Which programs did you use to continue digital teaching? How did this work?
We used Microsoft Teams in kindergarten as well as at primary and secondary level and it turned out to be a terrific tool. There were some restrictions we needed to consider for differing age groups, but we felt that even the younger children would enjoy some contact with their teachers. In kindergarten for example, we used Microsoft Teams for language development activities. Show and tell, book reading and online singing were very popular for example. It was important for us to cater for the fact that children, like adults, also require social contact so this provided something the children could look forward to during the day. The pupils adore the teachers, so seeing smiles, albeit on a screen, was a joy for all.
At primary school level we quickly noticed that Microsoft Teams requires some degree of maturity for pupils to use it once they are competent with navigating the platform. At times, coaching was needed for online etiquette. Keeping students online for an entire school day also necessitated appropriate adaptation for different age groups. There were distinct differences between secondary and lower secondary level teaching. Our secondary students essentially followed their normal timetables. We were thrilled to see some terrific project-based work submitted over the course of the 8 weeks.
Overall, having looked at a number of platforms, I was happy that we chose Microsoft Teams as a highly effective medium for our school.
Finally, I cannot thank our parent group enough. Without their support we wouldn’t have been able to manage as much as we did. Many parents supported their children so that they could stick to timelines, motivated them to work on and finish projects, while juggling work meetings and other commitments. What a challenging time for us all!