How Pearson India is empowering teachers to use digital platforms
Pearson India has been conducting pan-India virtual training sessions for teachers empowering them to use online learning platforms and teach students digitally during these critical times. Ramananda SG, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Pearson India shares how they have been able to connect with more than 8000 teachers virtually to support them on lesson planning and online teaching methods
What have been Pearson’s initiatives in training teachers to use online learning platforms?
Pertaining to the nationwide lockdown which began in March, schools and colleges have been shut and since then education has gone virtual. Owing to this sudden change, teachers and educators across the country have witnessed tremendous stress to teach online as there was very limited prior experience of holding classes online. This gave rise to unprecedented challenges not only for teachers but also students who as a result had to go through a tough time grasping knowledge from educators who were not equipped to hold online lectures. There was a huge gap to fill and the problem had to be addressed. This is where, Pearson proactively and instantaneously stepped in to train and upskill teachers to be able to effectively teach online empowering them to use online learning platforms and teach students digitally during this critical time.
We made available the teaching plans and online content for easy access. We conducted a series of online training sessions to train teachers on the utilisation of ZOOM / TEAMS, other online platforms and resources. For online professional development and skill building, the sessions provided tips and tricks on online learning, lesson planning, age appropriate interventions along with suggestions on timing and duration for effective digital learning. It also included an online handbook of academic frameworks on lesson transaction and life skills both for children and parents along with connect programs for parents on how to address these unprecedented situations.
These online sessions helped in growing teachers’ confidence and shift in the mindset towards online learning.
How are your digital initiatives empowering teachers in India?
The nationwide lockdown has emerged as an eye-opener for educators to realise the need to upskill themselves in terms of teaching online. In the last few months, teachers have found it challenging to teach online and to use the tools available online which can assist them, since there is no prior training in this regard. In order to ensure our support to partnering schools, academic institutions and teachers, Pearson India initiated Online Teacher Trainings to enable professional development of teachers and sound understanding of the skills and best practices required to train instructors in an online environment. Pearson’s resources empower and upskill teachers with etiquette to teach online, teaching-learning practices and methodologies. We also provided access to “ActiveApp” as a training resource for teachers and interactive learning solutions for students.
In these training, teachers are hand-held through the process, all tools and resources are made available to them for easy learning delivery. These sessions empowered educators and students in continuing their learning curve and ensure proper utilisation of their time.
How many teachers have been engaged since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, and in which regions?
We have virtually trained over 1000+ teachers from across the country to ensure continuity of learning through digital platforms/devices during Covid-19.
The trainings are organised through pan-India online webinars and till now, we have touched almost 100 schools through conducting these sessions successfully. We have been able to connect with more than 8000 teachers virtually to support them on lesson planning and online teaching methods to manage the present challenges.
Considering the fact that a large segment of teachers in the country are not familiar with online platforms for teaching, how do you plan to take this initiative forward?
With technology intervening in almost every field and use of smart phones and laptops becoming a very accessible norm, it is the skill part which is the real challenge. While our teachers are fully equipped to hold physical classes, it is also true that online education is not prevalent specially in semi and non-urban regions. Keeping all these challenges in mind, our endeavour is to consistently engage with teachers and schools to support them, provide timely online interventions, such as training, classroom observation and mentoring, for synchronous and asynchronous support.
Your views regarding how the education scenario in India is changing due to the pandemic. Which new technologies will be the key game changers?
Technology integration with education has reshaped the way students learn and teachers teach, however, subsequent to the pandemic, it will become a way of life enabling learners to continue with their education without any interruption. Easy tech accessibility via smart TVs, apps, content accessibility, podcasts for learning, online assessments, cloud accessibility, online classrooms, online exchange programs will be the game changers enabling students and teachers to focus on self and concept-based learning and mentoring. Both auditory and visual modes of digital learning will play a key role in the coming years.
What role will Pearson India play in this new scenario?
In the new normal scenario, we aim to unlock learning opportunities for learners as well as trainers through our world-class digital learning, content and assessment solutions like Quikik, ActiveApp, MyPedia Alexa, MyInsights to ensure continuity of learning, support teachers with skill building and making content available anytime and anywhere.
Our focus will remain to support in their journey to ‘always learning’ and enable educators teach students seamlessly for better learning outcomes.
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