How COVID-19 has affected teaching and learning
Who has been aloof with the impacts and effects of COVID-19 outbreak ? Ever since the pandemic hit the country, almost 32 crore learners were stopped from going to colleges/schools. This has also affected the way they learn, what they learn and how they learn. Not only that the students are affected with the pandemic, but the educators also have been through a tough phase.
Let us understand individually the impact of COVID-19 on both students and educators.
The primary impact of the COVID-19 virus has been on the students.
With almost a year of not going to the school, the students have somewhere forgotten the rules of disciplined education. They now have a feel that education is something that can be easily availed.
But like they say, everything has a positive and a negative side; COVID-19 also had the same for students.
The students are exposed to a whole new world of education where they can easily exchange their ideas with peers across the globe. This has also built in them a sense of responsibility and eagerness to learn.
During the pandemic, students had no option but to opt for a distance learning programme. In a way, COVID-19 has promoted the format of distance learning. Students have observed well enough that the education can be availed while sitting at home as well.
The students have learnt various mediums of sharing information over the internet during the pandemic.
Google Classrooms, Zoom video calls, emails, WhatsApp group chats etc have become the new medium of sharing notes and resolving queries.
The pandemic has increased the use of soft copy as learning material and it also has made the students relatable with the same.
Notes and other important highlights are shared across the students in the form of soft copy which is rather more safe.
Because the world moved online, the students were forced to opt the online learning methods. This has increased the digital literacy levels in the country.
From a person who was non tech savvy to the person who knew all tits and bits of the technology, all have been using it.
Well, this is a point of debate here. But I personally feel that COVID-19 has enabled the students to manage their time well. This is so, because the students have a fixed hours of classes to attend, the workload is not much and hence, they can take out time to play or invest in some hobby classes.
That gives us our next positive impact of COVID-19 on students.
The students have got plenty of time to explore their hidden hobby/ies during the pandemic. They could enhance their skills pretty well, too, staying at the comfort of their home.
Apart from the positive impacts, there are some negative effects of COVID-19 on students as well. These are :
The most affected area is the classroom learning. The learning that is done within the boundary of the classroom can not be compared with the online learning.
Peer competition and discipline of learning are the most important aspects of it which clearly have been hindered in online learning.
Oh c'mon, we have seen students sitting for the class without proper learning materials. Or, without the right dress for that matter.
We need to agree on this that nutrition has taken a back seat for many of the learners. While going to school, they are restricted from certain foods like packaged and canned foods. But, while being at home, they have access to almost everything. Their nutritional values have completely fallen off.
The COVID-19 outbreak has increased pressure on the parents to make them understand certain topics because online education is still a barrier somewhere.
This increased pressure has affected the learners in a way that their parents get irritated at times and in most of the cases, don’t have enough time to do so.
On one side that we know the online education system has improved learning, this also has opened the gates of the internet. The learners have unrestricted access to the internet. There are endless things on the internet that might pollute the brains of the young learners.
Not only that the COVID-19 has impacted all the trades of the world, it certainly has affected the educators and teachers.
I know there will be a lot of the readers who would say that the teachers are enjoying sitting at home. Whereas the fact is, they are not ! They are doing double the hard work than classroom teaching.
Let us understand the positive and negative impacts of the same.
The COVID-19 has opened a new doorway to explore for the teachers. There were many teachers who used to follow the old school method of teaching. With the education being online, the teachers also had to learn vast things.
Be it, how to use a certain app or even using a laptop or computer for that matter.
Unlike the classroom method, where the teachers used boards to give notes to the students, they can easily do so by using emails or apps like Google Classroom and Microsoft Meet.
All the students get access to the notes with just one click.
The teachers also get to meet and learn from the teachers from across the globe. They have their knowledge deepened and widened. COVID-19 has surely given a great exposure to the teachers or educators.
The teachers also got a chance to work on their tech skills and knowledge. The compulsory use of this technology made them learn alot about the same.
Imagine, would a teacher intentionally change the method of teaching ? Never ! But they did. Using technology.
Out of all the good things, COVID-19 has definitely taught both the learners and the educators, the importance of cooperation.
If the learner needs help, the teacher is there. At the same time, if the teacher needs any help in the technical part, the students come to their rescue.
The teachers having access to the internet, and education being online, the global opportunities for employment have increased drastically.
This is a time when a learner is sitting in the United States and the teacher is in India. The learning process is done online which makes it easier and effective to reach out to other countries to impart knowledge.
Having said that, there are certain negative impacts that COVID-19 has laid on the teachers.
I know you might be wondering, I had put the same point in the positives as well. Why ? The answer is simply because many teachers lost their jobs during the pandemic.
A lot of parents disagreed on paying the school fee, which in turn forced the employers to lay off the teachers.
The parents here need to understand that after all the pains that a teacher takes to impart knowledge, their income comes from the fee you pay as a parent. If you don’t pay, they don’t get paid too.
The online education system has made the teachers accessible 24X7, which is inhuman. After all, the teachers also have a life. Don’t you think so ?
Asking for help at odd hours doesn’t make sense to me at all !
Believe it or not, but not everyone is camera friendly. A scenario where a teacher goes to a classroom and delivers a lecture, suddenly is sent in front of the camera to do the same. It will create a sense of discomfort initially.
This discomfort can easily be detectable by the learners which is not the correct order of education system discipline.
Though the impact has been different on the learners and the educators, yet it has left a mark. There is a very thin line between exploring the internet and being exploited by the internet. Some learners have understood the difference and have been working accordingly and there are students who have not understood that they have been exploited by the internet.
Technology is undoubtedly the best gift to mankind at this moment. But we need to understand that we don’t fall prey to it.
Students should not stop following the old school method of reading a book or a newspaper or writing. These are all the basics. We can not just neglect them.
Ending on a positive note, it’s just a phase that shall pass soon !
Meanwhile, stay home, be safe and follow the guidelines of the government for COVID-19.
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