How is everything there? How is your lifestyle in isolation? Not easy, is it? We have been in a halt and despair from the last couple of weeks, especially due to the spread of Corona Virus. It has really affected all walks of our lives in general and education in particular. We have not been able to normally accomplish our daily activities. We have been mentally pressured, physically idle and psychologically awkward due to the lock-down. However, we have been trying to settle down ourselves and continue our discontinued activities virtually.
In this issue, we have collected the reflections of the academics to explore the various practices of online-based teaching and learning. We have also amalgamated some specific tips for teachers of the 21st century to let them know more about digital literacy and using ICT tools to enhance their knowledge and skills required in a virtual classroom in one side and teacher-led professional development on the other. We have tried our best to envisage and offer the possible options from Face-to-Face mode of delivery to virtual ones. Moreover, we as teacher-educators, believe that we need to be able to tackle the problem of our students timely pertaining to 21st-century skills for quality education.
Education is not meant to be limited within the four walls of the classroom rather we should let it go beyond the formal setting. We should always think of the possible alternatives of the physical classroom for expanding the cognitive horizon of our students because teaching-learning can have good going with virtual mode as well. Thus, we are yet to analyse how online classes and resources could serve the purpose in the digitally savvy era of the 21st century to enhance the personal growth of the students and the professional development of the teachers. With the global call for social distancing resulting in the closure of educational institutions, there has been a discourse of how to best use the technology to deliver education in distance mode. The time has come and we have realised the essence of the virtual mode of delivery and it is not just to replace the traditional practice but to initiate the innovative global spectrum of education invited by technology and globalisation for the succinct enhancement of e/resources. The more we bring innovation in our teaching-learning process, the better our activities and learning becomes. Thus, teachers can utilise several social media platform to design and implement online classes for promoting contextually relevant resource materials. In this situation, the government has to initiate and research for the best choices to impart education via this virtual mode to tackle the situation created by COVID-19 pandemic such initiation can be a paramount option for the practice of online-based classes in the days to come in Nepal. In doing so, we teachers need to be supportive and updated.
Journeying for the 12 years, we have tried our best to screen our invaluable papers via the single-blinded peer review process. We have also initiated inviting one of the scholars from academia to share via the interview session. ELT Choutari has pertinently served to disseminate diverse local and global context replicating our ELT situation in Nepal and contextually relevant knowledge to reach into a global context and vice-versa to contribute to the wider readership. At Choutari, we explore the innovative practices made by teachers teaching at different levels on a thematic basis and provide a huge platform for the novice/expert practitioners to read, write and publish their papers to overcome the situation.
As you know, we always think, ink and link our innovative ideas and personal experiences into our classroom practice for the overall development of our students. In this April 2020 issue, we focus on COVID-19 pandemic pedagogy in general and some other relevant and strategic tips to enhance professionalism via ICT tools and digital asset in particular. We have included teachers’ reflections, online-based pedagogical practices, and experts’ perspectives and practices about the virtual classroom.
In this pandemic issue, Tikaram Poudel, Assistant Professor at, Kathmandu University reflects his experience of shifting his academic activities from face –to- face mode of delivery to a virtual one exemplifying some online-based tools to initiate online classes such as MOODLE Portal, Google Meet, etc.
In the second post, Ashok Sapkota, a faculty in the Department of English Education, Kirtipur, TU, depicts the need and awareness of ICT preparatory tools and their ways out for online-based teaching process in English language education.
In the third post, Jeevan Karki, a teacher trainer, researcher and writer hints some specific measures for professional development via teacher-led professional development (TLPD) in virtual route. Concerning his experience, the actual teachers who led such professional development activities are far better than the outside experts of TPD because these teachers know their students, content and context better.
Likewise, in another blog post, Puskar Chaudhary, an M. Phil practitioner at Kathmandu University, discusses digital literacy and its implementable assets. He also highlights the technocratic knowledge and expertise of a teacher to cope up with classroom challenges.
In another post, Dipak Prasad Mishra, an M. Phil practitioner at Kathmandu University, revisits his personal experiences and brings his lived learning experiences despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He also discusses the opportunities and challenges of the virtual mode of learning and teaching.
Likewise, in another post, Dhansingh Dhami, a master graduate at Kailai Multiple Campus, elucidates his nostalgia replicating Ramayana and its mythical social distancing and its closer lens to the current pandemic which is useful for brainstorming to foster our intuitive knowledge.
And last but not the least, we have also presented an exclusive interview with Dr Karna Rana, an academic coordinator at Open University, who provides insightful input for online classes, and resources to facilitate students and its possibilities at present and future in Nepal.
Here are the list of posts for you to explore:
- Teaching virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic – A reflection of a university professor – Tikaram Poudel, PhD
- E-learning is only a means but not a replacement of physical classroom – Karna Rana, PhD
3. Teacher-led professional development in crisis and ever – Jeevan Karki
- Awareness of ICT tools: Micro-management and way forward – Ashok Sapkota
- Perceptions on digital literacies and implementation practices: Perspectives of English teachers – Puskar Chaudhary
6. Lockdown, social distancing and isolation in Ramayan: An overview – Bhan Singh Dhami
7. Unstoppable learning despite the COVID-19 lockdown – Dipak Prasad Mishra
Finally, I would like to thank ELT Choutari entire team in general and Dr Karna Rana, Jeevan Karki, Babita Sharma Chapagain, and Mohan Singh Saud in particular for their rigorous effort in reviewing and editing the blog pieces. We are excited to announce you about the expansion of our team of reviewers to further enhance the quality of content on Choutari. Join me to welcome Sagar Poudel, Ekraj Koirala, Nanibabu Ghimire, Jnanu Raj Poudel and Karuna Nepal, the energetic members with robust experiences in teaching-learning and reading-writing. Let me thank them for their support and rigorous review of the papers starting from this issue.
On behalf of ELT Choutari Team, I would like to offer this ‘Pandemic Pedagogy’ special issue and thank all the invaluable contributors of the issue. If you are thinking of writing and publishing, we are always open to create give you space here. Share your write-up with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanking you once again for your continued readership, professional support, and volunteering enthusiasm to work with us collaboratively. If you enjoy reading the write-ups, please feel free to share in your circle, and of course, drop your comments too.
Ganesh Kumar Bastola
Lead editor of the issue