Robert College students and teachers have been meeting for the last month in virtual classrooms, following the Ministry of Education’s the closure of schools in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. RC set three major educational goals during distance learning:
- Connect educators and learners while physically away with each other
- Provide them access to information and learning environments
- Continue to support educators’ professional development in a more flexible way
All teachers had their lesson plans ready for online learning prior to the announcement. Teachers received one-on-one training sessions from the IT Educational Technology Team on how to use Google Meet and Zoom to connect to students’ learning environments, and to communicate with them while empowering their learning progress. Since the start of the school year, RC has been using Google Classroom which enables teachers to create classes, distribute assignments, provide feedback and promote collaboration, as well as providing a platform for students to follow up on everything related with their courses.
Teachers have demonstrated their technology skills by designing new flexible teaching and learning environments, teaching in a new (virtual) environment remotely and sharing experiences with their colleagues. In addition, a virtual platform has been developed to share essential how-to material for teachers to apply whenever needed.
At the end of the first two weeks of distance learning, a survey among teachers, students and parents was conducted and adjustments were made based on the feedback. The weekly schedule was revised to allow less screen-time while maintaining high-quality learning, ensuring essential curriculum coverage and fostering well-being. Student activities, which are one of the strengths of Robert College, continue in a new online format.
With students around the world suddenly being forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, educational technology is facing the biggest opportunity – and biggest test – of its existence. Through this new reality, Robert College aims to trigger students’ curiosity while also putting them in charge of their own learning.