“Some (people) have greatness thrust upon them,” William Shakespeare.
This Shakespearean excerpt has taken on new meaning since the onset of Covid-19 and related school closures. Teachers around the world who had been used to the early 19th century model of teaching and learning – straight desks, prim line, facing a single teacher, often writing on a blackboard – transitioned overnight to teaching on Zoom, or other distance communication platforms that, too, had greatness thrust upon them overnight.
Lazy, bureaucratic systems the world over went into shock – lack of equipment, training, and haphazard home offices plagued teachers. Unstable Internet connections, unpredictable schedules, and misaligned syllabus progressions dogged students. The result: immediate and sustained drops in student engagement, parents withdrawing children from expensive private schools, and school administrations mounting pressures on under resourced teachers.
Stifling in this air of uncertainty, children with international examinations that will determine the rest of their academic futures are paying the price. Gen-Z, used to digital experiences backed by billion dollar online companies, demand and deserve better education, packaged and delivered in digestible forms. If we are to re-engage the future of our societies, countries and planet; educationists, policymakers and civil society will need to design learning experiences accessible anytime, anywhere, from the comfort of their homes, and with the convenience of their own schedule.
At Out-Class, we have attempted to do just that. We created all our content ourselves, keeping the needs of Gen-Z in mind. Our beautiful lessons are bite-sized, interactive, and reinforce and assess learning on the go. The Out-Class platform, accessible at www.out-class.org, works beautifully on any internet-ready device, with varying speeds and pop-out options. Parents are on top of their children’s learning because report cards are a click of a button away. Finally, our HappytoHelp Desk ® ensures that students can clarify their concepts as and when they need, not according to a teacher’s schedule or the availability of face to face opportunities.
The future of education is here. We need to rush forward to meet it. Our children deserve nothing less.