Voices of Youth: On online lessons

Keep live chats for online lessons

Now that Singapore is in circuit breaker mode, students have switched to online learning in the form of applications such as Google Meet and Zoom. Hitherto, it has been relatively fuss-free.

One function that I particularly like in Google Meet is the live-chat function. Teachers often encourage us to raise our doubts through the live chat, and I prefer this to speaking through the microphone and interrupting my teacher.

Last month, my school informed students that the Ministry of Education has worked with Google to disable this live-chat function for students, so only teachers are able to use it. It was the result of a few incidents of mischief by some students.

Some students are shy and prefer using the live chat to pose their queries. Without it, they may be unwilling to approach teachers, and this in turn hampers their learning. Also, if several students ask questions simultaneously through their microphones, all the teacher would hear is a cacophony of voices.

Online learning is already less conducive for learning. Disabling live chat only worsens the experience for students and teachers alike.

Ashlyn Chua, 15

Secondary 3

The changing face of learning

The initial concerns regarding online learning were that there would be a lack of face-to-face interactions, inadequate written work, and teachers and students would not have the equipment required for effective learning. However, both teachers and students have been able to adapt to new online teaching and learning styles.

New practices have been adopted in a short span of time. Students and teachers have discovered new ways of harnessing technology to make online lessons more immersive. Students are able to work on assignments and submit them online. A total reset to the way we have been learning is currently taking place.

Technology can be used in the near future by students who are unwell and cannot attend class. Livestreaming the lessons taking place in school would help them while they rest at home. Learning could look quite different in the future if some lessons could be done online.

I hope it will be possible for schools to implement more e-learning days. This would make the transition from classroom teaching to home-based learning seamless whenever it is needed.

Isaac Chew Ju Wen, 14

Secondary 2 student

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