The paradigm shift has not been easy for any of us; and honestly, nothing can ever replace the human touch, the physical presence of a teacher in a class full of students, buzzing with vibrant activity but given the scenario, there was no choice but to shift towards a win-win situation and ensure that the virtual learning platform comes as close as it can to the real thing!

Below are a few FAQ’s related to online learning:

  1. How do we ensure than the screen time is reduced as the learning is online?

    Some might point out that online classes pose the problem of too much screen time. However, we are doing the balancing act.

    • We shortened the day duration of the classes with 15 minute breaks in between for the students.
    • Our younger children are being kept engaged through interactive games, individual research projects, activities around art, music, dance and drama as well.
  2. Due to pandemic has any of the school events or activities been cancelled?

    As a school we have ensured that all the events and activities are conducted as planned for the students.

    • Our New Parent Orientation sessions have been conducted online.
    • The crowning event was the Virtual Graduation Ceremony for our batch of 2020. Even though it was virtual, the sentiment and emotion of such an occasion was palpable.
    • Co-curricular and extra-curricular classes were conducted online as well.
  3. How have we ensured that online learning is safe?

    To ensure complete safety of the students there are set rules for teachers while scheduling online classes. We have insisted that students maintain a decorum appropriate to a school setting.

    • Waiting room should be enabled.
    • Screen sharing, chatting and renaming of the participants should be dis-allowed.
    • Classes to be locked after the roll call so that no unwanted members enter the class.
    • Personalized password to be set.
  4. How do we ensure discipline is maintained in online learning?
    • Students to log with their actual names and no pseudo names will be allowed.
    • To keep the web cam on at all times during the class.
    • Virtual backgrounds to be discouraged.
    • To dress appropriately.
    • Eating during class time will not be allowed. However, the student can have water at any time.
    • Maintain a right posture during class. Lounging position will not be appreciated.
    • No student to leave the virtual classes without teacher’s permission.
    • Students to login prior to the commencement of the class, wait in the room enabled by the teacher, login must be by name so that teacher can identify and allow entry.
  5. What has the pandemic taught the students?
    • It is so heartening to know that our children are spending time amidst family, contributing in their own way to help at home.
    • There is a new respect for household matters which otherwise, children tend to take for granted.
    • This global crisis has taught us all self-management and life skills.
  6. Which are some of the applications used to aid online learning?

    While we had already been using several online platforms to add to the learning, now it has now gained full momentum:

    • Collaboration platforms like Zoom for live video communications have worked very well for us.
    • Digital learning management systems like;
      • Google Classroom to help classes connect remotely, communicate and stay-organized
      • Google Forms for Quiz
      • Google App extensions such as the Cloud Audio-Recorder
    • We have been using web- based resources for teacher-driven / self-directed learning content.

      • Quizlet- Learning flashcards and games to support learning in multiple subjects
      • Jamboard- An interactive whiteboard useful especially for Math, Science and Art Teachers
      • Seppo- A Gamification platform for teaching
      • The flipped classroom methodology is also working well
  7. What has been done to ensure that the socio emotional development of children has been taken care of as well?
    • Children love to talk, to share, they wish to be heard; Our counsellors have created a virtual space - A space to listen, care and share, We have class discussions on a variety of topics including personal anecdotes of how they are coping, their fears and apprehension, conversations around resilience.
    • We are working in close partnership with parents; they all are thankful to school for the tremendous job teachers are doing to keep children engaged through the day; it leaves them free to do other stuff knowing that their children are ‘in class’!
    • Even though co-curricular activities are not a part of the core curriculum, they play a very crucial role. A co-curricular class between their regular classes, gives the students a break from the tedious pressure of concentration and written work. These classes provide intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development which play a fundamental role in their holistic development.

    What started with initial hesitation, resistance and inhibition, was soon replaced with confidence and the teachers were soon on sound ground taking on the challenge head on!
    And today, we are far more tech savvy than we ever imagined we would be in so short a time!
    Figuratively and literally, it is all in the mind; if one sets one’s heart to do something, it can be done!

    We say this with pride. ABWA has its heart in the right place!