It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has already had a dramatic impact on the way we live, work and learn.
The situation continues to change every day, and it looks like COVID-19 contingency measures worldwide will be in place for the foreseeable future.
For many countries, this has meant school closures and a radical rethink about how to best keep students engaged with their own learning.
We know this is an uncertain time for many schools - both staff and students alike. And it throws up a lot of questions.
- How will the school academic year be affected? Will terms have to be extended?
- How can schools ensure that students stay engaged when they are being asked to stay indoors for long periods of time?
- How will social distancing measures affect students’ mental health? How to ensure that they are happy, motivated and sticking to a healthy routine?
- How will university admissions be affected?
Amidst this uncertainty, one thing is certain - distance learning is going to become the new normal in the coming weeks and months.
But distance learning involves far more than magically introducing a new piece of software into a student’s day-to-day learning.
Keeping your students engaged during a prolonged period of self-isolation also involves making sure they have a structure and a sense of purpose. And of course, it means ensuring students feel included in a wider community at a time when they’re likely to miss face-to-face contact with their friends and classmates.
Establishing a distance learning curriculum may feel challenging, especially when things still feel very much in flux. The transition to distance learning is not going to be seamless, and that’s understandable.
So this week, we’re offering some thoughts on strategies and tools to help you and your students make the most of distance learning and ensure they stay engaged during a period of uncertainty and stress.