When Covid-19 first emerged, it quickly spread across the world, largely due to our jet aircraft society and aside from seriously affecting the healthcare industry, education has also suffered significantly. Of course, with a contagious virus on the loose, we must protect both young and old and many schools (kindergarten, middle and high) have had to close, in line with government orders.
In many cities, the international elementary school (called โรงเรียน นานาชาติ ประถม in Thai) had to close their gates for long periods and in order that the students do not miss out, distance learning programs have been developed when the students are at home virtually connected with the teacher, who is at the school. The school would provide all of the home learning resources and as a parent, you need to provide a computer, a webcam and a stable Internet Connection.
There are times when school are open and in order to incorporate social distances, the classrooms are arranged so that each child has their own space, while there would also be hand sanitiser and antiseptic wipes. The school would have a deep clean every week and a good wipe down daily and if the government feels that the virus is spreading, they usually order all schools to close and switch to online learning.
Of course, you can’t expect a regular teacher to adapt to distance learning without some form of training and this normally happens during the school holidays. It doesn’t take long for an experienced teacher to get the hang of teaching online, while the school is responsible for setting up the Internet network that is needed to be the host of the teaching session.
Prior to launching a distance learning program, the school would invite the parents to a short workshop that helps them to gain a better understanding of learning at home and what it involves. The teachers would work with the parents, showing them how to download and install the necessary software (usually Zoom or Skype), while also showing how to use the many features, such as file sharing and whiteboard use. When the teachers and parents work together, they become an affective partnership, enabling the students to get the most out of online learning.
Thanks to VoIP technology, schools have been able to deliver the curriculum to their students using online learning and hopefully, we can soon return to some kind of normality.