Digital education in the ‘new normal’
In this webinar, award-winning educator Charu Dogra Rawat traces the digital transformation of educators during the course of the pandemic, the challenges faced, and how some of them were overcome. It also explores ways in which digital tools can be included in inquiry-based learning. Through this webinar, we hope to inform educators on the importance of digital tools and how to incorporate them in lesson plans for effective learning.
The webinar is mainly for educators in higher education institutions. School teachers may find it useful too.
⌛ CONTENT ANNOTATION WITH TIMESTAMP
00:00:00 Welcome and introduction
00:09:45 New Normal
00:11:39 Paradigm shift
00:13:17 Challenges of educators
00:16:53 Digital literacy and digital pedagogy
00:19:11 Pedagogical connection
00:22:42 Pedagogical content knowledge
00:24:40 Teaching methodologies used
00:29:36 Scaffolding inquiry
00:32:09 Inquiry-based formulation
00:40:29 Forms of e‑content
01:10:08 Action plan
Summary of the webinar (by Poornimai Abirami G P)
The conventional offline mode of pedagogy underwent a complete transformation during the pandemic when it took to an online mode. This came with its advantages and disadvantages. Despite the disadvantages, like the reduced interpersonal interactions, and difficulty in accessing stable high-speed internet or manoeuvring new software, the availability of a myriad of online tools with boundless potential to make learning immersive and lasting makes the online mode unavoidable, even post-pandemic. Hence, the online mode may persist in the new normal, albeit in a blended mode of education (BME), where, some of the online interactive pedagogical tools go hand in hand with the offline classroom setup. Charu Dogra Rawat, in the webinar “digital education in the new normal”, explains how inquiry-based learning (IBL) can be elegantly knitted into the blended mode of education.
Inquiry-based learning is a pedagogical approach where students are made to learn by enquiring about the subject from different angles. As Rawat explains, IBL starts even before the actual class, where the students are presented with an inquisitive context, like a problem, capable of stimulating them to start enquiring about the topic they are about to study in class. This sets the stage for effective learning to take place during the actual class, which can happen online or offline. During the class, the educator facilitates learning to consolidate the key concepts and establish a firm understanding of the same using mind maps, flow charts, etc. Finally, by giving after-class assignments (for example, creating a wiki, making a video, designing experiments, or having discussions with peers), followed by assessing, providing feedback and rewarding the same, the entire module of inquiry-based learning comes to an end.
Using examples from her own classroom, Rawat describes how, in the blended mode of learning, educators could facilitate learning – before, during and after the class – by making use of online pedagogical tools, like simulation software, pedagogical games, online quizzes, etc.
Rawat identifies time management and digital literacy as the two major challenges of inquiry-based learning in the blended mode. She says that planning and framing modules beforehand greatly aid in facing these two concerns. Planning has to be done keeping the time availability in mind and the time available can be broken into bite-size pieces. Also, while including the online pedagogical tools, Rawat recommends teachers be choosy, keeping learning objectives in mind.
With some efforts and by following inclusivity, Rawat believes that the digital barrier that exists in a classroom can be minimised. To get a detailed picture of inquiry-based learning in the blended mode of education and examples of relevant resources for educators, watch the recording of the webinar.