The novel coronavirus pandemic has put the entire world on hold as we stay quarantined indoors. With educational institutions shut down, online teaching is evolving as the most suitable means for teaching and learning during the lockdown. Shifting to online classes was seamless for the VGS staff who are continuously provided opportunities to update their technical knowhow. During these uncertain times, VGS teachers have demonstrated an admirable spirit of collaboration and team work to ensure provision of unhindered learning for students.
– Rajiv Solanki, chairman of the CBSE affiliated Venkateshwar Global School, Sec-13, Rohini (Delhi)
The Covid-19 pandemic has upended our well established systems including education. However, it has also unleashed the creativity of education leaders who are having to deal with its many exigencies including provision of uninterrupted learning for anxious students.
Amid the ongoing national lockdown, the management and staff of the co-educational K-12 Venkateshwar Global School (VGS), Sec-13, Rohini (New Delhi) have stepped up to introduce innovative online teaching-learning solutions to provide continuous learning for students. VGS has been providing a seamless virtual learning experience for all classes through an excellent blend of online pedagogies and digital technologies.
Embedding digital citizenship among learners: A set of explicit expectations for online participation, communication, and etiquette were set by the teachers before the classes commenced. Moreover, teachers ensure that instructions given are specific and to the point to ensure clarity and better understanding.
Focus on ‘Active and Blended Learning’: To provide an engaging virtual learning experience, the online lessons offer an optimal blend of discussions, collaborations, video and audio clips, and hands-on exercises. ‘Chunking’ the lessons i.e. breaking them up into smaller parts with PPTs, photographs, video clips etc ensures better understanding and comprehension. Pre-recorded lessons, audio and video clips are kept short and specific to avoid distraction and boredom. Focus is more on concept clarity rather than completion of the syllabus. Teachers provide students with opportunities to interact with peers through group discussions and group projects. Role plays, debates, open question-answer forums, flip teaching etc. are being used effectively to ensure active learning.
Making the best use of digital tools and applications: While the live virtual classes are conducted on the Microsoft Teams platform, VGS teachers use digital applications such as Microsoft Forms, Class Notebooks, Assignments, Sway etc. to maximise the effectiveness of their lessons. Students are required to turn on the video during the live sessions to ensure better engagement and learning outcomes.
Connecting conceptual knowledge to the real world: Students are encouraged to apply conceptual knowledge to concrete real world examples and reflect on their responses to the hypothetical situations, thereby ensuring practical learning.
Regular assessments and feedback to ensure effective learning: Teachers conduct quizzes and share assignments through Microsoft Forms, Class Notebooks etc to assess the level of students’ understanding and provide prompt feedback to improve student learning outcomes. Doubt clearing sessions and one-on-one personalised classes and assistance offered by teachers also help in effective learning and exchange of ideas.
Active involvement of the parent community: Active participation from parents is sought in the teaching-learning process and regular interaction/meetings with parents are conducted to seek their views and experiences with respect to the school’s online learning initiative.
Non-scholastic and life-skills education: To cater to the socioemotional needs of students and to help curtail stress and anxiety fueled by the pandemic, VGS has ensured seamless integration of extracurricular activities such as art, yoga, aerobics, music and dance into the online curriculum.
Moreover, life-skills and values education are also imparted during the morning assemblies.
“Our teachers are drawing upon their creativity and putting in conscious efforts to ensure the online classes are as engaging and interesting as possible for the students. Our prime objective is to create a personalised learning environment that allow students to flourish and not lose their enthusiasm while transitioning from the physical classroom to the online one,” says Rajiv Solanki.Posted in Campus