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Why Is It a Good Step to Set-up SOPs for Digital Education?

Several schools have started taking online classes to help the students to bridge the education gap which is created due to the COVID-19 lockdown. With the help of these online classes, the students can continue their education in the comfort of their homes.

Currently, there are no SOPs for digital education in India. The schools which are conducting the online classes are using their own pattern for conducting online classes. Zoom & Google Meet are some of the most famous online platforms which the schools are using to conduct online classes.

Why is there a Need for Clearly Defined SOPs for Digital Education?

Although this process of schools to transition from face-to-face learning to online learning is a good way to ensure that student’s learning does not suffer, but due to lack of clearly defined Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) for digital education, students, teachers, and parents are facing various types of issues during online classes.

At the K-12 Virtual conference on “Overcoming the COVID-19 Challenge and Beyond” which is organized by the Ashoka University, Anita Karwal, School Education Secretary during her address in the conference pointed out that:

There has been an upsurge in online education and there is also an uproar on the way some schools are carrying out online education. These schools simply have replicated the entire school time table and due to which the child is sitting in front of the device for 7 to 8 hours.

She also discussed the issues faced by parents in some households where they only have a single device to use which can’t be provided to all the children for online classes. She also said that there were some types of unfortunate incidents as well during the online classes.

Thus, keeping all these concerns in mind she said all these issues will be taken care of while creating the SOPs for digital education for school. She also makes it clear that the guidelines will be released only after the school safety guidelines

The SOP for online education will set a standard format for all the schools to follow which will practice the blended learning model in the upcoming days. To know more about Blended learning click here:

Anita Karwal in her address also talks about Blended learning and said that

There will be a lot of homeschooling, blended schooling, a bit of learning at homes and a bit in schools

Thus, after knowing about the challenges there is a need for clearly defined SOPs for digital education.

What Type of Issues are Faced by Students due to Long Hours of Online Classes?

Digital learning has increased the amount of time that students usually spend on digital devices. First, they spend time during online classes then they spend time searching for online resources to complete their homework. Thus, it leads to a lot of screen time for kids

Therefore, there must be a point included in the SOP that will address this issue and include some relaxation from continuous online classes for 7-8 hours straight. It is not a good practice to sit for 7-8 hours in front of electronic devices. It can lead to eye problems such as Dry eyes-( which is a common condition in which your tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes)

There is an article published on Hindustantimes.com on 6th July 2019 in which Dr. Rajib Mukherjee, who is an ophthalmologist in Delhi discussed the impact of long working hours on eyes. In his words, he said that

Eyes just like any other part of the body gets tired and needs proper rest. He added that the Dry eye condition will happen when you overuse your eyes. It is the most common and Chronic problem that can afflict anyone who works long hours over the computer.

Although it is almost a year old article it is still relevant because students are spending too computer screen time due to long hours of online classes.

Apart from having eye problems, the children will also face issues like stress & anxiety, poor quality sleep, attention deficiency, lower energy levels, etc.

According to Jennifer Katzenstein, who is the director of psychology and neuropsychology at the Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, has made some observations related to the impact of remote learning on children of all age groups.

She said that

Due to the increased screen time usage, especially for non-academic activities, it has been linked with an increase in depression, anxiety, and attention problems.

What are Some General Suggestions to Address these problems?

Online learning is currently the best and safer way to impart education thus by making the necessary changes in the online classes SOPs the overall experience can be made a lot better.

Some of the points are given below:

Break Between Two Consecutive Classes

There must be a proper break system in between the two continuous online classes of 1 hour. The break can be of 10-15 minutes.

Physical Activity-Based Tasks

There must be some type of physical activity included in the school online classes for students so that they can perform these activities and reduce their computer screen time.

A Small Session for Eye Exercise

There must be a separate session conducted for 20 minutes by the teachers which must be focused on performing eye exercises to promote healthy eye function.

Provide Emotional Guidance

If the child is not performing well in the online classes i.e not able to complete assignments on time, not answering questions due to some reason then talk to him separately after the class gets over to address his problem and provide emotional assistance to the child.

Apart from all these things mentioned above let’s have a look at the recorded video of the webinar session conducted by Archana Prashar – who is a certified counsellor and a child psychologist.

Conclusion

We have talked about various types of issues faced by students, teachers, and parents in online classes and also get advice on how to resolve these issues. As a parting note, It is a wonderful step to set-up SOPs for digital education and it will enhance the overall experience of digital learning and provide relief to students, teachers, and parents as well.

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