Life & Style

COVID-19: Will virtual classes change the way we learn?

Nandana Varma

Nandana Varma   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

From French lessons to dance sessions, many are logging in to keep up the learning curve during lockdown

Bengaluru-based Nandana Varma is glued to her computer these days. A class 10 student, Nandana is doing an online Edivet course, as well as one on dog emotions and another on dog cognition. “I want to become a veterinarian,” she says. Nandana is also learning French, Western vocal and how to play the guitar via the Internet. “I dislike staying idle and enjoy learning new things,” she says.

She isn’t the only one making use of the current lockdown to stay home and study. Jigin Lawrence is on a break from work. Hoping to pursue a Masters in Europe, he joined Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum (AFT) to learn French, and his classes have been shifted online until the lockdown is over.

AFT uses two platforms for their online classes – Zoom and Mon Alliance. Says Nandana, who has also registered at AFT: “Zoom is where our instructor holds our oral exercises. Our study materials are available on Mon Alliance. We can access the platform even after class hours to do our homework or simply to practise. I do feel, however, that the teacher is unable to pay each of us the usual amount of attention.”

Capablanca Chess School’s Chess@Home

Capablanca Chess School’s Chess@Home   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

However, online classes are working out to be an advantage for Capablanca Chess School, which usually conducts classes at its centre at Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram. The school started Chess@Home on April 5, an online learning platform. As Padmaesh MK, a student at Capablanca, explains, “It is similar to a normal classroom session where you can interact with the teacher. The classes comprise both theory and playing sessions.”

Vijin Babu, academic co-ordinator of the school, says it is easier to evaluate a student’s progress online. “As they have to complete their assignments online, the system monitors the number of attempts the students took for their homework, before submitting their answer. Both parents and teachers can understand the learning curve of their wards,” he says.

The school has seen an increase in admission since the lockdown began. “Apart from students from Kollam and Kayamkulam, we have students from other places like Bengaluru and Chennai enrolling online. We plan to continue Chess@Home even after the lockdown is lifted,” says Vijin.

Online Carnatic vocal lessons by Sivaparvathy Ravikumar

Online Carnatic vocal lessons by Sivaparvathy Ravikumar   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Parents, most of whom are working from home now, are turning to digital hobby classes to keep their children engaged.

Says Sivaparvathy Ravikumar, who has just added two new students from West Asia to her roster: “I run online Carnatic vocal lessons. When the lockdown came into effect, I received enquiries from across the globe.” Sivaparvathy uses Zoom and Botim to interact with her students. An app called Sruthi acts as a shruthi box for the lessons. Although she would like to teach more students, Sivaparvathy says she is hesitant as Internet connectivity is a problem. “As I prefer one-to-one lessons, I will not be able to manage class timings well if there are too many students,” she adds.

Dance class led by Sree Devi S

Dance class led by Sree Devi S   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Chennai-based danseuse Sree Devi S, who has been teaching Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattam via Skype for the past four years, was upset when her regular group of students were unable to attend lessons due to the lockdown. However, she is now pleased that everyone is showing up online. “Even my students from Canada, who were finding it hard to log on as they are confined at home with kids, are now back online,” says Sree Devi, adding that she too has seen an increase in admissions.

“I recently added a student from Punjab as well who wants to learn Bharatanatyam,” she says. Surprisingly, her students in Chennai are requesting that she continue her online classes even after the lockdown, as they find it “more convenient.”

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:10:57 AM |

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