What will the New Academic Year Look Like?

As schools are set to reopen, there is a lot of apprehension about the spike in Covid cases and with it the question of mode of teaching is up for discussion. The past two years of Covid induced lockdown and its aftermath saw Online teaching become a de facto standard as schools connected teachers and students through the world of mobile phone and laptops and desktops. It was a learning experience for all involved with technology playing an important part in ensuing continuity of education.
Now, that we have learnt a lot from the pandemic induced world including Zoom Calls to Digital classrooms, things are never going to the same again. The era of Before Corona (BC) and After Corona (AC) are drastically different. Schools have learnt not just about how to deliver class content from and to different locations, but they have also been able to work out the dynamics of hygiene in an environment where strict norms are virtually impossible.

What will the New Academic Year Look Like?
One thing that has come out clear from the experience of last two years, has been the advent of digital products in the classrooms. This has enabled teachers and students to get involved beyond just blackboards. Suddenly, animation and videos have become standard features in today’s classrooms. Subjects like Mathematics which involved complex theorems and formulae have been made much more interesting and adaptable. While it’s a given fact that schools with better infrastructure and students with access to digital devices have the edge, children in remote areas, specially in government schools often struggle to stay connected. This digital divide is something that NGOs and other well-meaning philanthropists have tried to bridge by donating mobile phone and computers to schools and children studying in those schools.
But, what will schools of the future looks like? How will education get delivered in a post pandemic world? How quickly can schools get online if any future pandemic strikes at short notice?
For one, managements of schools will need a Plan B. While its an accepted fact that there is nothing like having students present physically in a classroom, there is also an alternative view that a child of today has far better options of learning by simply surfing the net. From you Tube videos to personalize online tuitions, there are plenty of options available for those who are looking for it. Many parents are convinced that their child needs a one-to-one teaching – but it’s the availability of dedicated and top-notch teachers that stumps them. Just as Work from Home became a part of today’s corporate world, the concept of Teach from Anywhere is also the new normal of today’s school education.
How does it matter where the teacher is located, as long as they can deliver quality teaching to a student looking to bridge the gap between what is taught in the classroom and what the student feels that he / she has missed out? The so-called Hybrid model is said to be the most certain possibility with online portals allowing the child to understand the lessons better in an environment that is far more personal and quieter. It’s an accepted fact that a teacher who handles a class of 30 students and more, cannot devote personal attention to each and everyone in the classroom. The brightest and no so bright student are all taught at the same level and its assumed that everyone has understood the lessons well.
Well, unfortunately it’s not so. Which is why, educators of today are advocating a mix of the traditional and modern methods of teaching. The Blackboard and Touch Screen are now working in async to create the best of both world for a student of today. Hopefully, that is the way it will stay for a few years, till technology teaches us something better.

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