The Transformation from chalk duster to Digital Teacher
| Dr. Shahid Amin Trali - 01 Sep 2020

There is a significant change in the education system after the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have started conducting online classes, but, as much as it seems easy, it isn’t. The teaching pattern is nowhere similar to what is taught in physical classrooms. Our honorable Delhi High Court has also mentioned in the recent judgment that “conducting classes online is a task in itself; it is not as easy as it seems.” 
 Today we are here to discuss the upcoming changes in the education system. We are shortly heading towards redefining curriculum, design, teaching pattern, and re-inventing our teaching pedagogy. 
 One thing that I would like to mention here is that teaching virtually is as crucial and significant as much as campus learning. The teachers need to be equally active during the online class and make it as engaging as possible even if you are taking classes sitting at home. 
 Talking about the curriculum, a lot of you all might be thinking that we are facing significant challenges due to the online teaching system. Well, I don’t think it is as difficult as we believe it is. As we all know, the academic plan of all major institutions is available online, including the AICTE curriculum module; now, this eventually makes it easier for the aspiring learner to go through the teaching modules as per their convenient time. 
 Coming on to conducting online classes, like we are having one right now with the help of an online conference call method. The technological advancements have made it easier for us to connect with the students; there are various applications available online, which can help you to conduct webinars and lectures online. Apps like Google Meetings, GSuite are the most reliable applications to conduct sessions virtually. 
 If not that, we can make use of Mega meeting, Facebook connects, Adobe Connect, etc. Some of these applications are paid, whereas few just require a user id to operate. The government of India is also planning to launch the “Say Namastey” app, an endeavor to design a better platform for online teaching and learning. So I believe having such an advanced platform to offer the best virtual learning experience, then it is no challenge to conduct classes online. I think these platforms make it easier to keep a record of attendance as well. Talking about assignments and notes, we can record these sessions online so that the students can have access to the notes anytime. Tools like Microsoft whiteboard also make it easier to explain topics clearly and save the notes on the drive to refer later.  
 Further, we will talk about the blended learning model and the flip learning model. 
  Talking about Flip learning, flip learning refers to mirror image; for instance, when we discuss preparing notes for the next session, we refer to one or more sets of books. Now, this has been the case for quite some time; we have been referring to age-old learning modules and content to conduct classes in the present. Teachers should opt for teaching through the internet. Live screening, sharing lectures by professors across the globe, and having a healthy discussion about the same is what teachers need to implement to make the learning sessions all the more engaging. 
 Another thing that the teachers can do is to share the topics with the students a day before the class. Now, this makes the student curious to stand out and know a little more about the session before the class the next day. Its a fact that none of us are experts about what we teach; teachers are learners throughout their life. If we allow students to share their ideas about what they think about a specific topic, then it gives the teachers an exposure to learn from the student’s perspective as well. It is essential to have a healthy discussion in the classrooms, with a little brainstorming.
 Coming onto Blended learning means conducting classes with the help of different content available on the web posted by professors and educators across the globe. For instance, when a teacher carries the content of let’s say a Harvard professor, in the form of audio, notes, or a video, it provides a student to learn via different mediums and also breaks the monotony of the class, making it more engaging and fun for them. At the end of the lesson, however, the student will remember about the concerned professor, let’s say, Prof. Mishra, and not the Harvard professor, whose video was played during the session.
 How to Conduct Online 
 So to conduct a class online, all you need is either a laptop, a smartphone or a camera, and a helping hand. Apart from that, you need video tools and applications to make necessary edits in your videos or something that helps you to conduct classes online. It essential to make sure how you look throughout the session because your appearance tells a lot about you as an educator.
 Along with that, it is crucial to maintain proper body language while conducting the class. If the professor seems tired or lethargic, it makes the learners disinterested in attending classes. The way we sit, stand, walk, talk shows how much we are involved in the session. At times, teachers unintentionally create scenarios that either distract the students or makes them notice their weaknesses; it is essential to be aware and active throughout so that the students take the lessons seriously. Avoid repetitiveness during the class; make sure you know what you are teaching and are well aware of the topics of discussions.
  It is essential to deliver content that the student remembers for a lifetime. It is important because who we are and what we look like is not something that lasts longer, the students recognize what we teach them, and that is essential. While conducting an online class, it is necessary to have a basic knowledge about the technology to avoid any hindrances between the lecture. Along with that, it is imperative to make sure if you are familiar with the platform.        
 The most challenging part of online learning is the lack of human interaction, which makes the students disinterested after a particular time. The session can turn boring for a student if he/she is continuously looking at the screen for more than 20 mins. Human brains come to a saturation point, after which it gets difficult for us to pay attention, and we can get distracted easily. To avoid such obstacles, I’d suggest the teachers should not stretch the lectures for more than 20 mins. 
 Lastly, it is vital to plan the session before going on record or conducting the class online. It is essential to keep the notes of what is to be covered and have healthy discussions so that the sessions are engaging for students. 

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