With the recent school closings, many wonder how education could change for their children. We look to China for some answers. With well over 80,000 cases, and as the first country to be hit with the virus, massive infrastructure changes were made to address the need for continued education. The largest technology players, such as China Mobile, Baidu, Alibaba, and Huawei have helped to bring infrastructure and courses to Chinese students and families. After researching and speaking to an education curriculum distributor in Beijing, China, here are the takeaways from that conversation:
- Online Learning is Now a Legitimate Form of Learning – While students have been learning online for some time, it has never been to this scale across all ages. The Chinese government has made virtual learning official; Therefore, there is no question that online learning is a solid alternative to the traditional classroom setting. The growth and legitimacy of online learning offer tremendous opportunities for digital learning, large-scale infrastructure support, non-traditional classes, and innovation in both curriculum and instruction.
- Learning Online is Happening at All Ages – Imagine you are in your house and a box from school arrives or a set of instructions from your teacher comes via email. In it are the materials you are to use during your lesson. Your job is to go online at a designated time when the teacher is teaching and share your work with your fellow students. You may collaborate offline with fellow classmates and get back online when you have completed the work. It sounds like a high school or college class, right? This is happening with elementary school students as young as five-years-old with minimal parental intervention.
- Teachers Have to Learn to Teach Online – What may work in a traditional setting may not work online. Teachers have to learn new skills, such as speaking naturally in front of a camera, using chat rooms, marking up presentations and papers in real-time, setting up schedules for live-streaming, assisting students with technological issues, and managing the attention of younger students.
- What We Have Learned – We are advising our students to continue with us online. Our tutors are comfortable and trained to work with students virtually and will help your child get comfortable with the new learning environment quickly. If you choose to come to our center, we will remain open for now and will follow CDC guidelines for safety.
- What We Will Do to Help – We will send ideas on how to create study plans for your children, where to find free resources, and how to prepare your children for online learning. There will be more to come in the next few days.
If you have any questions, suggested topics, or want to know more about online learning with us please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org