online education

Digital Lessons: Know-how should not take over studying

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, various methods of distance learning have been introduced in the country. The two main modes that have emerged are synchronous virtual lessons (live, on-screen) and asynchronous virtual lessons (the teacher records their lesson in advance and can consult it at any time, or give activities and homework to do at home). . a learning platform).

The teachers therefore had to review their teaching methods and switch to online teaching in a few days. L’educational foundationa foundation subsidized by the English Department of Education, synthesized meta-analyses (synthesis of experimental research) to formulate pedagogical recommendations for the governance of distance learning.

They are basically saying that the methods effective in face-to-face mode must be transferred to virtual mode. And that the teacher should not be overwhelmed by technology.

We are a group of school education researchers with a particular interest in literacy, academic and social adjustment, and the dynamics of teaching and learning. Why care about this topic when the pandemic is winding down and students are in school? In our opinion, it is important to take stock of the past two years and document it for the future.

Manage your class

During synchronous virtual lessons, it is very easy to lose control of the class if there is no effective behavior management, just like in face-to-face mode. It is therefore important to identify the expected behaviors (turning off the microphone, raising the virtual hand to speak, not interrupting the word) and showing exactly what is expected of the students, which in technical jargon is called “modelling”. is called. .

Students then practice desired behaviors under the supervision of the teacher, who makes sure to provide them with feedback. Inappropriate behavior that interferes with teaching and learning cannot be tolerated, but some can be illustrated with humor and counterexamples by the teacher to prevent their occurrence. When the expected behaviors are adopted by the students and the management of the virtual classroom works well, teaching content becomes possible.

Since March 2020, teachers have had to review their teaching methods.
(Isabelle Carignan), Provided by the author

In the context of online teaching, modeling can take longer. It’s not always possible to see what students are writing, so it’s important to ask questions to understand how they’re working and to check their learning. Therefore, it makes sense to explain and explain again.

An inadequate platform

Google classroom is one of the free learning platforms used by schools to create activities digitally. This platform is interesting for the integration of teaching material, but not necessarily for real-time, synchronous teaching. Too often class time is spent on logistics, which is a waste of class time.

For example, parents interviewed as part of a study we conducted on virtual and in-person classroom instruction during a pandemic told one researcher that a teacher used three 55-minute lesson units to explain to children as young as two years olde Primary school year how to get a document on the classroom. When a parent suggested that the document be projected onto the screen in presentation mode, rather than each student having their own document on their computer, their response was, “I want the kids to learn how to pull the documents from mine classroom »…

But what lessons have been learned here? nobody ! At this age, students don’t necessarily know how to navigate the different platforms. The teacher also doesn’t know which tabs are open on the students’ computers, and each teacher has their own way of using the platform. In addition, the use of Google classroom is anything but intuitive for students and parents.

Back to basics

Just because we teach online doesn’t mean we have to use technology at all costs. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes less. Screen sharing a video from just dance on YouTube for a physical education lesson it is relevant. Children move and have fun dancing to varied songs.

Otherwise, an easy way to stay—or regain—control is to use an erasable whiteboard, paper workbooks, or printable sheets. Paper and pencil activities work great with students, parents, and teachers. The students already know their exercise books and they will not have any technical problems.

It’s much easier to tell students to pick up their exercise book 1, 2, 3 … with nougat in math than telling them to go Google classroom to find an XYZ document in a subsection of another subsection, where multiple ways to open it are presented. It’s also easier for parents – and a lot less stressful – to answer their children’s questions through a paper-based activity book. They then feel more competent and confident in helping their children learn. The documents up Google classroom (which is basically empty since the teacher builds the platform according to his plan) or another learning platform like sorbitol in mathematics or Boukili B. reading, are more useful for doing homework or reviewing the subject matter during the day.

When students attend the synchronous virtual school, class time is too valuable to spend on learning a platform. The priority remains teaching and learning.

Learning through any web platform should be done in the classroom with the students in person so the teacher can make sure they understand before the virtual class takes place. We must avoid at all costs complicating the use of technology in order to minimize wasted time and maximize teaching-learning opportunities. To achieve this, using simple means can facilitate the implementation of more effective teaching that children so desperately need! Why make it complicated when you can make it easy?

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