Mrs. Smriti Ramisetty
Calorx Public School, Ghatlodia, Ahmedabad
From Analogue to digital, as I, pen down my shift of teaching from physical Classroom to online platforms – it’s the learning & reforming phase for me. Living with the fact that the school and its teachers, have perforce, and post-haste, pivoted from brick-and-mortar school to virtual school at a vertiginous speed.
When the Lockdown was announced, the bigger question in front of us was – How K-12 online learning will be carried out at Calorx? And the step was to find – What issues is school, students and teachers confronting in this virus-imposed mad rush from offline to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic?
After rigorous research and brainstorming, Just In the very two days after lockdown, at Calorx Public School, Ahmedabad, online learning became not an approach, but a kaleidoscope of different internet-based activities in which the focus, dosage, delivery mechanism, and degree of interaction of the online
experience vary greatly.
To sum up, our observational and non-scientific scan of “online learning” across all classes from Pre-Primary to Grade X of the school, reveals a patchwork of online technologies and offline hands-on learning, to ensure quality education for each of our students:
● Virtual Learning Environments – The “traditional” online learning—where the teachers are
conducting classes via a Learning Management System (Blackboard, Canvas, PPT, Textbook Sharing
with or without an integrated web conferencing platform like Google Classroom, Google Meet or
● Training of Staff-Members & Parents – Training of all staff members to conduct Online Classes,
use digital platforms, have the upper hand with virtual tools, was one of the foremost steps that the
school took, along with the orientation of Parents on features of our Online Platforms. It is helping the
school to put everything at its place on a day-to-day basis from initial lockdown to lockdown 2.0 and
there is no looking back.
● Well-Planned Web conferencing & Virtual classrooms – The school is using synchronous, & “Face-
based” instruction via a webinar platform, like Zoom. Here, where life goes on as before school
closure because here the day to day instruction was already blended and learning online was built into
the system via platforms like Google Classroom, Skype call, Google meets, Webinars, Video-
Conferences or other “virtual classroom-like” tools. A timetable of sessions is well planned and shared
well in advance. But at the same time, the convenience of teachers is also taken into consideration while
setting the timetable of online classes.
● Self-paced learning with curricular resources – The school is uploading curriculum resources and
instructional materials (e.g., teacher videos) on a school’s portal or Facebook Page or emailing
resources to students who complete these activities, either “doing” them online or submitting digital
products to their teachers via email. The best videos sent by the pupils are acknowledged and given
their credits on the school’s Facebook page. These Co-scholastic videos are used as capsules to ensure
pupils’ creative learning engagement at the comfort of home.
● Celebration of Important Events & Festivals – In the effort to ensure that pupils don’t miss out on
important events and festivals, the school teachers run the children through discussions, shorts films,
documentaries to highlight the significance of the day. The link is also shared with parents so that
they can watch the same later with family at their own pace.
●Offline work with online delivery – The school is encouraging all its students to do their textbook-
and workbook-based assignments/worksheets posted by the teachers and either by sending photos of
paper-based work or transferring to Word documents and sending them to their teachers via email.
● Self-paced learning with externally provided content – The school is sending playlists (links,
teachers’ self-curated chapter-based videos and co-scholastic videos) or interactive lessons to the
students and asking them to watch and perform as “enrichment activity.”
● Integrated and differentiated forms of online learning – Designed especially for pupils who miss
out due to low internet connectivity, or needs extra help academically, the teacher gives them
● Non- Print-based instruction – The school is using none of the approaches, which sends students
home paper-based packets, or regular textbooks, and/or which are providing no instruction to students
at this time. Learning Online at Calorx is fun, with interactive discussion and audio-visual aids.
●Rigorous Monitoring of all Online Classes – One of the senior team members is always a part of the
session. Moreover, feedback from parents and students is taken on a regular basis. Our Online
Sessions are open for the parents to participate. Hence, regularly, each of our online classes witnesses
90 – 95% attendance.
● A regular dose of motivation for all staff members – We believe in leading by example. Hence, initially,
the Senior members of the school tried and tested the online platforms, then invitations were sent to all
staff members to join the same. Once every week, all heads of the school have a stress-busting casual
meeting with all staff members via online platforms, wherein we all share the new digital learning that
each one of us had during the past week. We celebrate each member’s achievements, we also share the
areas of improvement, so that each one is cautioned about the loophole in the technology. And also share new available platforms and opportunities for learning. We also stress upon parents for joining us for the sessions. Professional development programs & Self-Enrichment training – The school is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure teachers’ professional and mental well-being. Throughout the lockdown, the staff members are engaged in Webinars and Video Conferences at National and International Levels. The Staff members, on the guidance of the school heads, have also enrolled themselves in Online courses & classes, which have infused a spirit of competition and instilled an up-growth outlook.
● Challenges while implementing online Classes –
# Parents support – Parent orientation Sessions were organised for giving step-by-step guidance of usage on pre-planned occasions. Yet few parents failed to attend the session, few others were not clear about the instruction, so they needed one-to-one guidance later on. Especially the parents in junior classes, come to our online classes, where few male parents come in front of the camera (as in, wherein form) casually, which is sometimes very embarrassing for young female teachers. Thereafter, dear Education Community, if a few parents come to you with concern that we don’t have enough devices at home as both of us are working. Trust us, these are ladders to address new challenges.
#Training all the teachers – Training of all our teachers, especially the old (Senior) teachers was a challenge. We had to provide micro-level training to all these teachers, including, mock sessions in small groups to clear all their queries. So, if a teacher tells you, their internet data for the day is over, so he/she can’t perform any pre-designated work, believe us, you as a leader, have managed to create ripples of change.
#Technical glitches at times – Low /Slow Internet Connectivity is one of the biggest challenges we still face on a day-to-day basis. Privacy errors, group setting changes to maintain the confidentiality that occurs from time to time gives us reason to wear thinking hats each day to stay upright digitally.
● Advice for schools who wish to implement online classes for their students too – As Educational
Institutes, we must Use Online Platforms not just to educate the children but to draw the families closer to each other and the school. Make your classes lively and interactive. Keep your classes open to serve the bigger community of children across the boundaries.
● Response of the parents – The Parent community applauds the sincere efforts and tireless spirit of our
teachers, the messages & testimonial videos sent by the parents celebrates the teachers’ – the unheard Heroes of the Community – hard work, who irrespective of all shortcomings – responsibility towards their family, tolls of household work in absence of domestic assistance are making, both the ends meet, in a commendable manner.
● Lessons our school learned while conducting online classes – Where there’s a will, there is a way.
Nothing is impossible for this most evolving group of human species, the teacher who plays the role of a
friend, philosopher, mentor and guide. Our teachers, as old as 50 + years and Grandparents as old as 80+ years have learned to handle Google Classrooms, School’s portal and Zoom Sessions, through our orientation sessions.
Throughout the journey, we have come across children from single-parent families, troublesome joint families, struggling families, and we deeply felt that all these parents and students need to be heard and counseled for their Emotional Well-being and distress. We as an Educational Institute have a huge role to play in their lives and provide them the feeling of relief and care for during quarantining. For the same, we keep organizing Webinars and counseling sessions.
It’s Lockdown 4.0 for the Nation, and there is no looking back for me and my team members at Calorx Public School, Ghatlodia, Ahmedabad.