Welcome to Chandana De Silva's Website

"A Teacher's Journey"
Unleashing the Power of Online Education

In early March 2020, we universally experienced something completely foreign to all of us, and we shut down our society in all aspects almost overnight. As a part of the shutdown, all schools, education institutes, and tuition classes were closed. At that moment, there was so much going on, among all of this chaos, that I dug in and figured out how to maintain some sense of normality, at least for my students. I had to reinvent and deliver the content that I have been training my entire life to teach in a physical classroom and learn how to deliver it in the online space almost overnight. All of the lecturers, teachers, and instructors who taught these different classes, grades, subjects, and courses to our students were tasked with reinventing themselves and taking this content, which their society relied on, and converting it into online delivery. Since there was no playbook for them to follow, they all had to figure out their way of doing things. Some were more successful, but overall, they did a phenomenal job with grace and good humour.

The use of live streaming technology in education has caused nervousness among teachers and parents because of its instability in the past, especially with video conferencing through Skype. The limitations of the technology are also significant, as it is impossible to recreate face-to-face interactions in the online classroom. This can result in distractions for both teachers and students as they navigate different environments, such as the presence of family members or parents looking over your shoulder and monitoring the session. As a result, the act of teaching requires more effort and heightened performance to keep the students engaged. This posed a significant challenge for teachers who had to adapt quickly, but ultimately, they had a valuable learning experience. The lack of interaction from students requires more energy from the teacher when teaching remotely.

Like many other ICT teachers, I stepped up to the challenge and saw it as a chance to showcase my skills. In May 2019, I initiated a virtual classroom using live streaming. I taught my classes this way for a few months, reaching students who were stuck at home and even those preparing for the O/L exams in December. I recognised that the industry was already moving towards online platforms, such as YouTube and WhatsApp, to serve students. I had started exploring this transition before the pandemic hit, but I struggled to find a market for (O/L) ICT subject.

I have been conducting ICT classes since 2005, and it has been an exciting experience. Instead of focussing on geography, I focussed on specific demographics. During my teaching, I came across some gems who do not fit the mould, and they believe that this experience has made them better students. It is an amazing job. Thanks to online lessons, I now feel that I am providing a superior service. I want to thank everyone who has invested a lot of time in helping me understand better what online teachers and students go through and the various tips, techniques, and skills they have learned, even though they were not formally enrolled.

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