Online teaching & learning policy

Guidelines for teachers

Treat online learning same as in-classroom learning

Though you are not taking classes from VVIS classroom, the same classroom rules related to behaviour, language and posture etc. apply to the remote class as well. Something which is not a right conduct in the school classroom is also not right to conduct during online class; something not good to say in the classroom is not good to comment or post online.

Teachers need to maintain proper dress code; they should not appear on screen with inappropriate clothes.

Revisit and follow Code of Conduct policy of VVIS and maintain professionalism at all times.

Appropriate surroundings
Like the classroom, teachers need to focus while being online as well, make sure you are not distracted by the surroundings (Electronics or social noise or activities in background etc.) A space having large amount of activities in the background is not the best place for online teaching. Try to keep the background neutral with no personal stuff of your house appearing on the screen.

To make most of the online classes, it is important that you sit at the right place in right posture; on, preferably, a table like a classroom-table at home and keep the screen at eye level.
It is a learning set-up and not a social set-up

In order to have a healthy positive learning environment for students, do not engage yourself in parent-to-teacher communication and teacher-to-teacher communication during an online class. Such personal & casual discussion is prohibited. Online learning is meant for teacher-to-students and students-to-teacher communication.

Parent-to-parent communication, parent-to-student communication, Student-to-student communication is also not encouraged during online classes.

Teachers should not share any text, chat, image, audio, video or content that is not related to online learning during the online classes or through online learning tools, platforms school is using. They should not take, record, screen-shot or post images/video of students in online class and should not share on internet or social media or share with someone.

Following routine is important

Remote learning in a relatively informal set-up should not make you & your students casual in approach. Set clear expectations about respectful online behavior right from the dressing, posture etc. from students.

You need to keep your students on track. Join the online class at least 10 minutes in advance. Make your students to join the online class at least 5 minutes in advance. Keep them on their daily learning routine of classes, assignments, practice & submission in a timely manner.

Keep in touch with parents and give & take timely feedback related to the learning progress of your students through a separate official channel.

Avoid one-to-one interaction
The teacher should interact with a group of students. 1:1 interaction with any student alone via live video or audio must be avoided.

There may be a need, such as counsellors or music teacher or teacher in doubt clearance session may require 1:1 contact with students on an occasional basis; in such requirement, either of the parent should accompany the student.
Share with care

Think beforeyou share. Always check the resources and content before sharing; never share inappropriate material or your personal details with students. Once you share it online, it might be difficult to take it back. Use school-approved groups & the platform only for online learning and sharing.

Do not copy or claim someone else’s work as your own. It is not only unethical but also against the law as it might be a copyright-work.

Basics of the online world

Just because you are operating from home it does not mean you are not exposed to the risks; like in real-life-world, one has to be always alert & careful while using the internet as well.

Just because something is online does not mean it is true. Do not believe & follow everything you find or receive on the Internet content. Whatever you find online is not necessarily true or reliable. Do not forward or share unconfirmed information.

Not everything is private, in fact, most of the things do not stay private on Internet. Whatever you post on the Internet can be seen by family, friends, teachers and strangers. Once you post something online be it a text, comment, image, audio, video it’s very hard to remove it from public view and it can stay online forever.

Different people have a different mindset and they see the same content from a different perspective and make different meaning of it which is not the one you mean it. Think about it before you post something online.

Not everyone you meet online is who they say they actually are. When you are face to face or on the phone with your friend, you can tell it’s them by the face or sound of their voice, even though you can’t see them. The online world is a little different, though. Someone may fool you by using your friends’ name and their photograph and start chatting with you. Make sure you know well the people you connect with. Double-check they are actually who they say they are!

Realize that website or ad can not tell if there is anything wrong with your device! There are scams that may trap you into downloading malware or unwanted software by telling you that there is something wrong with your device and you need to fix it.

Basic safety protocols to follow
  • Use your own device. Avoid using other’s or public devices. Avoid connecting personal USBs or hard drives on public networks or computers.
  • Lock your device, when you take a break, do not leave your device unattended. Log-out your account, close the application & turn-off the internet connection when you’re done, make sure device camera is off.
  • Make sure Anti-virus solution is installed & functioning on your device. This helps in prevention from viruses and malware.
  • Always connect to a secure Internet/WiFi connection. Make sure a strong network security/firewall system is in place.
  • Visit secure websites. (Please note that Vagdevi Vidyapeeth website is a secure website.)
  • Just because you can click, doesn’t mean you should. Some links may carry viruses, it may steal your personal information from your device and may cause damage to your data and device. Always be careful about accepting, clicking & opening e-mails, attachments, videos or pictures links and URLs. Do inspect links carefully and ensure they are valid & from trusted sources before clicking.
  • Set a strong password. Keep on changing password regularly.
  • Keep your device on automatic software update setting for both OS software version as well as antivirus software.
Good Internet practices
  • Remember that everything can be recorded and shared. Remind your children to be aware of this – never say or do anything on video that they wouldn’t be comfortable with others seeing.
  • Do not respond to the people you don’t know. Don’t accept video, chat, connection requests from people you don’t know. Not even once. Never enter a chat room / video meeting where you don’t know the people.
  • Avoid downloading unwanted files or installing unwanted softwares. Use only verified open-source or licensed softwares from a trusted source.
  • Do not open e-mails, enclosures, links, URLs, texts, videos or pictures from people you do not know.
  • Do not share something which is not true.
  • Do not make too many user accounts on too many platforms if it is not useful. More your digital footprint, more your online risk. Delete the accounts that you do not use.
  • Do not leave behind your bank account, wallet and debit card/credit card details online.
  • Read the privacy settings of the Apps & websites carefully.
  • Always keep a Back-Up of your important data.
  • Do not discuss private family matters online or via text/chat. Instead, children should talk about them with the parent.
  • If someone unknown bothers you, you can block her/him.
Password protects you
  • Choosing a strong, unique password for each of your important accounts is a great step towards online safety. Always remember your passwords and keep them private, too.
  • Use a different password for each of your important accounts.
  • Use at least eight characters. The longer the better (as long as you can remember it!).
  • Use combinations of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols.
  • Make your passwords memorable so you don’t need to write them down, which would be risky.
  • Immediately change your password if you know or believe it may be known by someone other than your parents
  • Always use strong screen locks on your devices. Set your devices to automatically lock in case they end up in the wrong hands.
  • Avoid using personal information (name, address, email, phone number, Social Security number, motherʼs maiden name, birth dates, etc.), or common words (for example “123456” and “password”) in your password.
  • Your ID is yours alone. Protect passwords. Do not to give them to friends (not even your best friend).
Privacy is most important

