Shopian degree college starts using Google Classroom, but 2G speed is a problem

Shopian degree college starts using Google Classroom, but 2G speed is a problem

Shopian: Government Degree College Shopian has become the second college in Kashmir to start on-line classes amid the coronavirus lockdown which has paralysed normal life and education.

The move was highly appreciated by parents and students in the district. Sakib Ahmad, a student of the college, said that now students will be able to complete the syllabus to large extent.

Dr Ali Muhammad Dar, principal of the college, told Kashmir Reader that the online classes have been going on since a week and there are subject-wise professors to conduct classes through a Google Play Store application, Google Classroom.

“Students have to enter a semester code to avail lectures. For clarifications and confusions, the phone numbers of all professors have been shared with students,” Dr Dar said, adding that WhatsApp groups have also been created in this regard.

Students are demanding that video lectures be updated on the application, which would be more useful.

Saqib Ahmad, a student of 4th semester, said that the online lectures are very helpful in times of the lockdown. He said that video lectures would be even better. “Teachers around the world now share YouTube links of lectures and ebooks in groups and on applications,” he said.

Another student, Irfan Ahmed, said that at least there are some books are to read now. “I did call my professors to clarify some confusion and their reply was excellent,” he said.

Professor Tajamul Islam, who is in charge of the online classes initiative, said that more than 15 lecturers and assistant professors are conducting online classes. “There is a code and fixed time for different subjects and semesters. Online discussions and question-answer sessions are being held online,” he said.

Professor Islam added that the low-internet speed in Kashmir is not allowing the uploading of online lectures, but they are trying to find software that lets video lectures be uploaded.

He said that on Google Classroom, teachers upload Power Point Presentations (PPP), lectures, and reduce the pixels of videos to make them accessible to students. “We are working on the issues caused due to low internet speed and so far we are getting good response from the students as well as teachers,” he said, but added that the limited internet packs on mobile phones of teachers causes hindrance at times when their data pack expires.

Shahnawaz Ahmad, assistant professor of sociology at the college, said that he completed one chapter in three days and about 250 students attended the classes. “With this internet speed we are not able to have video classes to make proper verbal communication but at the same time something is better than nothing,” he said.

He added that the lecturers and professors now attend to phone calls of students to clear confusions and reply to their questions. “In video lectures we could have been able to have discussions,” he said.

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