Social media – a boon or a bane for students?
In the present COVID-19 times, nobody would call social media a bane. All of us experienced lockdown periods and the tension filled times when COVID was rampant. In fact, we are still doing our lessons through online classes, since not all schools have opened their doors for students. The topic, one would think, is redundant in the present times. But the fact still remains that though social media proved to be a blessing for students, teachers, and parents now, there are an equal number of times that it has proved to be a menace too. Delhi School of Excellence proclaims that it was a forerunner in adopting and adapting to online classes. It had not only introduced them but also had become an expert at them, while other schools were still grappling with the idea!
If one were to look for it being a boon, it served as the link between the home and the outside world. While we stayed cooped up inside the house because of the Corona virus impact, all of us stayed connected with our friends and relatives and the outside world in general, via social media.
Parents would certainly have been blessing social media for keeping their children engaged, day after day! The same is true of schools and teachers too. It was as if overnight, online classes were introduced by schools and soon gained the name of being referred to as the ‘new normal!’ The trend began with something as simple as teachers teaching students but it soon spread to sharing notes and lessons. Conducting ‘energiser’ games to keep the ennui of classes at bay, using all kinds of platforms to play games and provide extra information pertaining to the lessons, conducting and participating in online intra-school and inter-school competitions, conducting tests and exams and so on.
Special mention needs to be made about the encouragement and the support that the school provides to these participants. Mentors are entrusted with the responsibility of tutoring participants and a committee is formed separately to monitor such competitions, forward applications etc. Delhi School of Excellence, the top CBSE school in Hyderabad, is proud to state that it has won numerous awards and prizes in various competitions held by different schools! But it is proving to be a bane too! Students have always been tech-savvy and now more so than ever.
They have become experts at freezing the picture so as to create the impression that they are present in the class. They also log out as and when then they please, blaming it on internet issues and power problems. Mentors are aware that problems such as these are unavoidable. Hence, Mentors at Delhi School of Excellence are encouraged to be patient and courteous while dealing with such issues.
Platforms such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. make it easy for students to write uncomplimentary things about their ‘friends’ teachers etc. They appear to be insensitive to the pain that it causes the ‘injured’ party. Such practices are shunned at Delhi School of Excellence, the best CBSE school in Hyderabad and any complaints regarding these matters are dealt with sternly.
Moreover, there is plenty of scope to spread rumours on social media with the intention of maligning people. Such posts cause grievous pain to the intended ‘targets.’ It is a strict practice at Delhi School of Excellence to discourage such events immediately.
Into the second year of COVID-19 and online classes, we have to admit that dishonesty has become rampant during tests and exams. There doesn’t seem to be a way to stem the rot. Presently, students of Grades IX to X are being called to school to attend their mid-term exams.
There are times too when parents cannot monitor their child’s classes. If the student is very young, they miss the class totally, since they are dependent on their parents. But there are plenty of times when students play online games during class hours or even late into the night. It has been observed that some students have charged amounts to their parents accounts to play games. At Delhi School of Excellence, it is a rule that attendance should be taken every period. If the child is consistently absent, the concerned parents are informed after a lapse of two days. Parents are requested to send a message to the Principal if he/she intends to be absent.
In view of the pros and cons stated above, one can clearly understand that it is best for students to reap the benefits of social media while being aware of the malpractices online and strike a strong balance between the real and virtual world.