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June Month

'Remote Learning' Webinar Conducted by District Education and Training, Salem

Mrs. Sreelatha Jayarajan and Mrs. Ambili Unnikrishnan attended a webinar on 26/6/20 conducted by Oliver Balagadoss, State Head, Pratham Education Foundation, Tamil Nadu. The webinar was convened by the Principal of DIET, Salem.

The webinar focussed onRemote Learning with the objectives to engage school children and parents to learn at home and also to share Pratham's Model of reaching children during the lock down period.

Pratham - one of the largest non-governmental organizations in India — operates with the mission of "every child in school and learning well." It has improved learning for over 75 million children in 21 of India's 29 states since its founding in 1994 (and in recent years expanded its model to ten African countries). Pratham created "Teaching at the Right Level," a pedagogical approach that groups learners by ability rather than age or grade, and this then became the basis of its renowned "Read India" program, which develops basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills in children ages 6 to 14 through fun, hands-on activities. So, when India's government announced the sudden lockdown of the entire country on March 21st, Pratham's leaders found themselves scrambling to ensure that the children they served in 11,000 villages across the country would continue "learning well" — and faring well — even without school.Recognizing the importance of finding an engaging yet accessible way to reach their students, Pratham describes their response as "have a little fun and do a little learning."

Mr. Oliver Balagadoss shared that Pratham's model worked on the following areas:

  1. Reaching out to remote children
  2. Connecting to children and community.
  3. Telecast Through TV(30min.)

He added that

  • SMS with task is sent to the children who don't have smart phone. Tasksinvolve mostly with available materials at home. Follow up is done during evenings. Learning is done involving parents.
  • Primary- Language and Maths; Middle school -Language, EnglishMaths and Scienceis focused.
  • Skill based tasks are assigned and parents are involved in the learning process.

"Parents are engaging with the children and they are seeing the progress which they are unable to see during the [regular] school days," said Oliver Balagadoss. The session focused on how crisis had actually served to increase personal connection.

Virtual Conference

Mrs. Crescentia Bartlett attended a webinar on 6th June 2020 on "OVERCOMING THE COVID 19 CHALLENGE AND BEYOND"

Feedback and implementation:

The panel discussion held on Track 2 by eminent speakers highlighted the incredible awareness and wisdom children carry with them. And so it is very imperative that we as educators need to make sure that we prepare children on ways of knowing themselves, knowing others, knowing theirs and others' emotions and lastly to be able to communicate appropriately. To quote Fredrieck Douglas, a poet,
"It is easier to raise a healthy child than to repair a broken man."

True to the words of the poet, it is therefore significant that the school must playa major role in building a community of concern for our children.

Implementations of the discussions that are possible among students:

  • Circle time and life skills can be woven into the fabric of the education system as a daily practice
  • Help children become more compassionate, reflective, empathetic, thinking and holistic children.
  • Move from illness to wellness model. ( due to the consequences of lockdown- lack of emotional safety, loss of scaffolding, loss of pleasure and joy, range of intense emotions experienced by children)
  • Building emotional resilience in children and this could be done through circle time,( talking and sharing among students) play , ( both imaginary and physical play) reading stories because stories have the power of building in resilience.
  • All the above could be done online as well.

Implementations that are possible in Faculty:

  • To sustain the institution and uphold continuous learning knowing that change is constant.
  • To be aware and sensitive
  • To accommodate and support
  • In order to take the future forward and deal with COVID 19 and it's aftermath, we as educators should tune ourselves to the new way of life.
  • Ensure continuity of service
  • Acceleration towards virtual connectivity and digital transformation.
  • Embrace the shift from ‘crisis' driven to a systematic online learning process
  • Develop models around online/ blended learning.
  • To teach children to be emotionally intelligent, change with the times, think on their feet, be creative and to develop the capabilities to ask relevant questions and find their own answers

Implementations that are possible inthe Leader/ s of the Institution:

  • Leading from the front in Crisis- schooling beyond the school and learning beyond the class
  • Help in transforming the thinking of the' team' and enable them to embrace the change. ( Both mental and emotional health of students, teaching and support staff)
  • Communicate effectively to all stakeholders
  • To build an effective team and keep the team motivated
  • To know sound HR policies so that when the community knows that the leader cares and empathises, the community delivers it.
  • Ensure equity among students
  • Keep abreast of the government guidelines through online portal
  • Take on board all stakeholders
  • Focus on managing cashflow
  • Restrictions on costs and investments
  • Flexibilization of workforce
  • Redefine stakeholders relationship
  • Building a resilient enterprise
  • Plan and implement safety measures in school
  • Shift focus from physical to digital assets and capabilities
  • Reprioritise capital spend and explore alternative financing.

The above mentioned are some of the key considerations that can be kept in mind to maintain continuity, build resilience and adjust to the new reality.

"Reactive to Proactive – Changing the Gears of Digital Transformation"

'On 27/06/2020 (Saturday) Mrs.Cressy, Mrs.Sreelatha and Mrs. Mary attended an online panel discussion moderated by Mr. Sunil Sathyavolu, Cofounder/EdSense, Mentor- Atal Innovation Mission. The Panel Members were Ms. Katheleen Naglee, Dr.Skand Bali, Ms. Fatima Agarkar and Mr.Roshan Gandhi.

The topic for the panel discussion "Reactive to proactive – changing the gears of Digital Transformation". It was very apt and relevant to the current scenario especially in the field of education. Principals, Educators and teachers took part in the webinar. The panel discussion focused on converting challenges to opportunities. They also shared their views of handling this challenging. This pandemic gave way for collaborative learning across countries.

The following are a few suggestions given by the panel members

Improve the confidence level of teachers by giving them space to raise their doubt and handhold them

  • Form a core team involving heads from each level, deliberate on the situation and take decision collectively
  • Schools can share best practices in a common forum which will support other organization
  • All stakeholders together on a single table for an effective output
  • To share the emotions of students through online , "talk time" session can be thought off.
  • Blended teaching and learning is the need of the hour
  • Include 21st century skills like critical thinking, project based learning and cross subject activities for an effective online session.

"If you're proactive, you focus on preparing If you're reactive, you end up focusing on repairing"

As a whole the session was very effective and informative.

Report on Ashoka University

Khan Academy free website can be used

  • To fill the gap in the learning process for children
  • To explain concept in teaching learning process
  • To assign homework

How to make online classes effective:

  • Peer visit
  • Peer sharing their experience (through review)
  • Grandparents story telling – online
  • Training/workshops to make more interactive class( like discussion/game/puzzle…)
  • using QR code
  • Interaction with other school students for learning

Walking an extra mile:

  • students council election
  • To understand special needs and learning disability students and train them separately
  • Counseling based on need
  • Handhold the team
  • Involving parents about the process