Students, their parents and educators are feeling the extraordinary ripple effect of the novel coronavirus as schools shut down and quarantine methods are ordered amidst the public health emergency. In this series, we want to share best practices from our community and how our educators and innovators are managing school shutdowns, distance learning and more.
Solomon Livshits, Hillman Cancer Center Academy, Pittsburgh, USA
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, all in-person classes at our university and some services that we use for our summer program have been canceled. These developments are recent and so there will likely be other restrictions down the line especially if a case is confirmed here. The community has coped with this by encouraging students and staff to work from home and do online classes. The university as a whole has also canceled several events, much like other institutions and conferences are doing around the nation. People are also coping by being supportive flexible and understanding; giving people sick days, allowing work from home, and just generally accommodating the needs of those effects.
I think the best practice is to take the situation seriously and listen to organizations like the CDC, WHO, and the local and school administrations. There will be interruptions that might not have workarounds but being flexible will go a long way. Using tools like conference meetings and remote classes help maintain quality education in the absence of going to school. It is also important not to penalize students staff or others for issues related to the virus. It was not their fault and they are likely to be most inconvenienced, adding pressure at this time can cause them to fail and also damage their opinion of educational institutions.
Nam Ngô Thành, Microsoft Learning Consultant & Global Teacher Prize Finalist 2018, Vietnam
Coronavirus has impacted many countries in the world and Vietnam is no exception. Up until now (March 12, 2020), Vietnam has had 39 people infected. To ensure the safety and health of children, all schools in Vietnam have been closed for nearly 2 months. The Vietnamese government is extremely concerned about not letting disease spread because Corona outbreaks are strong. They are constantly raising people's awareness about protecting themselves and protecting those around them. Every day, the health ministry sends messages to citizens' phones to update information and instructions on how to stay healthy. People who have symptoms or a history of contact with an infected person are isolated and are given special medical care.
In my school, Nguyen Hoang Group, we are asking students to stay at home until we are sure that the epidemic has ended. However, we don't let epidemics hinder student learning in Vietnam. Our schools are choosing to go online to teach and trying everything to maintain students' learning motivation. We are using technology to make students' learning no different from when they are at school. We are also using a variety of tools for different purposes to interact with students during their absence. Microsoft Teams has been extremely helpful in giving out assignments and responding to student work. Other teachers are using tools like Microsoft forms, Quizizz, Kahoot! to create fun interactive tests. While this confinement period is on, we are working with our students to gradually get used to this form of learning. Both teachers and parents are working together and are supportive of this turn to online teaching.
Explore our Educator Toolkit for resources, tools and support from our community ensuring quality education in this COVID-19 outbreak.