Thousands of schools and educational institutions across the world have recently faced closures as a consequence of the dreaded spread of COVID-19, leaving professionals within the education sector in the difficult position of delivering remote learning. For most leaders, teachers and support staff this will be unknown territory, and therefore quite daunting; for parents and carers too. For children, this is possibly quite exciting.
As schools in the UK are now under strict instructions to remain closed to all but children of essential workers, teachers and parents are under enormous pressure to ensure that learning still takes place. If you are expected to deliver schooling to your pupils or the children in your care, we can help with some ideas to keep your weeks flowing:
Twinkl has recently launched a Home Learning Hub for children up to the age of 11. To help with school closures, Twinkl has put together a number of resources to ensure that learning takes place within the home. From parental advice, to help with homework, Twinkl has got home-schooling under control. The resource provider has stated that ‘qualified Twinkl teachers will provide book readings, live lessons, positive news updates and more’ to help you recreate school life in the comfort of the home. Your days will be timetabled in order to help with your preparation and keep your stress levels under control. Find out more about Twinkl’s Coronavirus initiative here.
2. Joe Wicks
You may or may not have heard of Joe Wicks, The Body Coach. He is a successful fitness coach and a self-confessed ‘man on a mission to rescue people from the awful dieting industry’. Joe has begun hosting a 30-minute live PE lesson on his YouTube channel that is aimed at any children who are unable to attend school during the current climate. It’s important that children and young people keep fit and healthy whilst their schools are closed, so Joe has taken it upon himself to deliver child-friendly, daily exercise for the children in your care to enjoy. You can subscribe to Joe Wicks’ YouTube channel and enjoy free access to his digital PE lessons here. And if you’re going stir crazy, get involved yourself!
Tapestry has begun putting together some new resources to help both schools and parents during this time of uncertainty. To begin with, they have introduced memos, the ability to upload longer videos, the ability to add documents to any memos and observations and the ability to add clickable website links to any memos and observations. These modifications have been made in order to facilitate home learning and ensure that strong lines of communication are maintained between your school and your pupils’ parents/carers. Teachers are now able to upload videos up to 10 minutes in length and add any Microsoft Office documentation to their memos. This longer video capacity and the ability to add documents enables teachers to effectively run lessons remotely and ensure that learners are provided with the resources to keep up with any teacher-lead tasks. You can find out more about Tapestry’s home learning resources here.
Moodle is an effective program to use during school closures, as it acts as a central hub for any documents required for learning. This is especially helpful for secondary schools, whose students are more able of working individually. Moodle ‘is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments’. Documents can be grouped by subject, and students can effectively manage their own learning in the absence of a teacher or school environment. Courses can be delivered 100% online and resources can be made available at the teachers’ discretion. Available in over 100 languages, Moodle is manageable for schools worldwide.
5. Google Classroom
Google has collaborated with educators to create an effective tool to be used within, or in the absence of a classroom. With Classroom, educators are granted the ability to create classes, distribute assignments, grade and send feedback, and see everything in one place. Both teachers and learners are able to access Google Classroom from their mobile or desktop to review class assignments and access course materials and feedback. This is incredibly effective given the current circumstances, as it enables lessons to take place with clear expectations and provides learning management at no cost. You can find out more about Google Classroom here.
6. Hard copies
It’s important to remember that digital forms of learning are not readily available to all of our learners. Please communicate with the parents/carers of these children and young people to ensure that their learning isn’t left behind.
With the help of these tools; the doors to our schools may be shut, but learning will be very much kept alive. If you fall short of inspiration, there are also multiple support groups available across social media platforms which can make more of a difference than you might assume. The important thing to remember is that this is only temporary, and while things may be different post COVID-19, we will return to normality before we know it. Keep doing what you’re doing. Teachers; you are truly remarkable. Good luck!