Mangaluru: TYS redefines classroom boundaries: Learning to teach using emerging technologies

Media Release

Mangaluru, May 29: With the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, several schools and colleges around the country postponed the commencement of their next academic year. Some have yet to finalize their reopening and no deadline has been set for resuming proper teaching.

Many schools were on their usual summer break, some even extending for an extra week. Some said switching to online instructions would be temporary but the remainder of the in-class instructions have since been discontinued.

Thrown into the breach, public and private schools are setting out on an unprecedented experiment: With little training and even fewer resources, in a matter of days they are shifting from a system of education that for centuries has focused on face to face interaction, to one that works entirely at a distance.

The Yenepoya School & Pre-University College has led the way in this transformational shift within a matter of just about a week. It is the practice at this institute to provide the best support to its students, no matter what the situation to cope with their academic schedule and overall development of the students. It is impressive that the management and their entire teaching and technical team have managed to troubleshoot the mobilization of online learning programmes, tackle challenges of shortage of technical infrastructure, undertake online instructor training and handle a host of issues that come with a transition of this magnitude.

The main objective behind this quick yet efficient shift was to provide smooth transformation and adequate hand-holding to the student community to ensure that their learning is not hampered. In the COVID pandemic, the safety of students is paramount, and the online sessions ensured that there was no break in their learning in spite of the physical lockdown. It was crucial to support the students and thus ensure that there were no gaps in the learning process once the lockdown was lifted.

Laptops and systems distribution during the initial lockdown period, to ensure that educators are equipped with the requisite technology; a week to transition to remote teaching, to conduct a survey of technology needs for all the students, to virtually help prepare thousands of computers for student use, to train teachers in a whole new way of work, and to load classes onto an online platform. Imagine that!

The Yenepoya School held the first training session for its teaching staff on March 27 and by April 1, the teachers were all set to commence online classes for grades 8, 9 and 10 as well as for pre-university courses. The pre-university courses are conducted in collaboration with ‘Vividya’ (a company of IITians, NITians and doctors offering quality education and training to students for competitive examinations namely, NEET, JEE, AIIMS, OLYMPIAD, KVPY, NTSE etc). All the classes are conducted through Google meet conferencing technology with every student joining in either on desktop, laptop or their smartphones. In addition to live interactive sessions, which allow students to clear their doubts during online classes, grade 9 and 10 students are given recordings of the sessions for revision purposes.

On May 1, online classes commenced for Montessori to grade 7, in association with Leadership Boulevard Private Limited (LEAD School). The classes are being conducted via YouTube premium with a well-designed plan on a set module. Homework based on practical applications for students is based on the education department pedagogy.

The use of computerized whiteboards, through Pentabs & Microsoft Surface Pro, has further enhanced the school's teaching methodology and online class presentation.

This is an unparalleled time and can make online learning the new standard for schools and colleges. Multiple studies have shown that most students are already positive about technical learning, but for some faculty members, this is still a difficult transition. Faculty members at The Yenepoya School, however, took upon themselves the responsibility, embraced the challenge and adapted to remote teaching techniques. TYS has employed several approaches and techniques to encourage and support faculty success - A significant factor in ensuring faculty and institutional confidence when making a huge change such as this.

The Yenepoya School is one of the very few schools to have transitioned to online education, from primary to grade 10. With their excellent interactive sessions, TYS has unquestionably paved the way for new-age learning in the district of Dakshina Kannada, becoming a successful role model for other schools to follow suit and emulate.


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