Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, in March 2020, various distance learning methods have been introduced in the country. The two main modes that have emerged are synchronous virtual teaching (live, on screen) and asynchronous virtual teaching (the teacher pre-records his lesson and can watch it at any time, or assigns activities and homework that you can do at home via educational platform).
Therefore, teachers had to reevaluate their teaching methods and adapt to online teaching in a few days. L’Foundation for Educationa foundation subsidized by the English Ministry of Education, synthesized meta-analyses (synthesis of experimental research) with the aim of formulating educational recommendations for conducting distance education.
Basically, they say, methods effective in the face-to-face mode must be transposed to the virtual mode. And that the teacher should not be overwhelmed by technology.
We are a group of researchers in school education who are particularly interested in literacy, academic and social adaptation, and the dynamics of teaching and learning. Why care about this subject when the pandemic is over and students are in school? Because we believe it is important to take stock of the past two years and document them for the future.
Manage your classroom
During synchronous virtual teaching, it is very easy to lose control of the classroom if there is no effective behavior management, just like in face-to-face mode. Therefore, it is important to identify the expected behavior (turn off the microphone, raise your virtual hand for your turn to speak, do not interrupt the floor) and show exactly what is expected from the students, which in the jargon is called “modeling”.
The students then practice the desired behavior under the supervision of the teacher, who provides them with feedback. Inappropriate behavior that threatens teaching and learning cannot be tolerated, but some can be illustrated by the teacher with humor and counterexamples to prevent them from occurring. Once students have mastered the expected behaviors and virtual classroom management is working well, content can be taught.
In the context of online learning, modeling may take longer. It is not always possible to see what students are writing, so it is important to ask questions to understand how they are working and to check their learning. Therefore, it is expedient to explain and re-explain.
Google Classroom is one of the free educational platforms that schools use to create activities digitally. This platform is interesting for the integration of educational materials, but not necessarily for real-time synchronous teaching. Class time is too often spent on logistics, which is a waste of teaching time.
For example, parents interviewed as part of our research on virtual and face-to-face teaching during the pandemic mentioned to the researcher that the teacher used three 55-minute periods to explain to the 2-year-olds.e year how to get a certificate of the class. When a parent suggested projecting the document onto the screen in presentation mode instead of each student having their own document on their computer, their response was, “I want the kids to learn how to get the documents from my computer. the class »…
But what lesson was learned here? None! At this age, students don’t necessarily know how to navigate different platforms. Also, the teacher does not know which tabs are open on the students’ computers, and each teacher has his own way of using the platform. In addition, the use Google Classroom it is far from 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 so. Screen share video from just dance on YouTube in PE class, it’s relevant. Children move and have fun dancing to different songs.
Otherwise, an easy way to maintain control—or regain control—is to use an erasable whiteboard, paper notebooks, or printable sheets. Paper and pencil activities work great with students, parents and teachers. Students already know their notebooks and will not have any technical problems.
It is much easier to tell the students to take the textbook 1, 2, 3… with nougat in math how to tell them to go to Google Classroom find the XYZ document in a subsection of another subsection, where several options for opening it are displayed. It’s also easier – and much less stressful – for parents to answer their children’s questions through a paper activity book. They then feel more competent and confident in helping their children learn. Documents on Google Classroom (which is basically empty because the teacher builds the platform according to his plan) or any other learning platform like Zorbit in mathematics or Boukili while reading, they are more useful for doing homework or revising what has been learned at school during the day.
When students take a synchronous virtual school, class time is too valuable to spend learning the platform. Teaching and learning remain the priority.
Learning about any web-based platform should be done in the classroom with the students, in person, so that the teacher can ensure their understanding before virtual teaching takes place. We must at all costs avoid making the use of technology more complex to minimize time wastage and maximize teaching and learning opportunities. To achieve this, using simple tools can facilitate the implementation of more effective teaching, which children need so much! Why make it complicated when it can be simple?