One key element in learning that is undergoing phenomenal change at the moment is the language of instruction — surely, a new lingo is evolving around the new system, absorbing the limitations as well as advantages of tech-enabled e-learning.
A phrase often heard in a traditional classroom was ’keep quiet’. This is now being replaced by ‘mute it, will you?’ Those who used to ‘bunk’ are now ‘switching off the video’. Teachers and some students in
The pandemic transformed the meaning of classroom learning, said
We have moved on from four-walls to the rectangular screen. Display boards are replaced by websites; desks by workstations and cupboards by Google Drive. Despite this, what remains constant is the everlasting bond between the teacher and student,” she said.
“I could not imagine being able to see the inside of my teachers’ homes. Though far apart, online learning has brought us closer in ways that we never imagined,” a student told Madgaonkar.
Anusha Mani, elementary teacher at
“When I un-mute to speak, either my parents or siblings start speaking in the background or the neighbour plays music loudly,” Benita recalled. Students who earlier used to say, “ma’am can you please repeat are now saying ma’am there seems to be an audio lag / you have frozen on screen – can you please repeat what you just said?”
The biggest advantage of online learning is accessibility… downside, however, is extended screen time and a sense of social isolation amongst children as it lacks the warmth of face-to-face interactions, thereby leading to lack of communication skills…
— Dr Rajeev Singh, Orchids The International School
Grade nine student
Naina Chougule, secondary school teacher, said: “The one phrase I keep using is – are you there? – when no one seems to appear in the video. I keep asking the students to switch on their videos.” According to DPS
Today, the classes are so quiet, she said, as online teachers are forced to ask students to speak up saying — “you are here to interact, not remain silent.”
Prusty further added: “To the younger children, we used to say, ‘please stop talking! Don’t make so much noise, please’. Today teachers are instructing, ‘please mute your microphone. Unmute yourself only when your name’s called.”
The other common phrases teachers use in online classes are: ‘Am I audible? Can you see the screen I am sharing? I will ask you to log out from the class. Why aren’t your microphones/cameras working, especially when I ask you a question?’… and so on. Earlier, when some students used to ask questions at the end of a class, teachers would say: I shall get back to you tomorrow/come to the staffroom and I shall explain. Today, though, teachers tell students: ‘put your doubts in the chat box. I will clarify after the class or you can WhatsApp your doubts to me and I shall clarify’.
The homework is submitted on mail or WhatsApp — the teacher says, “I want all your essays in my inbox by tomorrow/submit your homework on WhatsApp by tomorrow, or I shall not send my feedback before the exams.” What is absurd is the teachers themselves used to tell students not to engage in social media.
Bridgette Kunder, a primary and elementary school teacher told BM: “I have to keep asking the primary kids to mute themselves and listen. Small talk that never happened in offline classes is now important – ‘Did you have your breakfast? What did you eat? – that sort of thing.”
Dr Rajeev Singh, the head of academic implementation at Orchids – The International School, explained: “The biggest advantage of online learning is accessibility. This ensures students do not have gaps in academics. Students and teachers do not have to reside in the same city. However, students dropping off is a disadvantage. Some parents faced challenges in getting a laptop and internet; some faced issues in affording children’s education due to loss of jobs. Another downside of e-learning is the extended screen time and a sense of social isolation amongst children as it lacks the warmth of face-to-face interactions thereby leading to lack of communication
skills. Online education, which solves the accessibility problem, has its shortcomings.”
Pre-pandemic, a teacher would say: “I want all assignments on my table tomorrow morning positively. Otherwise, you will miss the PT period.” Thankfully, students have nothing to worry about missing the PT period anymore.