THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The shift to online mode after the pandemic outbreak has prompted many teachers to change their methodologies and devise new ways to keep children engaged and help them understand concepts better. The use of augmented reality (AR), multimedia content and mind mapping tools to assess a student’s work, and reducing pen-and-paper usage during the classes are few of such methods. Lettisha Denny, a kindergarten teacher at Nirmalamatha Central School, Thrissur, was sure she would not be able to replicate her offline practices in the new setup.
That was when the school management decided to introduce AR through TutAR, developed by Thrissur-based Infusory Future Tech Labs, thereby giving a whole new dimension to learning.Lettisha has been using AR for her classes for a year now. “Aurmented reality-blended learning tools is making online classes more interesting for children. Though the sudden shift to online mode had made it difficult for teachers, who had to improvise, we were able to improve our knowledge about various technologies to for making classes better and more interesting,” she says.
There are around 22 teaching and learning tools available online to help assess the progress of the students, which is one of the main challenges in the era of online education, says Lettisha. These tools help teachers and students adapt better to the changing system.
“Using AR has helped grab the students’ attention for a longer period. Parents have also started sharing regular feedback and are also equally involved in providing training to children at home,” says Lettisha, who also trains teachers in blending technology with remote learning.
For hearing and speech impaired children
Unlike other children, there are many challenges when it comes to imparting online classes to hearing and speech impaired students. However, many teachers have found a solution. Silvy Maxi Mena, a teacher at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) says, “Even before the pandemic, we had been taking classes for hearing impaired children using technology as it helps them understand the subject quickly and easily. Since sign language is used to explain things, internet connectivity has to be good.”
Silvy has been using images, presentations and even recorded videos to explain the subjects to her students. “Though I use various teaching tools, some of the techniques such as face-to-face counselling and other similar teaching methods cannot be practised now,” she says.
Shift in dance and music classes
It is not just the academic institutes that are adopting various technological solutions. Dance and music classes have also started making the best use of technology available to make teaching and learning easier for teachers and students.
Carnatic musician Nandini N J takes online classes for a batch of beginners and her regular students.
“I have been conducting online classes for my students in other states and abroad for several years. However, it was only limited to people who had already received advanced level training. But now, I am conducting online classes for even the beginners,” says Nandini. Strict timings are followed and classes are held via Google Meet and Google Duo in batches of 6 to 7 people , says Nandini.