With most schools and colleges across the country closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a shift from in-person teaching to online teaching. Although many say the transaction to remote learning is temporary, the Covid-19 has made e-learning mainstream. While it’s true the online mode of education is having its moment due to the pandemic, the fact is the concept of remote learning is still new for many parents and students. Just to make remote learning from home a little bit easier, here are some tips for parents to help succeed their kids in their online classes.
Familiarize yourself with the technology
Familiarise yourself with the basics of technology before you use the virtual classroom software tool. Try to log in to the software early and get yourself comfortable. In case your school uses Zoom or Google Meet for delivering virtual classes, explore the features to get a sense of how these platforms work. Feel comfortable using basic software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Google Docs.
Understanding of computers
Online learning requires a good laptop with a webcam and keyboard. It doesn’t matter whether you use a Windows laptop or a Mac, make sure your machine is up to date with an antivirus installed. Remove any programmes you don’t use or run a disk cleanup. This will free up massive amounts of space by removing unnecessary system files, temporary files, and trash in your recycle bin.
Find out your connection speed
Figure out how fast your internet is currently. You can simply type “internet speed test” into a search engine or try speed test sites like Ookla or speedtest.net. If your speed is much slower than what you’re paying for, you may want to contact your ISP.
Keep yourself muted when you’re not talking
If you are attending a live lecture with 60 other students, mute yourself when you’re not talking. That way you don’t interrupt your classmates if the vegetable seller is shouting in the lane or a dog barks. Most video conferring apps like Zoom have a small icon that shows you when your microphone is muted. Unmute the microphone when you want to join the discussion.
Be careful of web camera
Be mindful of your laptop’s web camera if you’re attending a lecture. In fact, use a web camera only if you need to. Otherwise, unplug or cover up your webcam. Webcam spying is common these days. Hackers can infect your computer with malware and hijack your webcam and secretly watch you.
How to use smartphones as a learning tool
In India, a large section of the population lacks resources to buy a laptop and expensive broadband plan. What they do have is a basic smartphone with a data plan. For parents and their children, a smartphone is the first internet-connected device in their homes. Now that rural areas are now witnessing increasing penetration, “the digital divide” can be bridged.
Students can use their smartphones to watch live lectures and participate by asking lots of questions. With WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, students can connect with their classmates and exchange notes. Meanwhile, platforms like Zoom allow users to use a chat message during a video meeting. That feature is really helpful for students because now they can type a message that only the teacher can see. Students can also use educational apps such as BYJU’S that help them learn basic math and science concepts with ease.