Educating Remotely – the Klorofeel Way
Klorofeel School began its classes in the last week of March. Just after the nationwide lockdown was announced. Prior to deciding on our approach, we discussed with the parents and learnt that only two of our students have access to laptops. So we needed to rule out “online education”.
However parents of all students had access to smartphone – so we decided to leverage on remote teaching through Whatsapp video. We expected all children to have different interests and strengths and felt 1-1 conversations will be the best way to start. It is more a conversation between the faculty and the student than a “class”.
We focused on interests of the child, environment, and English communication. We decided to defer mathematics till classes start – as we believe the fun with mathematics can be drawn out best in face to face conversations. Of course we will be forced to re-look at our decision if the resumption of school keeps extending. It is difficult to predict and plan too far ahead at the moment, but we can be agile in responding to the changing needs.
Focus on individual’s interest led us to engagement on many topics – from dance, song and drawing to puzzles and Tangram. Some children are interested in pets and some others in history, space, science experiments. We continue to explore this and have discussed a variety of topics. We discussed Terracota Army and Innuit, Tutankhamen, Padmanabha Swamy temple, and more. And students made their own puzzles too!
In parallel, we send puzzles for the students to solve. We found students are faster in responding to puzzles than to assignments. Not a surprise – but an interesting pointer. Why can we not engage more through puzzles?
The processes evolved over time. We settled with whatsapp group for each student serving as the medium for interactions and assignment submissions.
The nature of the interactions ensured we did not follow the same path with all children. We took routes children were comfortable with. This meant different children are absorbing differently, at different pace. Our job is to ensure the proposed syllabus for the year is covered in a seamless manner. It provides a different challenge, and it means our approach will keep changing as we progress. Of course, this challenges our plans and our teachers. But isn’t education meant to cater to the children and their motivation to learn rather than the convenience of the school and the teacher?
Some parents had a concern. The children seem to be enjoying the method of engagement but what about the syllabus? And we had to share:
- Whether our children create a water dictionary, or conduct water audit at home, or identify the towns while tracing the course of a river in the atlas, or find out stories and songs on river, or draw a family tree, or discover more about their family members, or list and classify the activities in a kitchen, each such assignment is an integral part of the syllabus from Environmental Studies, English, Hindi or Mathematics, taught in an integrated manner.
- So, don’t worry. Just watch and encourage your children in their many explorations and activities – and what they are learning now, they are unlikely to forget too soon.
This is a good moment to share, having completed two months with a system that created enthusiasm in children, they are looking forward to more. This is also an important moment for us to seize the excitement and create a wider exposure for our children.
Exploring with the Atlas (content to be linked later)
Mistakes are welcome! (content to linked later)
Children at their home (content to linked later)
Key attributes of education with Klorofeel (content to linked later)