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Remote Teaching Concerns that Educators Need to Solve


During this pandemic government taken action to temporarily closing the educational institutions to control the spread of COVID-19 virus. Remote learning is a solution to carrying out teaching and learning online. This article deals with the key challenges to convey while teaching online. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 27 June 2020
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Title: Remote Teaching Concerns that Educators Need to Solve

Remote Teaching Concerns that Educators Need to
Governments around the world have temporarily
closed educational institutions in an attempt to
contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the UNESCO report, these closures
have impacted over 91 percent of the world's
student population, affecting more than 159 crore
students across 195 countries, as of April 4,
2020. These closures have placed an unprecedented
challenge on governments and educational
institutions to ensure the continuity of
education, as well as on teachers, students, and
parents. To mitigate the impact of school
closures and to facilitate the continuity of
education for all, governments around the world
have asked institutions to opt for remote
learning. However, this sudden transition to
remote learning has left educators scrambling to
figure out which digital tools, resources, and
apps to use and how, to continue teaching and
learning. It has also raised various concerns
among the institutions and educators, in terms of
using various
technologies, tools, resources, and apps with
regard to security, privacy, accessibility, and
safety of their students. In this article, we
highlight key concerns and challenges that
educators need to address while carrying out
teaching and learning online. Let's check them
out! Privacy Policies and Terms of
Service During this crisis, many educators have
been curating and sharing digital tools,
strategies, materials and tips for remote
teaching with their networks. Various firms are
also providing free access to their digital tools
and apps for teaching and learning. However,
there are a number of risks involved in this
quick shift to remote teaching. Teachers with no
technical background or training may not know how
to evaluate technology for teaching and learning.
They may not be aware of the privacy policies and
terms of service of the tools and apps they use
in their practices. Educators also may not be
aware that their use of these technologies might
be a threat to their privacy as well as that of
their students. Using such tools and apps without
knowing the privacy policy,
terms of service, and features available can
attract unnecessary damage to themselves as well
as to their students. Therefore, educators must
carefully understand the above things before they
start using any technology or tool for remote
teaching. Students' Privacy and Safety With an
increasing number of companies offering "free
trials" of their products or tools to educators,
especially during COVID-19 closures, educators
must understand that these "free" versions can
come at a cost to students' privacy and safety.
They also need to be aware that how they use the
tool or technology can also impact students'
privacy, safety, and learning experiences. For
instance, there are several free video
conferencing tools, and none of them claims 100
protection. Let us consider Zoom, a free video
conferencing tool that is widely being used
worldwide today across all sectors. Joining the
videoconferencing through the tool, students can
experience various unwanted things such as
trolling, cyber bullying, harassment by
classmates, display of obscene visuals, taking
photos and using it in a detrimental way by
fellow students, etc. There are
also chances that students' location data and IP
address are tracked without their knowledge, to
use them for other reasons. While Zoom's K-12
privacy policy offers more protection to students
who login using their school email accounts, but
it does not protect its traditional users. This
policy also allows the school to sign away the
privacy rights of students. But it can still
collect personally identifiable information, such
as student's school location, their device,
network, IP address, and about student's use of
and actions within the Zoom platform. Zoom states
that it complies with the California Consumer
Privacy Act (CCPA), the Federal Education Rights
and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Childrens
Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that
imposes certain requirements on operators of
websites or online services directed to children
under 13 years of age, and on operators of other
websites or online services that have actual
knowledge that they are collecting personal
information online from a child under 13 years of
age. However, it puts the onus on the educators
to ensure that the use of Zoom is in compliance
with these policies.
Accessibility The sudden transition from
print-based to digital materials and from
in-person learning to digital learning has
created big challenges for many ordinary as well
as differently-abled students. Like educators,
many students, including parents, are also not
from the technical background and find difficult
in using various applications. Understanding
this, educators have to ensure that their
materials and resources are made available in
such a way that every student, both able and
differently-abled, finds easily accessible or
without any difficulty. As mentioned, most
traditional teachers find it difficult to cope
with technologies and they do not know how to
create user-friendly digital materials or
evaluate digital tools, resources and apps for
accessibility. However, several tech companies,
such as Microsoft, Google and Apple, have put
significantly more focus on embedding
accessibility into their tools and offer them for
free-trials amid this pandemic. Google Hangouts
Meet, Google Slides, Skype, and Apple's video
editing app clips all feature live closed
captioning. Microsoft has developed new tools for
accessibility, such as
Immersive Reader, which allows users to adjust
how text is presented (e.g., font size, colour,
spacing, picture dictionary, translation) and
read aloud. Microsoft and Google have support
pages dedicated to teaching users how to create
accessible digital materials, including
documents, slides and spreadsheets. While
educators are pressed for time in moving their
materials and teaching online, they must seek out
ways to ensure that all students are able to
access the digital materials, resources, and
tools they provide. At the same time, educators
need better training and support for designing
accessible digital materials and learning
opportunities. In the current circumstances, they
should start building their knowledge of using
accessible tools. Educators should also use the
Universal Design for learning framework from CAST
as a guide for creating inclusive educational
experiences for remote learners. Digital
Divide The shift to remote learning has widened
the long prevailing digital divide, or the gap
between students who have access to and use
technology to further their
learning and those who do not. Unfortunately,
there are still a sizeable number of people who
have little or no access to internet facility or
technologies. There would be many students who
don't have a personal computer, laptop, tablet or
even smartphone at their home, even while these
devices are required for remote learning.
Educators need to see and ensure that every
student has all the required devices and systems
at their homes to access any learning materials
and resources. To facilitate remote learning,
several schools have arranged to get laptops and
tablets to students in need. And Internet
providers like Comcast, based in Philadelphia,
and Spectrum, based in Ohio, are offering free
Internet access to students devoid of internet
connection. To facilitate equal opportunity and
make learning accessible for all, educators need
to survey their students (or families) to
determine what technology and quality of internet
students have access to, their capability and
their interest, and then they need to be creative
with their assignments as per the requirements.
They may use Universal Design for
Learning (UDL), a way of thinking about teaching
and learning that helps give all students an
equal opportunity to succeed. It encourages
educators to provide students with choices for
how they access and engage with the content, and
how they showcase their knowledge. They should
also aim at providing both low-tech and high-tech
learning experiences and allow students to choose
which type of learning experience suits and help
them based on their interest and access to
technology. Besides the above, there are various
other challenges pertaining to students with the
remote learning system, including under
performance, low engagement, low completion and
low retention rates. These are known challenges
of any distance learning program. Since students
have their classes from afar, sitting at their
homes, many find it hard to be attentive or
engage in learning. Not only this, technical
glitches and distractions from time to time also
act as a barrier to concentration and completion
of classes, and eventually lead to low retention.
Understanding all these issues, educators need to
check their students' access to internet
connection, their interests and make
their content or teaching as creative and
interesting as they could. Remote teaching and
learning is a big challenge, at least for now,
not just for educators but also for students and
parents alike. However, being facilitator and
provider of knowledge, educators must ensure that
they always have the same concern and see the
needs of their students as they do in physical
classroom or school, in order to provide an
equally better learning experience to their
students. You may also read Top Five Tools for
Remote Teaching and Learning Unexpected Benefits
of AR/VR Tools for Remote Learning About the
Author Author Saniya Khan
I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at
EdTechReview - India's leading edtech media. As a
part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness
on the growing edtech market by guiding all
stakeholders on latest and quality news,
information and resources. A voraciously curious
writer with a dedication to excellence creates
interesting yet informational pieces, playing
with words since 2016.
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