There’s a great deal of discussion taking place within schools and the media about how institutions are going to respond to the global outbreak of Covid-19. It’s reasonable to expect that there will be disruption to normal schooling across the country, and many students will need to access learning materials and support from home, possibly for extended periods of time.
You might already have a clear plan for your kids in the event of a school closure. Or, like many parents we’ve recently spoken with, you might not.
The biggest concern for teachers and parents alike is maintaining the learning momentum for all students. However many schools and school systems are already identifying the challenges inherent in remotely serving the needs of their students.
Understanding the challenges of at-home education
Some of the key issues created by remote learning are access to technology and the skills to deploy it effectively, especially in disadvantaged and remote areas, as well as the challenge of adapting what works in the classroom to an online environment. These point to a potential problem of learning inequity that has not been fully anticipated or provided for.
Among the concerns raised by educators in places like Hong Kong — a country which has already experienced months of school closures — are the difficulties of providing direct instructional content to their students (i.e. face-to-face lessons which actually engage students).
Things like videos are hugely time-consuming and require experience, skill and the right tools. What’s more, these are not necessarily effective (how many students are still watching at the end?).
Young people need to have more organic and ongoing interaction with their teachers and their peers. As for written content…well, death by worksheet is a thing and most teachers limit these to one-pagers for a reason.
At the same time, school closures will instantly force parents into the role of homeschool teacher. Anyone who has tried this with homework knows how hard it can be to teach our own children (this goes for teachers, too).
How Cluey can help
Our education team and expert tutors have developed learning programs and quality content based on the Australian National Curriculum (including state-by-state variations). Since our inception in 2018, we’ve delivered over 50,000 online learning sessions for Australian school students in Years 2-12 via our interactive platform, and also supported homeschool parents across the country.
In response to increasing disruption to schooling across the country, we’ll be monitoring this situation daily and hope to respond with meaningful guidance and support to help parents, teachers and students navigate online learning during this uncertain period. This free advice will be focused on maintaining continuity of learning and will be available on Cluey’s blog.