In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic made schools close and send students home. This forced a crash course for online teaching and technology use for teachers. Education changed dramatically, with a distinctive growth of e-learning. There was a substantial rise in the usage of language apps, video conferencing tools, and online learning software.
Although I frequently used various technologies in my classes, due to the pandemic I was forced to work out of the box. I had to rethink my strategies and methods, to energize my teaching. It was a “sink or swim” situation, it was crucial to make learning fun and effective even when using technology.
Hands on and face-to-face during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We know that young children need a lot of hands-on and face-to-face activities. That’s why teaching my first-graders was a complete adventure. During the COVID-19 pandemic I began by making short learning videos with songs, stories, and funny activities. I had to be extra creative to keep them motivated for our weekly meeting through video conference. Later on, I started trying a variety of online tools to be able to include games – a must-have in every class, assign homework, and keep track of students’ work. I also needed to incentivize my students and reward them for their good work.
I found in EZ Stickerbook, a platform that offered both the incentives and rewards stickers system for kids I was teaching and a user-friendly parent communications portal. All in a single platform, all in a digital way, perfect for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond!
Our way of teaching has changed a lot. With the COVID-19 pandemic still around, we continue rethinking content and teaching strategies to meet our students’ needs while taking advantage of the many online tools available.
I believe – and hope – that traditional offline learning and e-learning will become closely integrated into a new hybrid model of education.