Thursday, December 9

Remote learning in Auckland schools: ‘It’s quite normal’

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Today at 8.40am, Randwick Park school teacher Luanda Milo was live on Facebook leading the school’s bilingual class through a morning karakia.

The boy is studying in front of the laptop.

Photo: 123RF

This is how class starts every school day and is an example of how Auckland teachers are using the Internet to connect with the region’s 250,000 school-age children.

Among those watching were Shavarn and Waimarie Te Runa, who were hoping to do some household chores before heading off to their homework.

Waimarie said she would normally have one online meeting or class a day.

“They are all at 11, so at 11 o’clock I go on my phone, I press the link and then I see everyone. It’s quite normal. I can still see my teacher, see all my classmates,” he said. .

At 10 am, Rangitoto College teacher Olivia Newman welcomed the students to her virtual Year 9 English class in the same way that she would welcome them in a real classroom.

There were the usual morning greetings, some early jokes about how English is a better subject than math, and some instructions on what the lesson would cover.

Students kept their cameras off and, for the most part, their microphones as well, asking questions through written messages, although verbal responses were sometimes required as the class discussed how the book The Hobbit reflects the narrative structure known as “the journey of the hero “. .

For student Daniella Kieser, it was her second online class of the day with one more to complete.

“I usually take two or three a day,” he said.

“In the beginning, everyone was a lot quieter than they are now and people are getting more comfortable with that.”

At 11am, James Cook High School teacher Aman Pillay went online with two Year 12 geography students, showing them a map of Auckland and talking to them about what they needed to know.

One of the teens, Georgia Priestley, said she didn’t have many classes online and that most of her work was emailed to her.

She said she was finding remote learning “pretty good,” although she had to work to stay motivated.

“It’s easier for me to focus on a single assessment and it’s a lot easier than having to change the subject five times a day and being a little stressed,” she said.

At noon, the Albany elementary school teacher, Desirae Lagerwall’s online class for Years 5 and 6 was a chess board with children’s faces on the screen; most had their cameras on.

She used the session to teach the children about prefixes, asking them questions and sharing a short video.

Year 6 student Emma Lim said that she went online once a day with her class and that most of her school work was done in the form of a digital slide show.

“There are different days and all the work that needs to be done,” he said.

Emma said she could see advantages in remote learning.

“You can take your time to finish the job and you really don’t have to travel a lot and you don’t have to use different books, we can only use one computer,” he said.

“But the downside is that it takes a while for your friends to respond to the emails you give them and I miss the feeling of being able to communicate with others face to face.”

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