Role reversal in virtual class around Calcutta
- A group of Class XII students were attending an English class, but the teacher was not sure how many of them had logged in for the class. A student showed the teacher how he could track the number of students online.
- A teacher taking a psychology class felt disturbed by the background noise. A student suggested that he ask all participants to mute the audio.
Schools have asked teachers to conduct online classes but many of them are struggling to find their way with the tech tools. Coming to their rescue are students or their teenage sons and daughters.
Be it uploading content, tracking students or conducting a glitch-free class, it has not been easy for many teachers.
“Whenever there is a problem, students turn teachers and help,” said Anuradha Das, the director of Garden High International School.
Students are not the only ones offering help. Mayukhi Ghosh was woken up by her mother in the middle of the night because she was unable to upload assignments.
“One day my mother woke me up at 2am to upload some content. I have helped her create Google classrooms and set up assignments that can be uploaded,” said the Class XII student of Modern High School for Girls.
Mother Nupur Ghosh is slowly becoming a pro. “I am using Google classroom and my daughter showed me how to track students. When I was uploading storytelling content for Class VI, she taught me how to add an audio clip to a presentation,” the vice-principal of Mahadevi Birla World Academy said.
In some schools, teachers are being trained in the know-how of technology but it is not always enough and some of them said it’s only when they take a class that the hiccups start surfacing.
“The young teachers do not find it that difficult but it is not so easy for those in their late 40s and 50s. It takes time to get familiar,” said a 47-year-old teacher of a south Calcutta school.
When a group of students logged in for a virtual class on Friday, the ambient noise was too loud.
“We told Sir to ask everyone to mute their microphones while listening to the lecture and switch it on only when they have a question,” said Class XII student Chandra Bhushan Ray.
Teacher Biswajit Majumdar was able to take the rest of the class peacefully. “It’s a different experience from what I have had so far in class,” said the head of the department of English at MC Kejriwal Vidyapith.
In one of his classes, some students could not connect because of weak Wi-Fi and one of them suggested the lecture could be recorded and sent to them instead of the class being cancelled.
“My friends and I suggested to our teacher to use the web version of WhatsApp to make it easier for them to check assignments instead of reading it on a mobile screen,” said Arjesh Gupta, a Class XII (A2) student of Garden High International School.