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Transitioning to New Norms in Education with Pak-Turk Maarif International

The current pandemic crisis not only affected the living style of human beings, but it also compulsorily brought a revolution in the academic world: no more face-to-face, classroom learning. Pak-Turk Maarif, being a progressive organization, not only went ahead in the commencement of virtual classrooms for its 13000 students across the country, but it also organized distant in-service training and workshops for its faculty to equip them with the latest technology to tackle the COVID-19 mode of education. For this purpose, a series of online workshops or webinars was initiated in collaboration with renowned Turkish Universities, and their most sought-after faculty members. So far, three such webinars have been conducted via official YouTube channel of Pak-Turk Maarif that were open for all, and are still available for everyone to watch and get help from.

The first webinar in the series was ‘Transitioning to the New Norms in Education’ that went online on 2nd of June at 12:00 PST with Asst. Prof. Tuncer Can, Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa / Faculty of Education, ELT Dept. The session highlighted the challenges of online teaching and guided the teachers to design strategies for effective distant learning, which included a broad range of supportive materials and resources. Teachers were also informed about the relationship between content and process change, and they also learnt how their existing skills could help to rebuild the big possibilities for online education.

The second webinar in the series was ‘Bridging the Distance for E-Learning through Educational Technology’ that went online on 3rd of June at 12:00 PST with Assoc. Prof. İrfan Şimşek from Istanbul University- Cerrahpaşa /Faculty of Education, Computer and Instructional Technologies Dept. The session guided the teachers how to apply emerging technologies in teaching and learning environments, and provided them with an insight of key elements of educational technology in teaching approaches, access to equipment, expectation from the teachers and effective educational technology to be used for professional and personal growth.

These open-for-all sessions were arranged to make the challenging task of paradigm-shifting to online interface easier for all academicians concerned. They represent Pak-Turk Maarif’s spirit of opportunity-for-all. Along with that, a staff-only webinar was also conducted on the 4th of June at 14:00 PST with Ms. Tayyabah Amer Malik, Head of K-8 Education, Pak Turk Maarif International Schools & Colleges. She discussed ‘A new Paradigm for teaching and learning’ while addressing the pedagogical shift in how we teach and learn today. Teachers were explained the transitioning from top-down lecturing and passive students to a more interactive, collaborative approach in which students and instructors co-create the learning process during online education. She along with her staff explored what the experience of online learning is like for students and how it has changed the role of the teacher and how the teaching approaches are redefined in the current scenario. This is just a beginning for a new progressive face of Pak-Turk Maarif that is surely to support teachers in their challenging times.