Technology in classrooms can be better than the stereotypical cell phone going off in the middle of class. It can be an effective tool, both in terms of pedagogical resources and connecting with younger generations. However, the skills of the teachers will matter more as they need to be well equipped to adapt to the current learning environment and create engagement in virtual classrooms.
It is always easy to adopt technology but challenging to adapt to evolving teaching methodologies. As the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted education across the globe, the impact of the technology has been massive. Many institutes struggled to adjust to the new norms of education. However, for the Asian College of Teachers (ACT), it was more or less an easy transition to shift to the online format completely, as it was always into online learning much before the pandemic. In fact, the institute has always been committed to making a learner’s journey outstanding by providing an actively engaged experience throughout by integrating ICT into their course design.
Helping Teachers create Innovative Learning Environments
ACT which started its operation in 2007, has a strong global presence today with an impressive 40,000+ alumni, 100+ courses, and an array of national and international awards and recognition in their kitty. The institute has been successfully providing high-quality courses in Pre and Primary, TEFL/TESOL, Education Management & Leadership, Counselling, SEN, and L&D domains, transforming aspiring teachers into competent teaching/training professionals preparing them to confidently face the challenge of the global classrooms. “We aim to produce future teaching/training experts with a unique set of abilities to teach learners from diverse backgrounds,” says Dr Sanjib Chakraborty, Founder & Chairman, ACT.
ACT believes in making its courses available to teaching professionals across the globe and providing them with outstanding learning and employment-related courses in the field of pre-primary, nursery, Montessori education, TEFL, special education, education management, counselling, L&D, bachelor’s and master’s level courses. “We help them to not only lead them towards a successful teaching and training career but aid them in making a strong impact on individual lives and society,” opines Dr Sanjib.
Having been into online learning from the beginning, ACT has had its fair share of sceptics who had doubts about pursuing courses online. Now, students and teachers have adapted to the emerging digital trends in education in a big way, and they are more than willing to go for online education, which will change the way they study, learn and usher in a new era of teaching and learning. Before the pandemic, ACT was a lot into in-class training, and post-pandemic, they had shifted to live online classes. They had to face a lot of obstacles as a complete shift to live online classes is easier said than done. But this has been a learning experience for them as they learned new skills, came up with new solutions, and they have handled the crisis well and faced adversity with great fortitude. There has been a dip in revenue, but not in the number of enrolments as people used the lockdown period to reskill themselves. A huge number of teachers joined their Virtual Online Teaching (VOLT) Program.
Connecting Teachers through user-friendly LMS
ACT’s course content is drawn on researches, and their course developers are experienced in relevant fields who constantly work on pruning and presenting content that aligns with contemporary learning with a deeper understanding of the target audience. The course materials provided are relevant and thorough, which develops the professional skills of aspiring teachers and reshaping them as confident teachers and trainers. The curricula are drawn up with today’s teachers and trainers in mind. Online trainees get access to ACT’s Learning Management System (LMS) and are given a unique user ID and password using which they can access the course materials from anywhere. “Our course content introduces the trainees to a broad range of current theories and practices covering major aspects of teacher training, allowing them to grasp ideas and knowledge at their own pace,” says Dr Sanjib.
Communication has been the key despite the trying times for ACT. Uncertainty around the pandemic has kept the morale low, but they kept on connecting digitally as much as they could. Everyone communicated on Google Talk, WhatsApp, and emails were exchanged for official communication. They had regular Zoom meetings and shared information on their company Facebook and Corporate Communications Group to do a small bit to help build the mental support system, trust and strengthen the connections among the employees.
ACT is connecting with schools and conducting virtual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Webinars. They are marketing through their school network, around 600+ schools in Asia, since they cater to a niche segment of education, i.e., teachers. “Start-ups that are into K-12 Education should look at mass-scale social media reach. Online education is here to stay, and I see a brighter future as far as online learning is concerned. It is a growing field with abundant opportunities. The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the process and changed education in a big way,” opines Dr Sanjib.
Online learning has become a vital part of the modern educational landscape, and ACT is working on it to make their courses accessible to everyone across the globe as well as affordable through their own LMS system, which they can pursue from the comfort of their homes and get closer to their dream careers. ACT aims to transform teacher education by exploring e-learning in a whole new light by providing Live Online and Online courses alongside a wide range of CPD Webinars. “We are getting into higher education in the teaching arena in collaboration with international universities. We are coming up with a lot of high-quality programs which are affordable and accessible from any corner of the globe,” concludes Dr Sanjib.
About Dr Sanjib Chakraborty, Founder & Chairman, Asian College of Teachers (ACT)
Dr Sanjib Chakraborty, Founder & Chairman, Asian College of Teachers, is a Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Hertfordshire, the UK with two Masters – in Education (M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction Design) and Business Administration. He is a Diploma holder in Learning & Development, CIPD, UK, a Certified L&D Practitioner from TAP Academy & British Institute of Learning & Development, UK, and a Certified Trainer from Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore.
Dr Chakraborty had been a lecturer at a University in Bangkok, Thailand, and presently lectures at several international universities in Asia. He is an ardent facilitator and an avid traveler who has been to more than 41 countries conducting workshops and creating engaging learning experiences through custom-made Learning and Development programs.
He has been awarded Indo-Thai Chamber of Commerce (Thailand) – Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 and also at the 26th Indian Achievers Summit New Delhi (India) – The Challenges of Economic Growth & Social Development Year 2010.