28 Feb, 2020
10 : 00
The journey of eLearning continues at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing, with teachers dispersed in different parts of the world. One word to appropriately describe how this experience has been for everyone is “Adaptability”. Many YCIS Beijing teachers have had to learn about new platforms, modify their teaching and let go of the usual modus operandi to match the current times.
As the 4th Week of eLearning comes to an end, we talked with two of our teachers, who have been striving to make the best out of this approach every day, Oscar Gonçalves and Franny Guo.
According to Oscar Gonçalves, Secondary School Head of Science, “Part of being an International educator and learner, is the enormous capacity to adapt to new challenges and still being able to maintain a great quality in teaching and learning, and what I’ve seen the past few weeks is evidence of this.”.
He states that for him, the experience has been “Relatively easy. I am actually enjoying eLearning and loving the challenge.”. For him the process of being able to use different technological features that allow him access to students has been a positive from this experience, even though the scope makes it challenging. “The technology currently available is great but is immense and finding the right technological alternative can be challenging.”
On the other hand, Franny Guo, Primary Year 3 Chinese Teacher shares that “The 30 minutes of Chinese class I have with my students every day is the most enjoyable time during this time. I hope they enjoy it as I do.” Understandably, as the lockdown has meant limited, online access between teachers and students.
Miss Guo also goes beyond her daily expected duty of offering 30-minute-long sessions by adding additional time to her lesson to give students an opportunity to converse with one another. “I make sure that [during] every session, all my students get a chance to talk. To have their voice heard that day. I open my classroom a little earlier to give them a chance to chat with their classmates as they have not seen each other in a long time. Bonding time is very important.” she stresses.
She continues “I also think that virtual learning has also resulted in a gain for many teachers, who have had to explore and discover new platforms, creative ways of conducting lessons and resources for teaching which they could also use after school reopens”
Teams, Kognity, Kerboodle, Century Tech, and Youtube have been useful platforms for Mr. Gonçalves and considering that he teaches Science, a subject that requires the classroom, a laboratory and the outdoors, he has had to put all his resources together to ensure that he still delivers lessons of a great standard.
“I was able to attend Shanghai International STEAM Education Expo (STEAMEX 2019) last December and I am currently using some ideas on AI mentioned in some of the workshops. There are phone apps available that create virtual experiences such as exploring our universe, human body, earth’s core, and the ATOM without students leaving their seats. An example is the ‘Big Bang AR’ developed by CERN which allows us to see the universe in the palm of our hands.”
Although technology has been of great help in getting the YCIS Beijing community through this period, physical and mental wellbeing remain priorities. Miss Guo practices this during her online sessions; “In the middle of the class, I get them to stand up and do some easy exercises. We emphasize the importance of their health and that they should prioritize that. If they feel their energy levels are low, or their eyes hurt from they should take a break.”.