Challenges of Online Teaching – Teacher, Parent, Student, and Technology
Online teaching is not new term from last two decades. World netizen were using online teaching learning process, however it was not as important as it is in COVID-19. School, university, offices and business are heavily dependent on spot physical presence. COVID -19 lockdown was surprise decision from government. Government was not ready to do so. Nowadays world netizens are inside four walls. There is no movement outside houses, no matter whether you are netizen of France, USA, UK, Italy and a common man from a remote village of India. There are so many uncommon among these world netizens but there is one thing common that is we all have at least a Smartphone with internet connectivity. Indian students were appearing for academic session end examination, everything was as usual in 1st 2 weeks of March. Indian students stuck somewhere due to complete lockdown. Suddenly and surprisingly this lockdown compelled world netizen for rethinking about teaching learning pedagogy, a new alternative to classroom teaching and indeed online teaching becomes the soul of educational world. Online teaching becomes blessing for students, teachers and parents.
School leader and administrative officer have challenges i.e. how to develop connectivity with students. It was indeed demand of time, moreover a compulsion to keep ourselves alive. It was existential problem. How to exist as an institution during lockdown is challenge for all educational stakeholders? We are running an international school in a district headquarters. Being a school leader, administrator and a principal I thought to develop connectivity with students. Our school has good infrastructure for students i.e. smart class, sound systems, proper internet connectivity, SMS system but we could not develop a system to teach online. We had to connect with students. We have to reach with students. Fortunately, we started our online teaching process. It is indeed good experience, students are motivating, they are learning, we can say an overwhelming response by the students and parents however I faced difficult challenges too.
Teacher as a challenge as resource
When I asked my teachers for joining an orientation programme for planning i.e. how to start online teaching learning process in lockdown, it was like thunder for them moreover a powerful electric shock. Our teachers are very smart when it comes to use technology for them but technology becomes problems when they use it for teaching learning process or for school purpose. One of my senior teachers have sent me the picture of broken mobile, other called me for problems in apps installing and wanted to seek my permission from exempting her from attending online meeting. Rays of hope came when they joined the orientation progrmme, however I faced a large number of excuses and all most all excuses were based on “how to avoid these challenges”. Our focus was to start, to begin online teaching learning process and review our preparation and planning day by day. We started as pilot project in senior secondary classroom. Students were so happy and are participating in learning activities enthusiastically. Gradually we introduced it up to kindergarten. In general teachers’ intrinsic motivation to be more innovative, more creative and more hard working are missing somewhere. Only 10 percent teachers have growth mindset, remaining they are doing job as job. Every challenge is burden for them. Specifically, teachers may be well qualified or degree holders however lack of professionalism, lack of training, lack of different teaching skills, lack of intrinsic and other motivation stop them to take challenges positively and accept a new challenge as an opportunity to learn something new and to explore the mysterious world.
Parents as a challenge as resource
Since we are netizen of developing country, we have all most all facilities more or less and of course we are availing it too, however we are lacking in our mentality and in our temperament. We wish to avail and enjoy everything however our approach, our vision and our thinking stops us to accept as it is. When we talk about our parents to whom we are catering, they have too many excuses. Most of the parents are teachers, officers in different organizations, business men and farmers in our school. When we contacted them for online classes, they gave various reasons for not joining the online classes. Earlier they used to talk much about all these facilities but when we organized online classes for their wards; even so many good economic background parents talked about use of internet pack/data, poor internet connectivity at different place; interestingly no parents talked about the safety and security aspects. Paradoxical these are the parents who never hesitate to give smartphone to 8 months old child. Enough is enough when parent shared “will the school arrange smartphone for children, will the school arrange data for them”. Some of the parents disturbs during teaching. They send personal chat on teacher’s personal window, and call teachers untimely. Personally, I called parent who was facing problems and helped him installing and doing registration on the apps for online teaching. No matter these unexpected or strange demands were from a few parents but students’ participation encourages us to continue online teaching learning process. A large number of parents appreciated our innovative ideas to use technology, our approach to develop connectivity with students, our hard work, planning, preparation and the way we executed our online teaching programme.
Students’ as a challenge as resource
Initially students were so much enthusiastically to participate in online teaching learning process; however it fluctuates at different level. Overall students’ gives overwhelming response. Students are participating actively. They are completing all the assignments timely. Online teaching is one of the best alternatives to classroom teaching but cannot replace the piousness of classroom teaching learning process. Teachers are unable to fulfill the needs of different types of learners in online class. Weak learners are facing a number of problems. They could not coordinate with teacher. Integrated learning is not happening in online class. Academic weak learners are unable to cope up with the system. Academic weak learners loose the learning interest in online class, they could not respond well, unable to complete the assignment, moreover they disturb the class, in between they leave online class.
Technology as a challenge as resource
Technology also challenges us in conducting online teaching learning process i.e. low internet connectivity, poor voice, poor video quality, rumors for different app’s reliability (misuse of personal data).
As leader of school, I am minutely monitoring teachers’ participation, their hard work, innovative ideas, students’ positive response and other issues related to online teaching. Online teaching is one of the best means of teaching. Teacher, students and parents are active partner; their integrated effort to ensure learning can be happen through online teaching. Extraordinary time demands extraordinary effort for organizing online teaching learning process. Altogether I can, you can and we can ——————let’s join our hands together for the better future of 21st century world netizen.