COVID-19 Impact on Digital Technology in the Classroom
We will see the subject of how COVID19 has changed our approach to technology while teaching and the use of technology in the classroom in the light of three dimensions:
- Papas (Official digital platform)
During the lockdown period the contact with parents was through the official digital platform (Papas). Once we went back to school we had the need to communicate with them via Meet or some sort of visual app when we had long messages for a large number of parents. That allowed us to get some immediate feedback, questions…
- Classroom (Moodle)
- Google Docs (Collaborative tools)
- Meet / TEAMS (Official virtual meeting platform)
- Google Docs
- Electronic boards
Teachers realised that we needed further training in technology and that we could not postpone it any longer. The world is spinning faster than us. It has been quite challenging leaving our comfort zone and adjusting our methodology to the use of new technologies.
We were in touch with students using e-mails, Classroom or different platforms such as Zoom or Meet and we also encouraged workgroup using Google Docs or the previously mentioned apps.
During lockdown, the official platform that we used for assessment and reports collapsed and we had to reinvent ourselves and learn new methods overnight to keep the online classes going on.
For some schools which had their own GSuite was easier by using Meet but others had to manage with Zoom, Jitsi and Webex.
So many hours in front of the computer were terrible and students and parents felt uneasy and wanted you to be there for them 24/7.
The Education Board then decided to set TEAMS as the official platform for meetings and we had to adapt to a new platform which, for us, is more difficult and less intuitive.
We went back to the classrooms and the way of teaching had changed:
- Distance was a must so it was very difficult to work with students as we used to: in pairs, groups, … We started to use collaborative tools.
- Sharing devices, papers, pens… is unthinkable so distributing handouts was not possible either. We reduced photocopying to the minimum and instead we scan the documents and upload them on classroom or share our tablet screen on the interactive whiteboard to work in class.
With teenagers since they are born technologically literate we haven’t encountered a big problem, not the same when we are dealing with adult students or with parents.
Sometimes we miss personal contact, especially with our colleagues but, at the same time, having online staff meetings, parents meetings and assessments meetings has given us more free time or at least a more efficient way of using our time as they are more effective because we go to the point and you don’t need to spend the whole evening at school when you have a time lapse between two or more meetings. It has enriched our personal and family lives. Thus, we would like it to continue after the pandemic together with other habits we have developed like sanitizing our hands,