“Since February 17 I have been teaching eleventh grade human writing for self-isolated students in China, where we teach virtual classes remotely, and we’ve had about half a week to prepare for school online, including creating a digital platform that none of us have used before”.
In the first few weeks we needed to be flexible and patient, everything we did took a long time, but we worked on many bugs and now involved our students in high-quality online educational experiences.
Since our students have stopped going to school their lessons happen in real time according to the usual schedule using a Chinese app, where our international team is teaching the use of Moodle which is an open source learning platform that has the ability to hold live broadcasts with whiteboards and separate rooms, also used to give Notes for students. ”
Here are some of what they have learned so far about teaching students who should stay home:
There are international teachers from four continents across eight different time zones, so most of their classrooms are asynchronous which means that teachers publish assignments and lessons recorded and students complete work at different times, and teachers respond to assessment and comment forms and sometimes video recordings or audio comments from their students during their platform Online learning, they will engage students and make learning more interactive.
It is not about screens:
It’s very easy for students to spend a lot of time in front of screens for their school online, but students have to do tasks that push them to progress and move away from their computers and phones, and find ways to get them to continue working without screens:
Videos: The first grade class recently had a homework assignment where students need to describe a pet and record it as a video, students can also write and perform plays or create cooking recipes, conduct interviews, and send these assignments as video.
Drawing: Many school classes deliberately use paper tasks instead of laptops to reduce screen time for students by requiring students to complete some tasks on paper and take a picture of their completed work and upload it as a picture and send it, as an example, technical lessons have made students work on drawing, and they take Pictures of their work, send to their teacher, and share with the class.
Teacher working hours
In addition to the asynchronous classrooms, all teachers have a three-hour daily shift, they log into Moodle all the time, and this enables students to contact the teacher for assistance while doing their school work, and helps teachers keep their schedules regular.
This resource is convenient for both students and parents as a way to maintain immediate communication with school and teachers in real time.
Technical support is essential to the success of distance learning, they just have to make sure that everyone knows how to communicate to get support, and to provide teachers, students and families with video and written instructions on how to use the platform so that they can answer some of their own questions before contacting for help.
Between the need to care for children and supervise troubled young learners, distance learning can be a very stressful experience for parents, so you should communicate with them proactively and regularly via the media and give them directions as the regular school does, just make sure you communicate with parents and tell them about the wonderful work that Their children do, as work-related praise strengthens relationships with both families and students.
In the school there is a team of professional development sessions on a weekly basis, they continued using their online platform with coordinated start and end times, where the schedules are developed led by an educational team and distributed to teachers, they divided their time between developing plans and modeling how to use their platform online and answer the The questions that teachers ask in real time.
In addition to the professional development and regular communication, teachers are interested in celebrations, celebrating birthdays and sharing photos and videos of where they are in the world.