Online Learning – Parent Reflection
Now that we head into the school holidays, it is a good time to reflect. This notation is based on reflections of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected my Secondary school children and their online learning experience. The Primary school experience would be somewhat different I am sure, although there would also be some similarities.
When your children are in Secondary school, you, the parent, have already learned a great deal about the education system whilst following their path and experiences. We are invested in everything they do after all. You have most likely attended a meeting, read the odd newsletter and have had many conversations with both teachers and other parents. No doubt, you will have seen snippets of news about education on Facebook, google and TV as well. One thing that I frequentlyheard was that education, teaching and its style have not changed in hundreds of years. We have all this technology, but most of the time all this has meant is that the blackboard turned to a whiteboard, and quizzes are online and not on paper. The bottom line is that nothing has really changed. We have the teacher, the student and the classroom.
This horrible pandemic kept my kids at home, like thousands of others and I truly thought that they were on holiday and would fall behind. Online learning does not appear to be as rigorous, however, this is where I saw my children take a massive leap forward.
Self-discipline. I have observed over the past three months that my kids will sit and learn without having to be coaxed, bribed, or growled at. They have methodically set about accomplishing tasks that have been set, and have those tasks completed by a given deadline. (Ok, one of them got slack on occasion – no rose tinting here, but in general they got on with it.)
We often hear about Lifelong Learning and Lifelong Learners and in all these years of watching over their school lives, only now can I say that I have confidence that this is their path. They embraced not having someone over their shoulder and got on with it and enjoyed that freedom.
Sleep.Maybe the learning and discipline is better because suddenly, my children were getting more sleep. Teenagers are renowned for staying up late so no matter the start time in the day, sleep is usually what suffers. I calculated that the additional 90 minutes in the morning which was spent getting ready for school and the commute is now spent sleeping. Again, for a teenager this is proven to be exactly what they need. I calculated that my daughter has had an additional 90 hours sleep in the last three months!
Reflecting on just these two points alone and looking at how the educationsystem has hardly changed,now Ido not want school to go back to the way it was when this pandemic ends!
I may be on my own on this, but this a pivotal time to make a change on how teaching is delivered. A great deal of change is happening in the workplace already due to Covid-19, why not within the education sector as well?
Why not restructure learning going forward with a balance of in-school time and home learning? Whilst in school, focus on relationships and communication as well as the usual courses/sports and set aside the other days for self-learning.
Bring education in line with the advances in the workplace and strike that balance between working from home and going to school.
I understand completely that a lot more questions would come out of this idea and am sceptical that the private school sector would even think of entertaining it as too much is financially at stake.
Still, it is food for thought and the opportunity for change is truly now.
Parents article supplied by Bangkok Patana School - website here