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What Will Schools Look Like During Covid (DC) & After COVID (AC)

Webinar with Ms. Nivedita Mukerjee, Educational Advisor and Consultant

April 25 & 26 2020

Moderated by Dr. Ratna Ghose, Head of School, Capstone High

Sponsored by Capstone High School, Hoskote

We are seeing unprecedented and challenging times that are forcing the world to adopt new practices and new learning methods. These practices will be shaping the future of education and will be creating the ‘New Normal’.

The familiar saying ‘Change is the only Constant’ has never been more true and we all have to adapt and change. This webinar aimed to tackle the questions uppermost in most parent’s minds regarding the future of education. Enumerated below are some of the takeaways.

  • Education will not and cannot stop. Schools are adapting and making education available through online classes. Parents need to partner with the schools to ensure the learning goes on.
  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Schools are already working on how to best start physical classes once relevant government permissions are received. These solutions will have to consider the safety of the children and the staff and can only be done through collaboration with parents.
  • We have to assume that schools will not be physically opening in the immediate future. Therefore the work that schools are doing towards equipping themselves for blended learning will go a long way in shaping education for the rest of the foreseeable future.
  • Teachers and families have to rely on each other to sustain the growth and development of our children.
  • To avoid cybercrime parents are advised to hook their mobile or tablets to a larger screen for easy monitoring.

Social distancing

  • Physical infrastructure will have to be adapted to enable social distancing
  • Changes in playtime / lunch time need to be figured out
  • Masks and other PPE might be the new norms.

Online classes

  • Professional Development to enable teachers to conduct online classes is currently in progress.
  • Different modes like videos, ppts, actual online classes, recorded classes etc. will have to be adopted.
  • A lot of the online sessions will be self-paced. Only certain sessions will be of fixed duration and will have to be adapted based on the needs of the students and the schedule of the teacher. A lot of interaction will be needed between children, teachers and parents.
  • Modalities and rules and regulations of online classes are being worked out based on age groups, subjects etc. Through the year these will be tweaked based on what is working best. Everyone will have to be flexible to ensure that they get full advantage of the worked- out solution.
  • The success and the effectiveness of the online classes will depend a lot on the student themselves and involvement of the parents. While nothing can replace the physical presence of the teacher, the parent’s involvement will be the key here.
  • Extended families to support the children in online learning.
  • Online education for early years will be text interactive emphasizing a lot on reading and writing skills.
  • Blended learning for younger children will be a combination of home schooling, virtual learning and physical classrooms.

Assessments

  • Senior classes assessments can be done online and we have already successfully done that in March and April 2020
  • For junior classes, most progressive education schools will look at formative assessments instead of summative assessments which means year round, real time assessments will be the norm
  • Parent partnership will be key to ensure that the right mode is implemented in best interest of learning.
  • Early years assessments will be based on observation and teachers to guide parents on observation milestones.

Infrastructure at home for children

  • Enable a space conducive to learning
  • Consider the best option which suits the family budget, which might include device sharing or purchase a device whether new or refurbished
  • Parent to be available if needed while ensuring privacy for the child

How to manage learning for Younger kids

  • Invest in open-ended materials (material that can be used in many ways and can be reused like blocks, play dough, colours etc.)
  • Advantage of blended learning is that it can be done at its own pace. Parents who are working can use the recorded sessions.
  • It takes a village to raise a child and many parents are enlisting the help of extended family and friends to virtually and /or physically monitor the children.
  • Parents are advised to enroll the child to a regular school and to not take home schooling to themselves as work from home, and home schooling would be a difficult task.
  • As fine motor, gross motor, eye-hand coordination and physical development play a vital role in the early years teachers will be a good guide to the parents.

Engaging the children

  • Treat your children as a contributing member of the family and make them your helping hands
  • The emotional wellbeing of the students will have to be gauged by both parents and teachers.
    1. Teachers have to go the extra mile to spend some time with children on just an informal chat
    2. Counsellors will be available to the children when needed.
    3. Parent – teacher interactions will most likely increase in the best interest of the child .

This year may be a froth of uncertainty but schools and educators are looking at it as a growth possibility.

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