, thereby emphasizing particularly the following skills at kindergarten.

  1. Communication skill – Interaction with teachers
    1. Speaking – to enable “public speaking” of the language being learnt fluently
    2. Listening – to share teacher’s attention with other children
  2. Social skill – Interaction with friends
    1. Befriending – to work together with other children
    2. Playing – to have fun with other children

Astonishingly, the above expectations by parents completely overlook the possibilities of new educational benefits of Digital Education, in contrast to mere imitation of offline for old extra-curricular benefits through Online Live Education. Unfortunately, such demands lay stress on, more of lateral co-curricular skills for their children, than the primary educational literacy and numeracy at such a tender age.

Social Skill

Feel free to share your views as a teacher and experience as a parent.

Discourse :

  • Upcoming What is Overshot by Online Expectations in Pre-Primary School ?
  • Previously What is an Alternative for Online Challenges in Pre-Primary School ?

References :

2) What is an Alternative for Online Challenges in School ?

“Our job is to make sure all of the students are able to access the material with as few barriers as possible, so that no one gets an unfair advantage.”

Michael Williams, head of the social studies department at John F. Kennedy High School

for the parents

Locale: India
Strata: Pre-primary

No doubt, amidst the ongoing wave of pandemic, there are many who find difficulty in online classes, either to develop a new habit, or for genuine constraints during its implementation. The solution to the challenges against Online Live class could be Online Recorded / Asynchronous / Tape-delayed class.

Advantages of Online Recorded class :

  1. Are affordable by all parents, as it can be attended irrespective of
    1. attenuated internet speed and
    2. underdeveloped infrastructure at home.
  2. Can be viewed with convenient break intervals, yielding ease on eyes.
  3. Have flexibility of viewing time to accommodate parental guidance of little children
    1. in case of busy working parents, or
    2. in case of emergency leave from school.
  4. Can be revised at home for special cases like
    1. students lagging behind, or
    2. better committing to memory, or
    3. quick revisions prior to exam, etc.

Nevertheless, the methodology of Online Live / Real-time class has its own set of advantages which promotes its applicability well enough for collegiates without laboratory needs. Therefore, considering the intricacies of little children, the pre-primary standard could be limited to Online Recorded while those beyond pre-primary, classes could be extended to Online Live gradually as per age groups. Not one solution can fit all groups.

Feel free to share your experience as a parent.

Discourse :

  • Upcoming What is Expected of Online Alternative in Pre-Primary School ?
  • Previously What are the Challenges of Online Learning in Pre-primary School ?

References :

1) What are the Challenges of Online Learning in School ?

“With changing lifestyle patterns and excessive usage of digital screens by people of all age brackets, there is an exponential increase in the number of patients suffering from mild to severe vision problems which are preventable or treatable.”

– October 2020, Dr Mahipal Singh Sachdev, President AIOS & Chairman, Centre For Sight Group of Hospitals.

for the parents

Locale: India
Strata: Pre-primary

Other than the core problem of a pandemic like CoViD-19, the humankind faces associated challenges to go through the times of crises, which although, are being mitigated through common online solutions, but not without their side effects, especially in the sector of education, particularly for pre-primary children.

Challenges for Online Live class :

  1. Highly dependent on
    1. internet traffic,
    2. network speed,
    3. gadget availability etc.
    4. therefore insfrastructure at home, that is not always feasible for all parents, in developing countries.
  2. Strain on eyes of pre-primary children for a continuously long time period – notable that eyes are much closer to mobile / computer screen than a television set.
  3. Loss of class when absent during
    1. sick leaves of children, or
    2. emergency cases of parents, especially amidst a pandemic uncertainty.
  4. Supposedly higher cost of initiation / operation, hence substantially higher school fees, that may not be affordable by all parents of heterogenous financial capacities, especially under a pandemic economy.

The strenuous long-term effect of online live real-time classes on preprimary children’s eyesight are seemingly overlooked by many, due to lack of historical cases about such. During this pandemic, everyone, every school is passing through experiences that are new, and policies whose consequences are new, unseen in the past. It would take about no more than 10 years for the adverse effects, of excessive screentime/earplugtime under the guise of education, to be significantly observable and by that time, it could be a bit late for that generation, thereby leading to movements for reform/improvements from next generation onwards. Therefore, it is better to have faith on trained teaching skills and intuitions of the professionals than comparing unproven different methods of different schools, better to stay safe than taking risks with little children, especially in the landscape of underdeveloped/developing countries where digital practice is still very young.

Shortsightedness, Screentime

Feel free to share your experience as a parent.

Discourse :

  • Upcoming What is an Alternative for Online Challenges in Pre-Primary School ?

Glossary :

  • AIOS – All India Ophthalmology Society

References :

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