31 Jul, 2020
10 : 00
The abrupt transition to e-learning last semester took us all by surprise, but the adjustment by students and their parents is truly commendable, taking it all in stride. Preparations for the new academic year in September are officially underway and to ensure we kick-start the year on a high note, the academic team with the assistance from teachers are finding innovative ways to continue to offer excellent e-learning to students from K2 – Year 13.
Parents’ Experiences and FeedbackIn the latter part of the last school year, we conducted a survey to ascertain our community’s view of e-learning and the feedback was positive overall. Parents shared their and their children’s experiences with e-learning and provided valuable pointers on how to optimize our school’s e-learning. “We highly value our parents’ input as we truly believe that a child will ultimately develop best when school and home are working in a partnership”, said Jane Martuneac Kang, Upper Primary Learning and Teaching Coordinator.
Our goal is to ensure that clear channels of communication remain open and parents are afforded the opportunity to share their feedback often, on a more personalised basis.
How teachers are preparing and the eLearning ForumVirtual classrooms were not only a means for students to learn, but were also an opportunity for teachers to develop in their vocation and expand their skill set. According to Ms Martuneac Kang, “Many teachers engaged in digital professional development opportunities through online courses and training programmes. Some of these were specifically designed for e-learning needs while others were based on general best practices in teaching.” These were not limited to teaching practices, but also to better understanding the benefits of the multiple platforms being used including Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Seesaw.
Professional development varied for teachers in different levels, subjects and age groups and resulted in the formation of the e-learning forum whose goal is for teachers and members of the academic leadership team to share their knowledge, expertise and industry tips with their colleagues, with the ultimate goal of creating an e-learning teacher guide to be used schoolwide. This is “to make the e-learning lessons even more interactive which is an ongoing goal for us as we continue to develop our e-learning programme,” said Ms Martuneac Kang.
For Paul Bawden, YCIS Beijing Education Director, it is pivotal that we offer similar quality education online as we do offline, which further emphasises the importance of a continually improving quality of online teaching – from the lesson plans to interactions teachers have with students online. Not only that, but he states that “it is essential that we show everybody that e-learning is just as valuable as face to face learning.”
Preparing for the New Academic YearAt the moment, the School Leadership Team is working tirelessly to ensure a smooth start to the school year. Whether students will be on campus or doing a hybrid style of learning which includes virtual and in-person learning, every member of the school’s staff is working towards any future possibility.
“Teachers and leadership will meet to review our learning and teaching goals for the school year, one of which most certainly being the transition to the new school year,” said Ms Martuneac Kang. But this year, preparations with come with several contingency plans, considering the uncertainty we have all experienced.
To read more about valuable online resources as provided by Allison Cusato, Secondary Art Teacher, click here.