Despite the difficult school year, I prefer to see the pandemic as an opportunity (admittedly forced) to evolve positively in our practices and to acquire new teaching skills for the future.
Although it is premature to consider the end of distancing, here are my digital wishes for a successful new educational year. They are obviously not exhaustive, we all want, for example, that the fight against Numeric fraction continues to be an important point in 2021.
1. Remediation, differentiation and overcoming
Dear colleagues, my first wish would be that teachers who will return to face-to-face (as soon as possible) do not completely abandon digital platforms. The urgent need for distance learning has enabled many teachers to open up to a world of possibilities.
I agree that there is nothing better than a face-to-face course. However, the use of these new tools and platforms will be very useful in various situations, in particular to provide individualized assistance to the student. Some advice and tips from teachers will, at the same time, limit remote stall.
The use of digital technology allows many interesting alternatives when it is impossible for the teacher to provide personalized help in the classroom. In the same vein, a student who wants to go further could also find new possibilities to surpass himself in learning.
Here are some things that I consider important to keep.
- Online exercises targeting specific difficulties and needs.
- Videos adapted to prepare for the evaluation.
- Overtaking tasks for the fastest students.
- An online collaboration space to facilitate secure contact between students.
- Facilitating parent-teacher communication.
2. Take out of the fridge some applications and methodologies
My second wish would be that we again take advantage of certain applications and methodologies, the use of which with distance was made complicated, if not impossible.
Unfortunately, many ideas and desires had to be revised and adapted to the situation of the distance. The big loser of this situation, among others: virtual reality, the context being unfavorable for use with students because of the sanitary conditions to be followed.
Likewise, some augmented reality applications such as Minecraft earth were used less. Moreover, the latter will unfortunately have to put the key under the door according to the latest news. Yet it could be wonderfully diverted for educational purposes, such as my colleague Gael Gilson had done with Pokémon Go in his French class.
Going back to face-to-face will allow us to consider again these innovative practices, which in my opinion brought real added value in student learning.
3. Give yourself time to discover
Dear colleagues, I hope that we will finally take the time to discover and experiment with innovative applications and devices out of desire with the students, and not out of urgency.
Motivation in the school context also applies to the teacher vis-à-vis his own practices. Digital experimentation has given way to the need to use remote platforms. Although distance education is an experiment in itself, many teachers want “something else”. I therefore wish all of us to have the time to (re) discover certain aspects of our pedagogy.
"Giving yourself time" is also an important aspect of CréaCamps École branchée, places are still available for February 19 and March 8.
And you, what would be your different educational and digital wishes? In any case, I wish you all, from Belgium, a happy new year 2021. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.