Q&A library

With online learning and physical restrictions, how can students continue to pursue extra-curricular activities, such as sports?
Educational institutions must maintain that students spend time on fitness. Whether it could be health and wellness sessions and general PT sessions. Students must be encouraged to remain fit. Many professional clubs have taken to online sports training to keep training kids. This is something that schools can also implement until a time arrives where students can go back to school and play together.Other than team activities, students should be encouraged to spend a few hours a day on activities outside of their core subjects.

What are the difficulties students may face in preparing for higher studies?
The main difficulty that students are going to face is an emotional and psychological one, in getting adjusted to the new normal. Not being able to interact with a lot of their friends and peers could seem unnatural to them, and which is essential to their self-development.Students could be facing the following difficulties:-Being forced to remain in a place where educational facilities are not up to the mark as travel is not possible;-Data accessibility could be a problem-Lack of education infrastructure such as knowledge resources (online and books) and equipment-As students advance and specialize, they need more practical knowledge. Online education is still evolving in this.-Lack of field trips and workshops

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.

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