Keep your account privacy setting high. Keep your personal information private, do not share it online:

  • Your complete name (Name + Surname)
  • Your email & contact number
  • Your home address
  • Your complete date of birth
  • Your username, password, one-time-passwords/keys
  • Your bank account no., debit/credit card no.
  • Your personal photos
  • Information about your friends or family.

 When it comes to privacy, treat others how you want to be treated. Even if you know any of the above details of your friend do not post it. It’s always important to respect others’ privacy. Always think before you post something. Do not post anything that could hurt or anger others or have a negative effect. Do not record & share someone’s picture, audio or video without their permission.

Beware of cyberbullying, speak up

What is cyberbullying or online bullying :

An online act or behaviour of:  

  • Teasing, humiliation
  • Social exclusion
  • Aggression, Threats
  • Harassment based on gender, religion, race & socio-economic background
  • Abuse

That may include different types of actions by an individual such as:

  • Sending mean text or email
  • Sending abusing or harassing message
  • Posting hurtful comments
  • Posting rumours or fake news
  • Posting embarrassing photos, audio, video & chat
  • Posting inappropriate content
  • Setting up fake profiles
  • Setting up fake websites
  • Stealing someone’s account password and sending inappropriate messages from that account

Cyberbullying is a punishable offence in India. In case you are caught in either of situation:

Situation 1 Cyberbullying  / Student or parent post or threatens to post some inappropriate content

Situation 2 You caught in an internet scam or Your account has been hacked or stolen.

What is most important here in both situations?

  • Donʼt panic!
  • It is not your fault if you see something bad accidentally. Nobody is perfectly immune. It can happen to anyone.
  • You are not the only one it happened with. It happens with many people. Do not just keep it with yourself. You are not alone, your management is with you.
  • If someone is bullying you online, do not respond or retaliate by doing the same thing, do report it immediately instead.

Not only you, cyberbullying may happen with students also. Students may also see anything on the Internet or on the device that makes them feel uncomfortable, bad or threatened; including text, message, website, image, chat. Make it convenient for students to always reach out to you as teacher and report you an incident that may have happened to them online.

Even though your students are not coming into your school classroom, you still may be a safe adult for them. You may suspect abuse or a student may reach out and discloses abuse. Be prepared to report and respond to support the child. As a teacher, you are a mandated reporter and are legally responsible for reporting suspected or disclosed abuse.

How should such an incident be reported in an online learning environment?

The procedures remain the same as in an offline environment. If you come across something that makes you feel uncomfortable or worse, report it – Be brave & right, report it to Principal.

  • Try to keep written notes and other evidence such as screenshots in such instances.
  • Close the App / website/ chat/ video /meeting
  • Change your passwords for online accounts.
  • Log off or turn off your device
  • Report the incident to Principal what happened as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse things could get.

Cyberbullying is a punishable offence as per the law. Cases of cyberbullying must be reported to the police (Dial: 112).

Minimize screen time

Balance in life is important. Take regular breaks from schoolwork and using the device. Balance computer time with other activities. Stay away from non-productive online resources. Avoid using the device when it is not for online learning & teaching. Engage in offline activities.

Monitor your screen time and gradually cut it short. Use your device timely. Fix the time and duration of time to check your device and to be online. Avoid keeping on checking notifications, scrolling the screen & browsing the App in an uncontrolled way.

Use your device purposefully. Just unplug it when you’re done and it is not meaningful to stay on it. Do some physical activity, spend time with family.

Don’t get attracted (distracted!) remove attracting screensavers, slideshow, wallpapers, Apps on lock/home screen. Use simple black & white screen with no other Apps than the phone, message etc.

Keep it out of sight of kids as much as possible, if it is out of sight, it is out of reach & out of mind.

Set-up and follow ‘no device rules’:

  • No devices at the dinner table
  • No devices during family time
  • No devices during the time with friends
  • Limiting TV time each day
  • No device in the bedroom
Rest your eyes & body

Keep blinking your eyes while watching the screen.  You should give rest to your eyes during the break and change of lectures.

Do not keep device brightness level at the highest or lowest. Adjust the brightness according to the surrounding light. A good tip is to turn down the brightness of the screen and turn up the contrast for better viewing. It is a good habit to wash/splash eyes with water every few hours to ensure they remain wet and healthy.

You should also take proper rest after completion of lectures for a day. You should also take proper sleep. This will give relief to your body.

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