Education responses to covid-19: Embracing digital learning and online collaboration
Updated: 23 March 2020
Countries are currently implementing an emergency plan to slow down and limit the spread of the COVID-19 and prepare to deal with the long-term closure of schools and universities. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the countries to develop various educational opportunities. The use of online educational platforms while schools and universities are closed is one option as followers.
Using online educational platforms while schools and universities are closed.
In the event that it is necessary to close the school, mobilising different online education forms and educational resources is absolutely essential. This can proceed as follows:
• Use existing online distance learning platforms such as text, video, lectures, etc. Teachers can select lectures and exercises their students should study and practice through messages and synchronous classes. In the absence of platforms, teachers can use open educational resources similarly.
• Develop new online teaching platforms (virtual classrooms). Teachers can teach students remotely while they are at home using various platforms.
• Partner with private education platforms in order to expand the capacity to cope with the national crisis.
• Collaborate internationally to mutualise existing online education resources. Although institutions in each country have different courses, they tend to teach similar subjects. These subjects can be translated and foreign resources in a digital format can be used in accordance with their curriculum.
• Use appropriate methods of learning through electronic media such as streaming lessons on TV, seem to be suitable for young students or in a context where education infrastructure lags behind.
• Provide opportunities for digital learning to teachers. Various online sources that give online teaching knowledge to teachers and online collaborative platforms for teachers to share their resources, ideas and feedback should be provided or facilitated.
Challenges of implementation
Learning and collaborating in an online environment may not occur naturally with teachers and students. Therefore, when considering to set policies to response to educational circumstances while the school is still closed, policy-makers should consider the following.
• Balance digital with screen-free activities. For students’ health reasons, online lecture should be shortened and supplemented by non-digital learning activities.
• Keep a pulse on emotional health of students. Since the Context regarding virus and school closures may result in students becoming insecure and confused, it is necessary to find a way to provide connectivity, interaction, and support while learning is occurring, particularly in a time of uncertainty.
• Access the device. Students are more likely to have access to smartphones than laptops when they are at home and where there may be more students than the number of devices. Governments can lend laptops or provide alternative resources.
• Manage access to IT infrastructure. Having all students connect at the same time may be a problem in some places. Therefore, there should be a systematic access check so that all students can easily access the information within the time limit.