“Who is interested in learning?”
As a parent, teacher one thing that has changed suddenly is understanding of the term “Screen time “and “internet”. These two have become allies of Learning.
Learning is about learner’s relationship with the content shared. Be in the physical spaces or on online platforms.
For the learners, this requires them to be explorers with the content that is shared on dally basis , and individual’s ability to exert the effort, indulge in self-control, and getting prepared for critical self-assessment. This also means that learners have to overcome certain blocks in their mind about content, learning outcomes, mastery, remediation and assessment. Developing Self-Regulated Learning is more demanding for a student as they needs to take charge of their own learning environment and learn to focus upon the tasks at hand while attending classes online.
Now, Let’s look at this frenzy of “online learning and learning from everywhere!
What are some next Steps:
Here are some reflective questions that may help readers to helps their wards understand how the learning takes place in an online classroom and how to become self-regulated learner. All these questions mentioned below are assuming that the device, internet, usage of internet and bandwidth required is not a concern. Smaller the device larger the chances of getting distracted. It’s not just the “functionality of the device that is important. Our aim is learning and being able to “pay attention”, stick to tasks assigned for the duration of the class! Learning content is very different from playing on the same device! Also becoming aware of a digital footprints is crucial. Following questions may help parents and teachers create and bring in the required awareness amongst students.
- Is your child aware of the concepts involved in cyber safety security? This is crucial as chat/ exchange of websites, sensitive links/ material that is sensitive in nature can be a matter of grave concern
- Is your child aware of Cyber bullying? ( name calling, mocking other students/ blocking chats/ and other related issues.
- Is your child aware of the interface on which learning content is being shared? This makes child independent learner, for example how to upload assignments, make presentations, edit documents ,etc.
- Is your child aware of how to store, document, daily learning for being able to locate them at a later date for revision/ for reading/ doubt solving/ examination purposes?
- Does your child gets distracted by
- Videos and links shared and continues exploring the same- forgetting the original task
- By other online stuff ( is there a child safety lock, if not, how to install it?)
- By NOT doing anything, which appears to be like multitasking- Listening to a lecture, watching presentation while lying in bed or eating breakfast or walking around in the house.
Creating Self-Regulated Learners:-
This could be a good point to understand and focus upon learning, becoming Self-regulated learner. Following could be a good strategy for students from middle school, secondary school to adapt as they begin their journey as online learners. This will not only help them in retaining the knowledge but also help in building skills required for becoming a focused learner and sustain their interest for a longer duration.
Start with What kind of task is this?
- What is my learning goal?
- How will I know if I have achieved that goal?
- How motivated I am to restart/ relearn/ reengage with the same content?
- What additional information will help me build my skills?
As a learner am I sure what I am doing?
- Do I understand the tasks assigned and the sequence of the same?
- Do I take notes of the session?
- Do I seek clarifications from my peers/ teachers and reflect upon other content to solve my doubts?
- How does this new content help me build on my existing knowledge?
- How has my thinking changed for this topic now?
How will I achieve my goal? What kind of assessment will I prefer after this learning exercise?
- What are some questions that are still unanswered for me?
- Will I be able to write/ re-teach the same to other students?
In the current environment, especially where learners are trying to adapt to a new learning platform, explore the same on their own, Emotional control is a very crucial aspect of self-regulated learning.
Example:- My session is on Zoom, as a learner I keep getting distracted with tools like Emoticons/ raise your hand/ private chat with other students or start any other task while the session is ongoing…all these are distractors for learning, and in the long run have an impact on the learner.
Students are at the Centre :-
In any online classroom learning environment the student is the centre of the learning, with the instructor playing an advising and facilitating role. Many student’s struggle with reading and hence this also is very important for students to understand that the reading material shared by the instructor is an important tool in learning, it needs to be explored beyond the “download” and having a feeling that a task is completed. There is lot more to online learning, beyond upload- download..
It will help if teachers in the new learning environment understand that learner’ are going through “information explosion” they should be given time to reflect upon this information and their teaching processes should be beyond a to do list! Because of the information explosion, learners of the future should be willing to acquire new knowledge in an ongoing basis.
Goal setting could be another important aspect for learner’s today. There could be a set of simple questions at the end of every online session.
- Was I attentive for the entire duration of the session?
- What did I learn today?
- Have I taken notes of my learning and am I aware of my doubts?
- What were my distractors?
- Have I understood all the tasks that need to be completed and finally?
- Am I aware of how to submit my completed assignments without missing the deadline
In conclusion, I would like to share a story that is popular and doing rounds on social media, in the times of social distancing and learning from remote centres! The story is about how “social distancing” during the great Plague led to Newton’s theory of gravity! Schools and institutes of higher education were closed then too! There was NO technology to initiate the process of learning and it was upon learner to focus- dive deep and challenge self! COVID-19 is a unique situation, that will build, weave learning from remote centres as one of the leading aspects. It will have an impact on our perceptions about technology and learning. This will also hopefully move us away from rote learning and will aid in using effective technology for effective learning. This is the need of the hour in today’s crisis also! And importantly building a Self- Regulated learner community.