Lockdown side swiped everyone in the education community; kaiako, ākonga, whānau and extended community alike. Once everyone had grappled with the new stay-at-home situation, both students and teachers alike had to figure out how to remotely learn/teach while still looking after their own. Everyone was giving themselves a quick education on how to use communication apps where needed, and schools started making sure all ākonga had access to devices, the internet or some form of communication to support their continued study from home.
This process shed light on aspects that may not have been seen before, including where inequity was hidden, the importance of the social aspects that being in school brings to students’ lives and how students actually learnt in the classroom environment as opposed to the remote environment.
As we enter Level 2, with schools beginning to re-open and some sense of normality returning to family and school life, now is the time to begin to ask questions about what ākonga, whānau and kaiako have learnt during lockdown and how to gather feedback from the community to see patterns or common topics to bring attention to for the future.
Finding out what your school learnt
To support schools wanting to start gathering feedback and start building a plan, Gabrielle Wall, General Manager of the GCSN Trust has created a Covid-19 Response Survey document. There are suggestions for questions and a guide to how to administer the survey.
As Gabrielle mentions, “Learning online is not a new concept…there have also been challenges and issues that have arisen.” For schools and teachers it has been a huge learning curve. With survey information schools will be able to begin to formulate plans that have a focus to work towards for the benefit of the students.
Reading about what we learnt from Lockdown
To bring more scope to post lock down and what other schools and teachers have learnt during this time, here is a collection of supporting articles.
Our Hidden Learners by Karen Spencer Read here
Peering into a Post Covid world by Robin Sutton Read here
Educating beyond the classroom by Derek Wenmoth – includes a video about Moving forward from Lock Down – Read here
Coronavirus, Education Research, and Education: Relevant AERA Journal Articles – a collection of articles covering all topics relating to online learning during Covid-19 – view here
Life in lockdown – Teachers’ stories from the COVID-19 frontline – read here
"I’m still emailing parents at 8.30pm" - a teacher’s life in lockdown – read here
Online Student support articles
Virtual Youth Summit Supports Student Agency and Community-Building During COVID-19 School Closures – read here
Aurora Institute Joins the Educating All Learners Alliance to Support Students with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic – read here
Opportunities for Personalized Learning in the Pandemic – view here
Understanding what our ākonga and teachers experienced during lockdown will bring a unique understanding for schools and communities. From information gathered schools will be able to create a vision for the future. An example of this can be found in Think Beyond’s recent think piece, Digital Learning 2025. They give a wonderful example of how future thinking works to provide the best for school communities and their ākonga.
Kia Kaha New Zealand.