digitalLEARNING Magazine

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Emotional Impact of Online Learning on the young..

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Dr Neeta Bali

Dr Neeta Bali
Director- Principal
G D Goenka World School
Sohna- Gurugram Road

The idea of implementing technology in the classroom is not new. Information and technology has taken off in the classroom in recent years. As the field matures, emerging firms promise to deliver exciting new resources for early learners. However, there is a big need for mindfulness and wellness practices in classrooms. People need balance and resources to help them succeed. Building healthy relationships with students is an important part of the role of educators.

General and important arguments associated with online classes are learning pedagogy, accessibility, flexibility, affordability, policy, and life-long learning. We believe that student feedback can provide important information for the evaluation of study from the home/remote model. As per some of the student’s feedback, some find online teaching boring and unappealing as the content can sometimes be all theoretical, lacks student participation and effective learning which is so different from the traditional classroom. Online learning has so much time and flexibility that students find it hard to practice discipline and time management. The students miss personal attention. Two-way interaction sometimes gets difficult to implement. Mediocre course content is also a major issue for some. This process fails to reach its full potential until students practice what they learn. Students feel that lack of community, technical problems, and difficulties in understanding instructional goals are the major barriers to online learning. In one study, students were found to be poorly performing in their assessments and under prepared in balancing their work, family, and social lives with their study lives in an online learning environment.

Also read: Online learning trends to keep an eye on as the education landscape changes

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The real life challenge to educational institutions is not only finding new technology and using it but also re-imagining its academic system, thereby helping students, parents and teachers who are seeking guidance for digital literacy. It’s not just the closure of schools. The stress the pandemic has put on families, with rising levels of unemployment and financial insecurity combined with the stay-at-home orders, has put strain on home life up and down the land. More than 50% of students say their mental health has declined since the Covid-19 pandemic began, says a survey for the National Union of Students (NUS). While the child’s intellectual development may be the most obvious victim of the lockdown, it’s not the only thing at risk. Teachers are often the first people to notice deteriorating mental health among their students and to encourage them to seek treatment, and many schools provide counseling and psychotherapy on-site. It is possible to provide some help remotely, but so-called “online health services” are far from ideal since they face exactly the same barriers that make online learning difficult.

Another consequence is the anxiety of growing up during a global pandemic, and the fear of losing family members, loved ones or friends remains to be seen. But children are highly perceptive of their parent’s and guardian’s worries and it seems likely that they will absorb some of this angst – whether it’s worry about the disease itself, the job losses, or the strains of isolation. Parents have not been given enough information about these issues and the way to deal with them. Children’s emotional needs are completely being neglected at the moment. There is very little guidance on how to cope with the stress. It’s also unclear how isolation and physical distancing may influence the development of socio-emotional skills, like regulating your feelings, exercising self-control and managing conflicts with your peers. It’s now known that time in education is essential for helping children to mature and this pause may just delay their progress. So it may be that it’s only children who are worst affected. We can only hope that parents can probably spend more time helping them personally with home tutoring for instance. Children are missing out on opportunities to expand their intellectual horizons such as music lessons, field trips, socials and trips to museums, etc. This has hit some students hard, with some finding themselves living completely alone. Loneliness and isolation appear to have had a huge impact on well being and mood, with many students socialising and meeting others far less than ever before. We lack a truly similar reference experience to try to see what happened and how to cope up with such restrictions. But children are sensitive and responsive to their environments, and early in life stress has consequences for child development, mental well being and human progress.

There are not easy but there are some possible solutions to fix these problems. Let’s try making e-classes interesting, interactive, and dynamic. In case of technical issues, pre-recorded video sessions and testing the content can be incorporated so that the whole process of the online classroom cannot be hampered. Our teachers and educators need to make extra efforts to humanize the learning process, providing the students with personal attention so that they smoothly adapt to new learning environments and processes. In order to maintain classroom discipline, teachers should set scheduled reminders for students to make them alert and attentive. Social media and various group forums can be used to communicate with students. Most importantly, effective communication is the key to connecting with students via various messaging apps, video calls, and so on utilising social media effectively. Parents, teachers, educators and guardians need to have open and honest conversations with their children about one another’s emotions. Although children are not likely to get seriously ill with Covid-19 and there have been very few deaths. But children are still the victims of the virus.

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