The entire world is facing a completely unprecedented crisis due to the spread of the Novel CoronaVirus. Social distancing is the need of the hour to fight this virus. This is creating a challenging situation for our social institutions. Schools too are affected by it. But do not panic. There are numerous opportunities to learn, around us. We believe that this is the time to not just deal with the current emergency, but also build foundations of resilience to face such difficult events in the future. Here are a few options for studying at home which can be implemented by students with the support of their families, of course by keeping in mind the local limitations.
- Head centric rote learning must be converted into experiential learning. Now is the time to reintroduce ‘learning by doing’, to tilt the balance away from head heavy theoretical education. Parents and children can jointly observe the recent changes in the surrounding nature, how sounds of birds chirping are heard more often, how the sky is bluer than before, and children can write a research paper on the what, why, when and how of these changes, to inculcate a sensitivity towards the environment.
- Parents can also spend time with their children to understand the technology behind household items, such as pressure cooker, hair dryer, stapler, soap dispenser, clothes iron, lock and key, wall clocks, light bulbs, weighing machines, TV remote, reading glasses, microwave oven, toilet flush, etc. Or they could together understand how the design and structure that they call their home is built with brick and mortar, reinforced cement, foundation, etc. These are a few practical ways to enhance your learning while at home.
Kitchen is perhaps the best lab one has at home
- So much of experiments go on there and that too, with real tools. Children must take part in the kitchen work while they are at home and there can be no better time than this to get started. Parents should include their children in kitchen work. Not only will they learn one of the most important survival skills, that is, cooking, they can learn STEM through classification, organization, quantities, proportions, thermal conductivity, chemical reactions, audits, optimization, hygiene, timing, nutrition, and many more.
- They will also learn about interdependence, collaboration and joy in community work.
- Children participate in the upkeep of their homes. This shall inspire them to take responsibility to manage their classrooms, labs & libraries and also help them to manage their environment better in future. Learning at home is fun with such innovative ideas that keep you busy and enable you to be helpful.
- They will appreciate the effort it takes to keep spaces hygienic thereby generating respect for service providers.
It is very important for our children to imbibe our cultural ethos and home language. In the wake of the corona pandemic, there is a renewed global interest in the Indian culture and value systems.
- The importance of greeting with folded hands or Namaste, our food habits and
- The Ayurveda system, Yoga and Pranayam, etc. are being appreciated the world over.
The importance of these aspects for imbibing as a lifestyle for good health and immunity is not lost on most Indians. While at home, children can make the best use of their time by improving their health and enhancing their immunity. Practising Yogasana, meditation and pranayam will make you fit, enhance immunity and make you happier.
Students are advised to utilize this time to declutter and to learn the advantages of minimalism. It is about sharing and caring too.
Learn with the help of technology
It’s also the time to embrace technology – whether it is Internet based or not. Group video calls, conference calls, simple voice calls can help in effectively communicating with each other. Study at home is convenient and resourceful, thanks to the huge study resources available.
Digital/e-Learning Platforms provided by MHRD:
a) Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing (DIKSHA): DIKSHA, an MHRD initiative has been adopted widely by 35 States/UTs and CBSE for enriched teaching and learning experiences. DIKSHA’s free mobile application can be downloaded on Google Play Store (Android Phones) or DIKSHA website can be accessed through the following URL: https://diksha.gov.in.
Content for grades 6 to 10: DIKSHA has content for Grades 6 to 10 across subjects aligned to NCERT and CBSE, and more content is being uploaded across all grades & subjects within the coming few weeks. Content aligned to CBSE board can be accessed through the following URL: https://diksha.gov.in/cbse/.
The CBSE board aligned content has been systematically organized as per the NCERT textbooks table of contents.
- Creative and Critical Thinking (CCT) questions: CCT items on Reading, Mathematics and Science Literacy are uploaded on a weekly basis on DIKSHA for students of classes VII-X. New questions for CCT practice are uploaded every Monday and answers are shared by Thursday, hence it provides a good opportunity to build critical thinking skills amongst students. The CCT questions and solutions can be accessed through the following URL: https://diksha.gov.in/resources/play/collection/do_312906088505204 73612338?contentType=TextBook. Given the success of this program, it will soon be extended to other grades.
- Question Bank: For practice by students of class X, this bank is also available and can be accessed using the following URL: http://cbseacademic.nic.in/revision10.html
- e-Pathshala and NROER content is now also available on DIKSHA.b)
b) E-Pathshala: NCERT has uploaded 1886 audio files, 2000 videos, 696 eBooks (ePUB format) and 504 flip books for classes I to XII in different languages on e-Pathshala. E-Pathshala can be accessed through the following website URL: http://epathshala.nic.in or http://epathshala.gov.in.
c) National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER): NROER has a total of 14527 files including 401 collections, 2779 documents, 1345 interactive content pieces, 1664 audio files, 2586 images and 6153 videos in different languages. NROER content can be accessed through the following website URL: http://nroer.gov.in/welcome.
d) SWAYAM: SWAYAM is a national online education platform that hosts 1900 courses covering school education (grades IX-XII) and higher education (under graduate and post graduate programs). SWAYAM content can be accessed through the following website URL: https://swayam.gov.in. Major subjects of Secondary and Senior Secondary level developed by NIOS are also available on URL: https://swayam.gov.in/nc_details/NIOS
e) SWAYAM PRABHA: SWAYAM Prabha has 32 DTH TV channels transmitting educational content 24/7. These channels are available for viewing all across the country using DD, Free Dish Set Top Box and Antenna. The channel schedule and other details are available on the portal. These channels cover both school education (grades IX-XII) and higher education (under graduate and post graduate programs). Students can learn all subjects from home through SWAYAMPRABHA TV channel.
- SWAYAM Prabha content can be accessed through the following website URL: https://swayamprabha.gov.in.
- DTH Channel no 27 (Panini) https://www.swayamprabha.gov.in/index.php/program/current/27 (Secondary) and channel no 28 (Sharda) https://www.swayamprabha.gov.in/index.php/channel_profile/profil e/28 (Sr. Secondary) have very useful content prepared by NIOS.
- Kishore Manch 24×7 TV channel of NCERT under Swayamprabha can be visited on Channel #31
f ) YOUTUBE CHANNELS: Educational videos can be watched on Youtube channels Successcds Education – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXM3b61alvDTJ7BPQ17TfAw
English Academy – https://www.youtube.com/englishacademy1
g) PODCAST: CBSE launched a Podcast app ‘CBSE-Shiksha Vani’, which is available on Play Store for Android phone users. The Board uses this platform to disseminate crucial information to students, parents, teachers and principals through podcast, besides providing audio files on diversified topics ranging from Storytelling to various academic and skill subjects by experts.
h) NATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY OF INDIA: The National Digital Library of India is an integration platform for schools, colleges, universities, teachers, students, lecturers, differently-abled pupils, and anybody who has a willingness to learn. NDLI content can be accessed through the following Website URL: https://ndl.iitkgp.ac.in/
i) IIT Pal: Students who are interested in getting online coaching for IIT entrance exams can access lectures on Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology on the official website of National Testing Agency at the link: https://nta.ac.in/LecturesContent
Covid-19 is showing us that when humanity is united in a common cause, rapid changes, rather phenomenal changes for the better, are possible. We hope that you will take up these Learning activities at home to widen the scope and enhance the learning opportunities available for you.