Give teachers the time to learn the new normal of education delivery

The teachers are delivering lectures online, and the students are listening to them from home.

For teachers to deliver lectures in the classrooms (face-to-face) is the ‘normal’. They are trained for it. Some of them may not be good in pedagogy, average in language skills, peculiar pronunciations, may have an accent, etc. The real classrooms are the world where they have always belonged.

In the ‘new normal’, they have to deliver a lecture staring at a camera, not being able to make eye contact with their students, and not being able to see the body language of the students, assess their attentiveness, etc.

The students, on the other hand, are listening to the lectures in the comfort of their homes, but the teacher does not know if they are keenly listening and absorbing, or just hearing. Are they being distracted?

Are the parents also listening in, and trying to make their judgements and form opinions about the teachers? Will they make statements or expressions that will influence and create students’ new opinions about their teachers? Will the teacher be criticised? Is that fair?

Teachers are never used to parents sitting alongside their children in regular classrooms.  In the new normal, the teachers are conscious about possibly being watched and assessed by the parents. That can make a difference in how effective a teaching-learning session can be.

Let us not criticise or be judgemental about these teachers who are using technology for the first time. They will get used to it and will become proficient at it, given some training and practice.

For most of us, it is normal to be in conversation with friends and fellow professionals or lecture to an audience if we are regular speakers at events. But I am sure that talking to a camera and microphone, knowing fully well that it is being broadcast live, is something we have to get used to. I would be telling a lie if I said otherwise.

There is no doubt that the use of technology in education is inevitable and can make teaching-learning processes more effective. The blended model will be the new normal. The teachers and educators understand it.  Let us give them time, opportunity, and empathy so that the new normal in education will happen and be sustainable to all stakeholders.

About the author

D Sudhanva is the founder and CEO at Excelsoft Technologies, a globally renowned eLearning Solutions Company. With a focus on transforming education across the world, Sudhanva has steered Excelsoft to be a thought leader in Education Technology with robust products delivering innovative solutions.