COVID-19 pandemic has forced educational institutions across the country to go online to continue teaching and learning. Is your school one too? Is your school ready to go all online even post the pandemic?
Well, here’s a survey report on Indian schools' readiness to teach online, not just during this COVID-19 lockdown but even post the pandemic. The survey was conducted by PlayAblo, Bengaluru-based gamified learning and assessment solution company, during the end of April and 2020 and start of May 2020.
Schools across India participation, with responses from 24 states and union territories, including Ladakh, Tripura, and Sikkim, and maximum participation from Tamil Nadu (19%), Karnataka (19%), and Maharashtra (11.2%).
While the major goals of the survey were aimed to find out the preparedness and readiness of the people, process, and tools/technology, it has revealed many other interesting findings about the teachers, students, parents, and schools in their preparedness for online learning.
Some of the key findings on how prepared Indian schools are for online teaching and learning are explained below.
This section revealed the readiness of the school staff to carry out the online classes, including teachers’ ability to work with computer at school, smartphones for schoolwork, and their motivation levels to learn tech skills for online teaching. The survey revealed the following findings:
- Teachers’ ability to work with computer at school – The survey revealed only 18.3% of the schools said that the teachers had no or rare exposure to using computer for school related work. However,over 63.4% said that teachers used computer at school daily.
- Teachers’ ability to work with smartphones for schoolwork – Out of the surveyed, the study found only about 26% of teachers did not use their smartphones for this purpose, which means a large majority of the teachers are using smartphones for schoolwork.
- Motivation levels of teachers to learn tech skills for online teaching – Only 5.6% said that teachers will be unmotivated for going online teaching. The finding helped dispel the commonly held belief that teachers dislike technology.
This section revealed how the schools have sorted their approach and processes needed to ensure effective identification and usage of the online teaching and assessment tools. It covers finding out schools in completing pending portions when lockdown began, need for teachers training on how to use a computer, and teachers’ preference for computer and smartphone. The survey finds:
- Pending portions – Over 67% of the school had already completed their portions by the time they went into lock down. Majority of the schools that had yet to complete quickly took to one of the online tools to finish the portions. Only about 3.7% decided to defer the portions. The biggest highlight from this study found that over 60% of the schools ran trials with at least one of the online tools, to ensure they were prepared in case the lockdown got extended.
- Need for teachers training – About 39% of the schools believe that most teachers will need training on the usage of a computer if the classes were moved online.
- Teachers’ preference for computer and smartphone – While computer was the preferred device of choice for teachers to conduct online classes, the study revealed smartphone was also a strong choice as well. Correlating strongly with the motivation level of teachers to pick up technology skills to run online classes, this study revealed that only 4.6% of the respondents felt that teachers will prefer to wait until classes began in the school as before.
This section revealed the progress schools had made in terms of identifying the suitable technology platforms and solutions for conducting online classes and assessments. The section covers solution for online/live classes, online assessments and assignments, students with computer and internet, smartphone/tablet at home, etc. The survey finds:
- Solution for Online/LIVE classes – About 60% of the schools have run trials and identified the solution they will use for running LIVE classes. Only 4.6% of the schools said they do not need to plan for any online classes, and they prefer to wait out the lockdown so the classes can begin as before. This finding dispels another myth about schools moving very slow when it comes to technology adoption.
- Solution for online assessments and assignments – The study found that while the schools have been slower to identify a solution for online assessments compared to LIVE classes, over 50% are continuing to look for an online assessment platform.
- Students with computer and internet at home – This finding revealed that only about 10% of the schools said all of their students have an internet-enabled computer at home, while 33% said no more than 25% of their students have a computer at home, about 4% said no students have a computer at home. This revealed a key element to make online learning successful, an internet-enabled computer in the homes of the students, is in short supply.
- Students with smartphone/tablet at home – About 58% of the respondents said that 80% of more of their students have a smartphone or tablet at home. Only 1.8% said that no students have a smartphone/tablet at home. This finding validates the commonly held belief regarding the penetration of smartphones in the common households in India.
- Parents’ preference for computer and smartphone – The study said smartphone had the biggest vote here, most likely due to the fact that households do not have a dedicated computer for the child.
Targeted towards the school management and key staff involved directly with their school’s preparedness for online classes, majority of the respondents in the survey were principals (39.1%), followed by school owner (19.1%), and about 10.4% were teachers. The majority of the respondents were from the English medium schools (93.9%) and others (6.1%) were from the vernacular medium. 52.3% of the respondents were from the affordable private school or the budget school segment. With 46.1%, CBSE was the most represented board amongst the respondents, while other boards were also well represented, according to the report.
In addition to the above findings, the survey has revealed that it is highly unlikely that the schools will open at the scheduled reopening for the next academic year. It said that most schools it spoke with were all mentally prepared to open schools no earlier than August 2020. To view the detailed survey report, click here .
With digital revolution, educational institutions across the world have been adopting various technologies to aid in teaching, learning and managing day-to-day processes for quite some years now. However, this technology adoption has reached a new high during COVID-19 pandemic, with schools and universities taking to new ways of teaching and learning to continue the education.
Is your school also forced to shift to online teaching and learning? If yes, is your school ready to go all online even post the pandemic?