All schools in the world on all continents are now facing new challenges. Each responsible teacher moved from their classroom to a distance learning environment. Not only teachers and parents but also children/students are in stressful situations. The task of each teacher is to create a comfortable and safe environment for their students while trying to motivate them.
Distance teaching is a form of online learning. A major factor of distance learning and student’s feedback is their motivation and communication. Quarantine in Ukraine have started on March 12 and in all schools of Ukraine, the implementation of distance learning has been different. Remote learning was implemented centrally in the city of Lviv. Еducation leadership, Lviv City Council, and ІТ Cluster have formed a group of coordinators for the implementation of distance learning in our city.
In that context, I am working as a computer science teacher in one of the Lviv schools. I am also the coordinator for the implementation of distance education in Lviv and a co-organizer of a teacher education unit in all schools of the city.
Distance learning was organized on the Google Classroom platform for secondary schools and on the Class Dojo platform at primary. So, I thought it could be interesting to share my experience in implementing distance learning. I use both synchronous and asynchronous distance learning systems.
I do pedagogical design and try to make distance learning fun to motivate my students and to use innovative platforms for quality feedback. That way, my lessons can become interesting and informative, see the videos on my Youtube channel.
Other helpful tools used are Kahoot, LearningApps, Google Forms, and tests for effective feedback and improvements on my side.
During my online lessons, I often use the Zoom application for synchronous connection. In these sessions, students can communicate with each other, ask questions to the teacher, receive answers, and create small discussions. It is very useful to use interactive survey platforms during the lessons made with the tools mentioned before.
The Go-Lab platform can also be extremely helpful: in the online labs you can learn, you can create your own projects and share knowledge with my fellow science teachers about biology, chemistry, and natural science, as an example.
Something I find good to do is to create flexible deadlines for students – they are or can be facing different life situations and conditions. Altruism and solidarity are very important today and always.
After 42 days of quarantine, I realized that the combination of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning is very effective. The combination of these two types of connection is the best method of doing distance learning. Finally, an important aspect to make it successful is time management: flexible schedule for teachers, students, and parents. Here is an example of my own schedule.
In addition, I am responsible for organizing the STEAM Lviv festival every year in our city. This year it is the third one – III STEAM Lviv Festival – which was organized online during the pandemic, like all STEM events in Europe. I also organized an online Lego Challenge, with motivational presentations by IT professionals during the online stream. Some images/videos from the event here.
At last, I hope my recommendations and resources will help you with your online learning/teaching process to be more practical and effective. I also hope that with this text you could gain some new motivation to move forward and to live better in our constantly changing world.
Author: Olha Doskochynska, Ukrainian Scientix Ambassador