In the past months, many schools and teachers have seen lots of obstacles to e-learning. The differences in time zones, poor connectivity and a lack of access to their usual learning tools and environments – it’s all been quite a challenge for schools and teachers to overcome in a short amount of time! However, despite all these difficulties and more minor issues besides, these past weeks have given all schools including the international schools in Shanghai an invaluable opportunity to look at exactly how things could be learnt daily. As a result, teachers from Shanghai international schools adapt their habits and methods to the different circumstances and even discover new and better ways to improve their abilities to teach and learn.
Getting familiar with a ‘new normal’
At the beginning of the e-learning setup that was introduced after the Chinese New Year, there was a lot of information that pupils needed to absorb very quickly. Teachers in Shanghai international schools have been quick to streamline the process of organising lessons and communicating key information with pupils. Teachers focus on Microsoft Teams and OneNote to share work and Zoom classes to deliver lessons.
Pupils have also done a fantastic job of adjusting. Moreover, pupils and parents have been extremely patient and understanding, working with teachers to overcome difficulties. During the past several months, many Shanghai international schools had to build many these systems very much ‘on the fly’ as the crisis has evolved, and fortunately, pupils and their parents have respected the inherent difficulties involved and have been very accommodating.
While there have been some problems along the way, everyone has done a much better job adjusting to e-learning in Shanghai international schools. When it came to transitioning to working and learning in an online environment, it wasn’t nearly as challenging as it could have been, which speaks volumes about the importance of being digitally literate and capable in today’s world.
Taking online tools to the next level
While no one can be sure what long-term changes the aftermath of the pandemic will bring, it’s safe to assume that businesses and organisations across the world will be considering how well they use digital technologies, and how they can become more effective if and when remote working becomes more of a ‘new normal’. This means that becoming more familiar and confident with leading digital platforms for collaborative working is an invaluable experience for our pupils, no matter where they see themselves in terms of higher education or future employment.
Ready for learning, living and working in the Digital Age
Technically, all of the young pupils were born into the Digital Age or ‘Internet Age’ if you prefer. However, as the events of early 2020 have shown, pupils have only just entered an age where their abilities to operate digitally is as important as what they can do in the physical world, if not more so. Not everyone is ready for this emerging reality, with many organisations and individuals struggling to function as the current situation plays out.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important for pupils to make the most of their e-learning time, and to learn the wider lessons it offers. Not only are they learning how to make the best use of specific digital tools and online resources, but they are also essentially being forced to become more independent in their overall learning style. They are structuring their learning times beyond the set lessons, they’re reviewing their own work and, crucially, they’re looking out for further learning opportunities that the online world can offer. All of these disciplines constitute excellent preparation for both higher education and the world of work.
So even though this is a time with many complex challenges for us to overcome individually and as communities, teachers at Shanghai international schools are impressed with pupils’ potential, their ability to make the most of e-learning and to learn the wider lessons it offers.
Company Name: Wellington College International Shanghai
Contact Person: Admission Department
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Phone: +86-21 5185-3866