During the period of the nCovid crisis, and amidst lockdowns, we have seen lots of webinars, debates, discussions, social media posts, and TV shows about digital learning, online learning, online assessments — everything technology-enabled. Education technology is possibly among the most fiercely debated topics in recent times. I run an education technology company, along with schools, where technology is plentiful.
I recently came across a video of one of my school teachers; a biology teacher. He was teaching the topic of ‘cell structure’. It was ‘chalk and talk’. He is now 88 years old; he decided to teach and got a family member to make video lessons. Nothing commercial about it.
I stayed glued to the screen for the entire session, and it was a surreal experience when I was teleported to 1977, when I was in his biology class. Surreal also because I was watching a great teacher using the ‘chalk and talk ’ method, and I was watching it on YouTube on my iPhone!!!!
I learned a few things:
I learned that a great teacher is always a great teacher, irrespective of the paradigm shifts of computers, internet, smartphones, smart classes, etc.
He, and many teachers of those times, inspired the students to learn. Can we decipher the pedagogy of those times and compare with all the cool pedagogic approaches we are proposing, and debating for now and for the post-COVID era?
Teachers with passion make learners passionate, it is contagious, and it inspires them to learn. And once you enjoy learning during the formative age in school, you will most likely become a lifelong learner.
In today’s situation, it is inevitable that we use digital and online means to keep learning and moving forward, on the education compass. It is a necessity and a convenience. Anytime, anywhere learning!
In this scenario, are we missing the passion of our teachers? Can we transmit that ‘passion’ via live video classes? I am still searching for an answer.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.