5 lessons learned from Covid‐19

@neelamaparmar1

As we return back to our conventional ways, our knowledge and experiences will serve to be very powerful. The big question is what are we doing to do with what we have learned?

Technology

There is a place for technology in education. Whereas technology, has in the past, always been considered a nice to have in the classroom, there is no doubt that in these times, technology has been useful and necessary to continue teaching and learning.

Teaching

As we start to return back into school, teachers may find themselves in a highly complex yet real situation. It is likely they will adopt a wide range of pedagogical strategies. This could take the form of traditional face‐to‐face classroom practices to a blended learning strategy, using the technology to facilitate lessons, feedback, marking and assessment.

Some schools may take their pedagogic practices further and deliver a hybrid approach of teaching, including both synchronous and asynchronous online lessons. This is particularly relevant in recent times where subject specialist teachers are at home teaching students in years other than those that have been asked to return to school.

A more radial approach can be a combination of strategies where teachers will continue to deliver their lessons in school and online, for students both in and out of school (with a classroom facilitator for students in school), as well as cater for students who live in different time zones, creating a matrix of pedagogical strategies that would individually suit learner’s needs. This could potentially create a very personalised learning journey for a student.

Learning

Learning varies from one individual to another. This really ought to be no different to what we see in the classroom but during these remote times, it is challenging for teachers to deliver lessons in an engaging manner and for students to assimilate the necessary information to keep motivated. Schools that have been involved in redesigning content delivery for online learning platforms could in effect deliver their teaching in various ways and cater for different learning styles using bite size curated content and interactive multimedia to aid visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinaesthetic learning styles.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing is important virtually as was before. Schools have come to understand that remote learning can lead to emotional distancing which when heightened can result in anxiety, uncertainty, fear and isolation in individuals. It is therefore important, now more than ever, to touch base and keep in touch with your students. Communication is key and it may be necessary for students to voice their concerns, needs and require support to prevent feelings of isolation, frustration and disengagement. Whilst it is important to ensure students are on track with their learning, they still need to know they are greatly valued and important members of their peer groups.

Community

We have learned we are not alone and will be coming out of this in staggered shifts. Some of us have learned we can work from home and co‐exist with our families during these challenging times while others may be anxious to return back to the normality of it all. Keeping the school structure, timetable and placing importance on like‐minded interests with social interaction may be important in becoming mindful for student’s social and emotional needs. Students, as well as people, need a sense of belonging and supportive atmosphere to foster positive thinking and connectedness.