#EduTECH Asia’s Webinar series has been put together to continue sharing with our education community on what is upcoming in EdTech and how schools and universities are continuing with teaching and learning during current challenging times.
Our first webinar on 9th April “Using technology to deliver lessons in a crisis”, focused on what are the tools and resources at hand to deliver lessons during a crisis. Joining us on the panel were Atima Joshi, Principal of Middle International School, Singapore who moderated the panel, and Naima Charlier, Director of Teaching and Learning from Nord Anglia International School, Hong Kong, Mike Keppell, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning & Teaching at Taylor’s University, Malaysia, Lee Falconer, IT Director & Assistant at The British International School at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and last but not least, Fung Fun Man, Instructor of Chemistry & Learning Sciences from National University of Singapore who joined in as panellists.
Following our webinar, we sat together with our panellists to get you some more insights on this important topic. These are responses to some of the questions that came in from our attendees during the Q&A session during the panel discussion.
1. How can we maintain the monitoring and accountability of child’s learning during online or home based learning?
Naima Charlier: QA processes that have been effective for us include: monitoring of assessment outcomes of students,;data from survey results from both pupils and parents; buddy ‘observations’ of synchronous learning; sharing practice for asynchronous lessons and developing guidelines of best practice for different subjects, ages and stages, asking for feedback from the students on specific lessons and what works for their learning, Team teaching in year groups.
Lee Falconer: With students working remotely, it has been more challenging for some to maintain an appropriate pace and quality of work. We have found that a central repository, in our case a Google Sheet, where teachers log concerns by year group has worked well. Heads of Year have then followed up with individual students and parents at the end of each school day and supported them in getting back on track.
2. While using online tools to assess students knowledge, how can we have judicious evaluation of the assignments of online learning? Which are the good teacher-friendly tools for students’ evaluation?
Fung Fun Man: Educators can upload assignment onto their own LMS to conduct e-assignment. Since the e-assignment program in my university does not support drawing of chemical structures, students will be required to print the assignment and write answers on the assignment paper printed. Then, students scan their answers and upload to the LMS.
Naima Charlier: Century Tech, Diagnostic questions, Nearpod, quizlet are all good platforms with an array of assessment capabilities. Century tech gives you information on the learning process as well as the outcome which is very powerful virtually. Flipgrid and Padlet allow good opportunities for assessment of creative subjects and languages. Seesaw and Tapestry allow you to create ordered portfolios of work as well as assess in real time.
Lee Falconer: There are almost too many to chose from! Quizlet, Kahoot, Nearpod, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, Seesaw are a few just for starters. Much will depend on what learning technologies are already embedded in your school – start with these as a foundation and add others in to the mix as you go.
3. What is your advice to the educators or teachers who are shifting from the face-to-face to online environment?
Fung Fun Man: Team teach! See how we do it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC3BVdrGX9c and https://youtu.be/mIUofI6yymE
Naima Charlier: Lean on each other. Form groups and opportunities for teacher to share practice, tips, questions in real time informally. Teams chats worked well for us. Frame sharing as a celebration of what went well and what good looks like so there is more incentive for people to share their ideas and create a culture where people can trial ideas and cross pollinate ideas. Make sure your forums for sharing practice go across different subjects and ages as we can learn a lot from each other. Make it a gradual shift, if possible. Trial something, ask for feedback and then tweak it. Be kind to yourself and each other. Everybody is finding this difficult. Celebrate success.
Lee Falconer:I think a starting point is acceptance that online learning is different from face-to-face learning, both in terms of how it ‘feels’ and its effectiveness. Developing a philosophy of what you want to achieve as a community and sharing it with all stakeholders is an important initial step, ensuring a cohesion between teachers, classes, learners and parents. Thereafter, lots of tech support and sharing of ideas – if you have them, learning tech coaches will be a great asset in promoting best practice and supporting groups of teachers in their new way of working.
4. How do we work on socio emotional learning virtually, especially given the limitations we have as opposed to a physical learning environment?
Naima Charlier: Ensure you have the whole picture for your pupils re engagement. Devise systems where you can reach out to them 1:1 so everybody has someone checking on them. Pupils and staff. Parents also need emotional support during this time. Develop activities that are targeted at different needs. We have ensured we have fun events, like bake-offs and building challenges as well as mindful yoga and screen free time built into the virtual school. Lean on your pastoral team to compile a plan specifically to target well-being. The pupils will also have ideas about what they need at this time. Consider where the gaps are – eg in the normal day children can socialise across year groups, where can this happen in the virtual?
Lee Falconer: Video and audio calls are a great starting point for making connections that build on the strong relationships that already exist between students and teachers. Encourage teachers to design activities that require some student-to-student collaboration to keep connections live and meaningful. Your pastoral teams will have some great ideas for reaching out to more vulnerable groups of students – support them in this process and celebrate their great work.
5. How do we accommodate the different set of learners when it comes to online learning (e.g. different learning styles, quick/slow learners)?
Fung Fun Man: You may upload videos on YouTube because it allows for playback and also adjustment of speed of elocution. Students can also see their classmate’s interactions and scaffold thoughts. See https://youtu.be/OrVzebvOcto
You may follow more update on: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFC-48DLa41s1etnnTCnqkw
And my views on Twitter @chemfunman
Naima Charlier: Differentiate as you would in class with different levels of challenge built in. Consider virtual small groups that are targeting specific needs. Lean on your e-tools as they can be personalized to cater for different stages of learning. Consider how you construct your sequence of learning and use your assessment data to adapt it as needed. Mini exit quizzes and flipping learning work well virtually. Could you be teaching with one group while the other is working independently and then swap?
Lee Falconer:The foundations of good teaching and learning have not changed as we have shifted to remote/online learning. Differentiate as you normally would, set open-ended tasks for more challenge where required. Consider individual/small group work in supporting those who are perhaps struggling a little more, and don’t forget to bring in your Teaching Assistants/Learning Support Departments to the e-learning platforms you are using.
6. In third world nations, all the classes of people do not have equal opportunity to access the internet due to remoteness as well as possession of smartphones. Aren’t we therefore pushing the marginal students more towards periphery and creating a digital divide amongst students?
Naima Charlier:Are you able to provide physical resources that parents can collect? Text books etc? Can learning involve tasks such as cooking, gardening or tasks that can be set up and then completed over time -longer writing tasks or projects?
Lee Falconer: Sadly, I think this is the case. Wherever possible, activities and resources that do not require access to a device will help mitigate this risk. So much is context-dependent, so an answer to this will involve getting as many of your stakeholders together as possible and trying to find an appropriate and sustainable solution together!
7. How to involve parents, teach them about distance learning, and how to help them support their children in the learning process?
Naima Charlier: We have produced guides for parents at all stages and have shared these via LinkedIn @naishk #virtualschoolexperience
Lee Falconer: Parent webinars have worked well for us – why not give them a hands on experience of the different tools you are using? Pick a topic of interest that is accessible for all and teach it in a webinar that uses a variety of learning tech tools. Your parents will thank you for it!
If you missed watching the live panel discussion, you can watch it on demand here.
You may also be interested in the following webinars on-demand:
- Going Virtual: Shifting to Remote Teaching and Learning, May 28, 2020
- Improve Student Learning with Technology Transformation, June 2, 2020
- Effective Online Learning at Scale, June 4, 2020
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