Due to Movement Control Order, Ministry Of Education has advocated home-based learning initiatives until schools are safe to be reopened. Educators and students nationwide have transitioned into e-learning at great speed. In ensuring teaching and learning process continues, Peninsula International School Australia (PISA) first implemented its online learning system from March to August. The second online implementation has begun in October and is currently projected to end in December this year. Adjusting to the new normal may come with its own hurdles but virtual school ensures minimal learning gaps as situation has prevented physical interaction between teachers and students. Nevertheless, PISA’s teachers have quickly adopted the new teaching sytem to engage students in kindergarten, primary and secondary levels through online learning.
PISA’s teachers mainly utilise applications from Google platform as well as a classroom app known as Seesaw. Each lesson begins with a Google Meet session, allowing virtual face-to-face time with the teacher at the commencement of each lesson. This online face time spans from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. The flexible duration depends on the students’ education level, involved activities and requirement of the students.
During the virtual meeting, the teacher gives instruction, oversees the presentation of class activities and allows for any Q&A discussion. Afterwards, the teacher will remain online for the secondary students, and communicate with them through Google Classroom, Google Hangout or Gmail. For primary students, all further learning interactions are through Seesaw application. Via this app, young students can share their works from the comfort of their homes to respective teachers for evaluation.
Online classes are from 8.45am to 3.15pm for secondary school students, while classes for primary school students are from 9am to 3pm. Adequate rest times are interspersed throughout the online sessions to prevent eye strain on the students.
With current technological advancement and effective communication methodologies, today’s e-learning standards have reached a new height. However, Adam Collings, a representative of PISA asserts that online learning will never be on par with actual face-to-face teaching where learning experience is at its most effective. Adam Collings concludes, “Although the new norm is challenging for teachers, students and families, it reaffirms the importance of school and home partnership which will ultimately shape a child’s learning and future growth.”