How Teaching Businesses can bounce back post Quarantine
July 11, 2020
6 min read
The coronavirus is a harbinger of a novel lifestyle - where staying at home is the new norm. Stepping out of houses is a luxury; done only to buy essentials.
So, it didn’t come as a surprise when most businesses forced themselves to shift online to continue working. ‘This crisis is forcing anything which can digitize, to digitize.’ (Joe McDonnell, head of WGSN Insight). The coronavirus pandemic acted as a catalyst for accelerating digital transformation. And these tentacles of digitization have caught the teaching businesses as well. Online lectures were held regularly, tutorial videos were recorded and sent to students. At the same time, online assessments and tests were also carried out.
Now that containment measures have lifted in most countries after approximately three months, businesses must surely be looking forward to getting back to normal. But there is wisdom in realizing that in a post-pandemic scenario, everything cannot go back to normal. Rather businesses have to surge ahead by creating a new normal.
To create a new-normal, necessary steps have to be taken by businesses big and small. One such essential step is coming up with contactless solutions for high-touch activities.
Teaching has traditionally been considered a high-touch activity, which brings us to the question: How can small teaching businesses bounce back post quarantine?
👍 Personal attention
👎 Lesser business in the same time-span
Potential solution: In a post quarantine scenario, the number of children in a batch should be limited. A positive outcome of this is that educators can give personal attention to each child. Fewer children = fewer distractions and disruptions. But that does not mean you lose out on potential learners seeking lessons. While teaching the children present, you can also live-stream the lecture for those who are at home. And if you are a teacher who likes to ask questions (whom most kids fear) that is to say, if your teaching style is inclined towards interactive learning, then you can create alternative batches of online and offline students.
In months during the lockdown, teachers and students have had a hang of how fundamental technology for online classes work and have met each other halfway concerning comfort level. Now that both the parties have (forcefully) adapted themselves to e-learning methods, this behaviour is likely to continue even after the quarantine is over -- old new habits die hard.
👍 Higher hygiene standards
👎 Getting handsy with soaps and hand sanitizer bottles
Potential Solution: Making handwashing stations and sanitizers available and installing them at strategic places is an unsaid rule for all businesses. It is extremely crucial to place them correctly. Apart from maintaining hand hygiene, teaching businesses must disinfect rooms where lectures are organized. Children are bound to touch desks, books, stationery, etc. frequently, so you should probably dis-infect every time after a lesson ends. That does not mean that you have to disinfect the whole room from top to bottom but do focus on “high-touch” surfaces. On a side note: make sure your students don’t share stationery items or tiffin-boxes (if you allow any).
Your army of hygiene material can include:
To maintain the least amount of touch, you can try automatic sanitizer and soap dispensers. If cleaning and disinfecting sounds a tad bit tedious a task to carry out frequently, then outdoor classes can be your new normal.
What we'd like to see more of - taking outdoor classes!
The rooms where you conduct lectures should be airy because the air conditioner in a public setting can be potentially risky from a transmission point of view. Not just that but disinfecting rooms can get burdensome and time-consuming.
Potential Solution: Take outdoor classes in gardens, parks or other spacious public places rather than being cooped up in a room which may or may not have enough windows and ample air circulation. Coronavirus may be one reason while here are the other ten reasons why you should take learning outside the classroom.
👍 Less cash baggage
👎 Not everyone is tech-savvy
Potential Solution: Cash, that is, coins and banknotes exchange hands numerous times within a day which is why cashless payment now sounds appealing to everyone. It does not have much to do with a proven risk factor than with the general notion that cash touched by unknown people may be unclean. There are different types of cashless transactions that not only help you evade banknotes handled by too many people but also relieve you of the chaos that comes with handling cash.
Do we need offline teaching when learning can permanently shift online? Well, the idea of offline lessons should not face complete rejection because the online format does not suit all subjects. At the same time, not everyone has easy access to e-learning methods. A disparity in accessing electricity and internet connection as well as devices such as smartphones or laptops was one reason cited by an article on Scroll.in.
The unforeseen coronavirus wreaked havoc in our lives, but it is not the first time we have faced a pandemic. Through every adversity, we have always found our way, and we always will. The evidence of this can be seen by how quickly we accepted the global lockdown into our strides. We continued finding a way to work and live as normally as possible, even if it meant that we have to redefine ‘normal.’
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