It’s all about e-classes during the lockdown in the Kerala capital

Girija Chandran of Regatta Dance and Music School during an online teaching session

Girija Chandran of Regatta Dance and Music School during an online teaching session   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Online teaching becomes the order of the day in Thiruvananthapuram

Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak that has led to a lockdown, several schools and colleges in Thiruvananthapuram have shifted to online education to continue teaching during the quarantine. And while some use apps like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet as virtual classrooms, others say they’re ensuring the security of students while using Zoom.

Vishwajith G of L’ecole Chempaka, attends an online class

Vishwajith G of L’ecole Chempaka, attends an online class   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

These days, Vishwajith G, a class 10 student of L’ecole Chempaka, attends class from the comforts of home and taps his way into virtual classrooms through a laptop. A fresh lesson awaits him as video links posted by his teachers, all related to the topics being taught.

Arpita Aji of Sarvodaya Central Vidyalaya

Arpita Aji of Sarvodaya Central Vidyalaya   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Arpita Aji, a class 10 student of Sarvodaya Central Vidyalaya, however, uses her mom’s smartphone to download the day’s lessons, notes and assignments. Arpita works through the assignments, clicks pictures of the completed work and uploads it on the app on the due date. Her teachers revert with comments and corrections. Medical student Parvathi S Hari’s classes currently comprise of lecture notes, slide presentations and YouTube video links on the topics taught at Government Medical College Trivandrum.

Parvathi S Hari

Parvathi S Hari   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Although this is not a new dimension in terms of teaching and learning, not every teacher has the experience with e-learning. In fact, several educational institutions organised orientation sessions for their teachers on how to adapt to online classes and make learning fun and effective through virtual classes before beginning online sessions for students.

A online session by Goethe-Zentrum Trivandrum

A online session by Goethe-Zentrum Trivandrum   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

After an introductory programme for its teachers, Goethe Zentrum Trivandrum, conducted peer practice sessions, wherein the teachers held mock classes with each other, before launching regular lessons online. To ensure discipline is maintained in class, many educational institutions have issued an e-classroom etiquette. It includes being properly dressed, being seated at a desk and no interruptions from parents during the class.

And although the lockdown has forced students to go online, some students are finding Internet connectivity a problem. Devi Mohan, vice chairperson of Saraswathi Vidyalaya, points out that not all students have smartphones or computers to attend online classes.

Marina Charles

Marina Charles   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

It is not just educational institutes that are adopting technological solutions to provide lessons to their students remotely. Dance, music and hobby classes are moving towards such teaching methods. Culinary instructor Marina Charles’ classes have around five to 10 students at a time. After registration, Marina shares the recipe via WhatsApp, and sends the Zoom meeting ID and password, to her students. During the interactive class, Marina demonstrates the methods and techniques in preparing the dish. Marina also shares the video of the session via Google Drive. “Students are given a lifetime access so that they can refer to it whenever they want.”

Abhradita Banerjee during an online session

Abhradita Banerjee during an online session   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Hindustani musician Abhradita Banerjee has a batch for beginners and another for her existing students. She has split the two batches into manageable groups of five to seven students for the online sessions.

The teachers of all six branches of Regatta Dance and Music School in the city began holding virtual lessons a week after the lockdown was declared. Says Girija Chandran, who runs the school: “We have been conducting online classes for our students abroad for the past two years. We are used to sharing instruction videos, holding discussions and the like online. Students of class 10 and class 12, who are usually tied up with school work and tuitions, are finding the digital shift convenient as they can check the lessons taught and practise as per their convenience.”

Anish TN

Anish TN   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Although drummer Anish TN of Thaikkudam Bridge feels that those starting drumming lessons should be taught face-to-face, “especially when demonstrating drumming techniques,” he is currently relying on demonstrations, notes and video aids to help them get it right. “Quite a number of students had registered before the lockdown was declared and were asking for the classes to begin.”

Marina says she is surprised that people from across the globe is joining her live digital class. “In fact, recently, one of my classes had a student each from London, Seychelles, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram.”

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 6:29:55 PM |

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