As of March 31, 185 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America announced their school and university closings. “Students, their parents, and educators around the world are feeling the extraordinary ripple effect of the novel coronavirus as schools are shutting down and quarantine methods are being ordered to cope with the global pandemic. While governments and health officials are doing their best slowing down the outbreak, global education systems are collaborating to collectively respond and provide quality education for all during these difficult times” (Hundred.org).
Distance education studies in Turkey are carried out in 3 separate television channels and EBA. 20-25 minute course broadcasts are made on television channels opened separately for primary, secondary and high schools. In addition, 40 experimental videos that children can do at home were prepared.
Also as a Turkish Scientix Ambassador, I organized online seminars on “The Importance of STEM Education for Sustainable Development Goals” with more than 1,000 teachers attendants.
In these seminars, besides the Scientix project, I provided information on how to teach students effectively with distance education applications. I introduced the synchronous and asynchronous tools that students can teach.
In addition, Mission X is an international teaching course, which consists of scientific activities that help students develop strength, endurance, coordination, spatial awareness, and scientific activities. These are focused on STEM issues and allow students to conduct scientific reasoning and teamwork, where students learn about space and practice astronaut exercises.
During the past days, the Entrepreneurial Children’s Television youtube channel was created with the collaboration of my 8-year-old daughter. Interviewing and helping to create a role-model for STEM career entrepreneurs for girls. In addition, the “STEM at Home” events happen once a week on the same channel. The material in Turkish for the ones interested: There STEM Home.
As part of the “April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day” celebrated in our country as the first and only children’s holiday in the world, whose 100th year will be celebrated in 2020. We have prepared a scientific activity program that hundreds of students can do at home through distance education. This will be in STEM Discovery week as an event.
Finally, I have some suggestions to the teacher and friends about better engaging students in online lessons:
1. Do not limit the lessons to information transfer;
2. Try to create a dialogue, engagement and discussion environment;
3. Create opportunities for students to reflect by themselves;
4. Try as much as you can to create good content, excitement and motivation – for yourself and for students.
Finally, remote education is helpful under these circumstances, but should not be an end per se.
“If you cannot manage change well, if you resist change, you will be out of the race!”
Author: Çelebi Kalkan, Turkey Scientix Ambassador