Q&A library

Is there a lack of problem solving skills of children through online education?
The effects of this have not been effectively documented enough to make a judgement on this. But there will definitely be an impact on a student's ability to problem solve over the next few months. This is because students problem solving skills are not only a result of focus and concentration individualistically, but also a result of them working in teams, bouncing ideas off of each other and coming to the required conclusion.Parents must be considerate of this and help their children in any way they can. Students should be encouraged to work on activities with other students outside of their course-work to help develop the skills they would otherwise have acquired in a physical classroom.

As a student who is confused about what to do next, what would you advise? Further studies or trying for a job?
This is understandable - most of us stumble at this stage, with too much information available on the internet, and with so much social pressure and opinions coming our way, we might choose a path which either suits the societal acceptance or a path where potential earning opportunities are high.You can consider the following suggestions:Self assessment:Always audit yourself - who you are and what your core skills are is extremely important for one to be authentic. Self-awareness and high emotional intelligence are also correlated with greater levels of success.Articulate who you are:Once you are convinced you had spent adequate time to introspect “yourself” now prepare your achievement-based resume. Create at least 10-15 versions of your resume. Articulate everything including your weaknesses.

How many hours of online learning daily are recommended for effective learning?
We have had to shift to an online learning universe overnight so some amount of fatigue is definitely understandable and this is a good question to ponder about. However, the number of hours is less important to debate. What is important is- the quality of the material and efficacy in learning- the involvement of the learner.The answer can also depend on the age group - perhaps the ability for children to sit through online learning could be lesser that adults.A good tip is to take frequent breaks. The 20-20-20 rule for e.g. is a great tip - every 20 mins, take a 20 sec break and focus your eyes on something 20 feet away

in your option can entire college syllabus like for engineering etc. Be transferred online? What will the challenges be?
In the past 3 months, almost all engineering colleges have run their daily lectures online via tools like Zoom. In fact tests are also being run by turning the video on at the student's end. So as far as theory or discussions are concerned, the online medium can be used effectively. However there is much to think about when you consider the practical training in a course like engineering. Lab set up, machine work cannot be replicated using home infrastructure and so that remains an open point. Also group projects can be a little challenging as measuring in experiments, discussing readings etc. cannot really be done online as seamlessly as in a lab.

If I want to run online workshops in my free time, what is the set of tools to get started with?
There are several tools available that you can access even at no cost or requiring very little investment. Choosing a tool depends on the purpose - You can use meeting tools like Zoom, WebEx , JioMeet and similar tools when you are looking to deliver live content. On the other hand, there are also online MOOC platforms like Udemy, Coursera, etc. where you can develop courses in more detail involving elements like pre-reads, post course evaluation and more.

Can vocational classes like stitching, home science etc. also be brought online? Wouldn't we miss the face to face element?
Some parts of any learning experience are of course best absorbed face to face. Having said that, in the current scenario, our most important priority is to stay safe and therefore, avoid any situation where we may be exposed to crowds and a college classroom would definitely carry that risk. There are many elements we could identify that can go online so we need to do whatever parts are possible online and get creative about the other parts. Additionally, online program will keep improving incrementally until we learn how it can be delivered as close to the face to face experience as possible.

I am a final year student and the poor job prospects are making me very anxious and stressed. Can you suggest how I can manage this difficult time?
1. Create a structureCreating a schedule and a pointed direction for your job search can help add a sense of control to your life, keeping you positive and motivated. For example, you might set aside one hour each morning specifically to work on updating your resume or set a goal to attend three networking events per month.2. Stay OrganizedBreaking down the job search into smaller, more manageable tasks can help the big, daunting process seem less overwhelming and more within your control. (If you’re looking for a way to keep track of everything, try this job search spreadsheet.)3. Take a BreakLining up as many interviews as you can fit into a short period of time may seem like the best strategy to land a role quickly, but when you’re feeling unmotivated and burnt out, it is important to pace yourself.4. Seek out Emotional SupportThe job search can stir up challenging emotions, fears, and limiting beliefs that can keep you up at night. If you bottle up those reactions, you’ll perpetuate the production of stress hormones in your entire body, which will continue to bring you down. Reach out to family, friends. There are also many counselling helplines that are doing a really good job to help students and young professionals navigate these times.5. Know Your TriggersWhat situations make you feel the most overwhelmed or trigger stress? Identify them and work to get past them. For example, maybe you are sent into a spin of uncertainty when you don’t hear back right away after an interview. The longer you experience the silence, the less motivation you have to continue your search. Once you start acknowledging these triggers, you become more aware and as a next step you can address them by seeking advice or reading up on how you can make the triggers go away.

Will schools reopen for classroom teaching?
When and how to reopen schools is one of the toughest and most sensitive decisions on political agendas today. There are a lot of things to consider: Is it safe to reopen schools or is there a risk of reigniting infections? Is remote learning effective? What are the consequences to children’s mental health and to the social development of young children? When the time comes, how will schools help the learners who have fallen behind during school closures?The Home Ministry of India has clarified that no decision has been taken yet on opening of education institution. Classes will continue online and a final decision in this regard will only be taken after assessing the prevailing conditions.

How long will online teaching continue for schools?
Online education could continue quite long. This is primarily because:1. More focus will be on the safety of children returning to crowded spaces2. Not wanting to disrupt an already set routine in between an academic year.Schools may focus on helping children transition between the fully online mode of education and back to the classrooms. There needs to be supportive structures in place to help students going through this.Having said that, education may never be the same again. For these students, where technology has become so common, it is even an extension of themselves. Students could be more inclined to learning online. Schools might have to prepare themselves to provide for their students demanding a return to the online classroom.

With layoffs, slashed salaries and financial setbacks in business, how will parents find the means to pay school fees?
Parents may request schools to not force them to pay the fees on the stipulated dates and ask for an extension for the payment of fees while our economy gets back on track. The ideal policy would be 3-fold. Where the government supports schools by a stimulus package, schools could extend this to parents by waiving a percentage of the fees, extending dates and creating a subsidized monthly payment scheme. Parents will need to reduce as much overhead cost as possible and keep as much cash in their bank accounts as possible.Many banks also offer education loans and loans to pay for acquiring laptops.

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