"They didn't know it was impossible...so they did it !" Mark Twain
Starting Monday, school will go online, and many students don't know how it will go, with what tools, for how long, etc. This is a time where teachers will have to use platforms that they do not necessarily control, with tools that they are not used to handling, reinvent lessons to make them compatible with an online teaching method, manage their classes when some were already struggling to teach them live… and all of that in haste because the end of the year is approaching with its batch of exams, competitions, college applications to fill out, grades to handle…
These platforms and tools, young people master them much better than their parents, much better than their teachers and the roles will be reversed, at least in the beginning. Students will be those who know and teachers will be those who need help. This is likely to lead to funny situations or inconclusive testing at first. This is an unprecedented situation. No society has ever experienced it. We all ask ourselves many questions, each according to our perspectives depending on whether we are a parent, a teacher or a student:
How can my teen stay motivated / focused / engaged in his studies and his orientation today when universities and schools close one after the other, for an indefinite period of time?
Can the internet connection be used for anything other than playing Fortnite or watching his favorite shows?
How can they use their free time (trips and activities canceled) to continue to progress on their orientation project?
What windows does this open for them?
How do you stay connected when you feel disconnected?
As a parent, what do these changes mean for me?
What does this allow?
How can I help my teen take advantage of this situation?
As a teacher, how will I manage my classes online when it is sometimes a challenge in person?
How am I going to go digital in such a short time and adapt my lessons when I haven't been trained for that?
What will be the expectations of students and their parents?
This epidemic reminds us, if it was necessary, that everything is changing very quickly today and that we must constantly reinvent ourselves. I am impressed to see the reactivity of schools or certain organizations which already offer online support. Many thanks to all the teachers who are willing to help our kids in their learning and who are ready to take up those challenges.More and more of us are working remotely and all professions are represented. Many companies allow their employees to work from home several days a week. Even professions, where face to face seems essential, such as certain medical professions, are becoming digital. I was reading this morning that some students are worried about taking their oral exams... do they know that it is possible to take oral exams online? (it's pretty easy to see if the student is doing something else while talking to them). I myself have taken all of my coaching trainings online or over the phone, with 10 other people on the line. Those of us who are used to working online know the challenges of it, its weaknesses but above all its strengths.
The important thing for teachers, parents and students is to not have the same expectations as face to face interactions, since connecting with people digitally is different. We use other tools, we use other skills.
We have different skills that, went brought together, will make the transition easier for teachers and students alike.
Let’s be careful not to make hasty judgments if we find that things are not going fast enough, that the tools are not very suitable, that the teachers are struggling or not creative enough, that the students are not careful or patient… any change requires a little adaptation. Version 1 will not be as good as version 2 or version 3 etc. Everyone will have to collaborate, bring their knowledge and support so that this experience is beneficial to all.
"They didn't know it was impossible so they did it" Mark Twain