TEACHERS and LEARNING are inseparable. Where [well-trained] teachers are found, effective as well as transformative learning experience come into play. In a traditional sense, a teacher is often defined as a person whose profession is to facilitate learning; but in a technical term, a teacher could be defined as a personified abstraction that teaches. Any form of interaction with nature or life experience which does not necessarily have to be humanly all the time, could also be tagged as a teacher.
Nature teaches us; life also has a way of being a teacher sometime. Hence the saying that, “Life is a teacher” or “something like books were his teacher”—suggesting that learning can come even from those perceived abstract concepts.
On the other hand, it is very important to understand that learning that come from nature and life experiences are not organized learning; they are not planned nor expected, so it should rather be called accidental learning. Such style of learning does not consider who you are before attempting to pass a knowledge to you.
Mind you, for effective learning to occur, so many factors have to be put into consideration. For example, effective learning must consider the sociological background, political ideology, family tradition, cultural belief and traditions which are valued and embedded within a societal structure of a learner. And on many occasion, this requires a coming together which in some context often referred as “classroom”. A one-on-one interaction with other personalities could also be necessary to properly put this into practice.
In this setting also, an overseer, someone who can oversee the affairs of that setting for the purpose of accountability is also important. And on many occasion, this overseer is interchangeably called “Instructor”, “facilitator”, or “Teacher”.
This is where Teachers and Learning again become inseparable!
Teachers who understand their vocation know how to deploy learning activity to each pupil in their classroom. In the age of Virtual Classroom however, the question of how to properly define Teachers and Learning seems to be begging for answer. What would Teachers and Learning look like in the face of Virtual Classroom?
Now that individuals can self-taught themselves by leveraging on resources from Google and Youtube, what is Teachers and Learning? Looking into the future, what can we say could become of the Teaching profession outside the virtual world? Perhaps if you could get your child (ren) educated using available resources on the internet, what colour would Teachers and Learning put on in that context?
Teachers and Learning during Coronavirus Pandemic
Considering the challenge of Covid-19 that is currently facing the world, many parents and organizations have started looking forward to virtual world for help; in order to keep their ward’s education going. While many private schools are currently using digital resources to reach their students for learning purposes, various educational service providers including government agencies are also doing the same. Just last week, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched two different online platforms in order to cater for the public schools education as well. The way learning is passed across is changing!
Teachers and Learning, and Virtual Classroom
There is a general opinion among people which believes that innovation in technology will soon send so many people out of their jobs. Therefore many people are indifferent to technological innovations even if it will help them do their job better, they don’t want to give it trial. The same attitude goes also for how some see Virtual Classroom. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, virtual classroom has gained more popularity among local school administrators like never before. Students irrespective of their age and class, are now learning from home using digital devices. Learning is ongoing, while both teachers and pupils are far away from one another. And considering the fact many children still need teachers’ intervention and guidance to properly assimilate their lesson content, the question of who fills this gap for them in the era of virtual classroom becomes pertinent.
From various opinions posted online, quite a number of parents who are also being forced to stay at home due to coronavirus pandemic, have come online to air their opinion that staying with their children to guide them in learning as well as helping to set up their computer system in order to join their school online has not been an easy task on their part.
As a result of this stay at home order, many companies have also adopted remote working strategy which implies that many parents though staying at home are still at work. Therefore there has been complaint on too much load of work on them as parents. This seems to suggest that, virtual classroom revolution may not be able to replace the role of teachers; at least, not anytime soon. Because many parents will definitely be in need of their service.
One of the duties of a teacher in learning also, is to prepare a classroom to be conducive for learning, social interaction and curb undue behaviour such as bullying and all, but for now this attitude cannot be cultivated by solely relying on virtual classroom. Virtual classroom was purposely to make learning continuous in respective of the distance between the teacher and the student; and not to replace teachers.
As important as learning is, it is becoming obvious that it cannot be achieved except there is a teacher. And as much as we seek to power our world with technology, it may not be taking teachers out of the classroom anytime soon also.
Therefore, it is important to balance our view and expectation; to weigh our options concerning these two practices. Learning goes beyond mental development of a child; it is the development of the whole human being; including social and environmental intelligence. Mind you, all these can hardly be learnt without being able to interact with others. Virtual classroom is incapacitated in this area (at least for now).