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The Way Teachers Embraced The Technology, It Really Appreciable: Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, AIU

India is a diverse country, and there are different kinds of institute present all over the country. Thus, Dr Mittal talks about how to adjust to this new normal, and what should the education institute do to adjust to this, in seven steps.

Photo Credit : Courtesy: youtube

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The world around us is changing at a very fast pace, and the major cause of the change is the novel coronavirus pandemic. The wave of the pandemic came as a surprise for one and all. Yet everyone is still trying either to adjust or to cope with the new normal, which is likely to be an abnormal situation for all of us. Every sector faced challenges, but the dynamics of the education sector changed altogether. The online teaching came as a challenge. The adaptation to a new style of teaching and learning process was a surprise to each one of us, whether it's a student, teacher or a parent.

Each year the committee of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies tries to bring valuable learnings and fruitful engagement for the faculty member, which enhances their knowledge and understanding regarding media-related fields. With the unanimous agreement of Professor. Sidharth Mishra, Chairperson, VSJMC and VSIT; Dr. Charulata Singh, Dean VSJMC; Dr Ramesh Kumar Sharma; Mona Gupta; Dr Praveen Kumar Singh; Dr Debarati Dhar and Ms Saloni Bhardwaj , a need to embrace the new normal was taken in consideration. Pressing priority for the current situation, this year the institute decided to uphold an ‘Annual Faculty Programme’ on the subject matter “Pedagogical Approach for Online Teaching In Media Studies: Lessons and Challenges.”

The eminent speakers for the programme included Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities; Suneet Vats, Vice Chairman, VIPS; Dr Ramesh C Sharma, BR Ambedkar University; Professor K Srinivas, Head ICT & Project Manager, NIEPA; Dr Anuradha Jain, Principal, VIPS; Dr Shilpa Khatri, Director Academics, VIPS; Priyanka Srivastava, Editor, Education Times; Dr Ravi Ranjan, Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi; Shuchi Vohra, Solution Architecture, PC Solutions; Amit Dharnia, Founder, Pramisha Business School; and Jatin Sabharwal, Head Strategy & Founder, DPNC & Feast Venture.

The central theme of discussion for the programme revolves around, the students deserving the best opportunities, the programme aims to find out more clarity and confidence to innovative, learn and adapt to various teaching pedagogies. A wide variety of alternation has been witnessed, as mentioned by Dr Charulata Singh, she said, “The environment in which we are seizing, the virtual has become real, the student has become the learner, the teacher has become a mentor, and structural learning has become organic learning.”

Suneet Vats wishes to deliver his viewpoint through stories, in order to make the session interactive and interesting, while mentioning this he also said, “The challenges of being online are, one is not able to reciprocate a lot of things, that may go missing.” He also, mentions the example from Aristotle Metorate Model, as it says, that one needs to have pre-essential components for a human education communication model. Aristotle determined that persuasion comprises a combination of three appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. “One is missing pathos, as ethos are there, that is the teacher is there, while logos is also there, as one can communicate and dispense knowledge, while the pathological connection between students and the faculty is largely missing,” as mentioned by Vats.

Vats believe that the pandemic was a shocking norm as if a meteorite was hitting the planet earth because the magnitude of disruption it brought in professions, jobs, the business has been unprecedented and never thought of. Everyone is struggling to find an appropriate answer to it.

"There are known unknowns, and there are unknown knowns,” according to Suneet Vats this is what describes the possible situation everyone is in.

Dr Pankaj Mittal, believes that there are too many disruptions. While attending a conference on ‘Reimagining the Indian University’, no one thought that the time will prevail, so soon that everything will have to be reimagined. She says, “Earlier we have to go to the bank, but now the bank has come to us, similarly the students used to go to the university, but now the colleges have come to the students.” While conversing about new normal, she believes, “The world is divided into two parts — BC and AC, that is before corona and after corona.”

COVID-19 has changed the way we live. All these precautions have become a new normal. Dr Pankaj Mittal shares, that while developing e-content for e-pathshala, the teachers who have been great in their field, faced a lot of difficulties and disruption, as there was no two-way of communication. As COVID-19 came as a surprise for everyone. Dr Mittal keeps on adding, “The way the teachers embraced the technology, the way they started teaching online, it was really something appreciable. Because no-one thought, the teachers as well as students, will readily embrace technology and learning new techniques and start teaching online.”

India is a diverse country, and there are different kinds of institute present all over the country. Thus, Dr Mittal talks about how to adjust to this new normal, and what should the education institute do to adjust to this, in seven steps. She quotes, “Unlike marriage, Saptapadi is required by all the institutions, to marry the new normal.”

The saptapadi mentioned are — infrastructure and platforms, capacity building of the teachers, blended education, assessment and evaluation, internship and placements, collaborations and counselling of the students. In her opinion, if these steps are followed every institution can adjust to the new normal.

The programme focuses mainly to help the teacher introspect and analyse the online teaching-learning models besides the conventional methods. The teachers have to learn and unlearn for the betterment of themselves as well as the students, to cope with the new situation that stands in front of everybody.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Pritika Khanna

The author is Intern with BW Businessworld

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