Sep 22, 2020 Letters
I am happy to see the Ministry of Education has started to train teachers for online delivery to students as we continue to be innovative. Online classes I feel are here to stay with or without a pandemic. As I previously wrote, even though it might be challenging, this method is one of the main ways to accomplish distant learning once there is the availability of a computer/tablet with internet access.
We all know that teachers are dedicated to their profession and they all specialize in different areas, but not all of them would be comfortable with information technology. As such, we can suggest moving to a model whereby groups of teachers within the same class level and content area can collaborate to create similar modules for delivery to schools within their community and even beyond. This will allow the teachers who are weaker with technology to be able to benefit from the ones that are very comfortable with technology.
Logic would dictate for example, that if a secondary school student in Georgetown will do a CXC exam in Biology at the end of the school year, a comparable student in an Anna Regina secondary school would be doing the exact same work to also take a CXC Biology exam. As such, the online content does not have to be created twice because it’s two different schools. This way we can have the best Biology teacher who may be a great face to face teacher but struggles with technology, now teaming up with another teacher who thrives on technology to form the perfect team to create and deliver the best online Biology class.
The model can be setup in a hierarchy starting with subject and followed by grade/class level; i.e. create a Biology module – assign to Form 5 students. The thing to wrap your head around is that the teacher is not going to the student in a classroom, the student is going to the teacher in an online environment. One teacher can only have a limited number of students in a class, but one online teacher can have an infinite number of students logging on to a class with the right technology. This model allows the content to be of the highest quality, consistent across all schools and less preparation thereby allowing delivery to students faster.
As an educator for the last 21 years, I have been fortunate to be in an environment that encompasses all different forms of delivery when it comes to education and I am grateful for this platform that allows me the opportunity to continue to share some of my thoughts which I hope may be useful to help students continue learning in these trying times.
We know that this pandemic will end eventually, but in the meantime as students adapt to different methods of learning, keeping schools closed appears to be a good choice. I have noticed that the Covid-19 numbers are going up and as I had mentioned a couple weeks ago, I think face masks should be mandatory. Health officials have also repeatedly said that social distancing is the best way to control the virus spread, so maybe we should be seriously looking at what is deemed essential to be open or at the least, limit the number of people to these places. There are so many areas that are high risk, but one that definitely should be on the radar is public transportation. Let us all stay safe.
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