The closing of the schools across Switzerland created a demand for an E-learning platform so that the students could still receive instruction, suitable tasks and feedback from their classroom teachers.
Fortunately, for SIS Winterthur, we were well-equipped to make great strides forward in this field and cope with the change in the delivery of our usual programme. With the introduction of Office 365 in the last school year, all teachers were familiar with its capabilities and were able to set up ‘online classrooms’ so that the students could continue on their learning journey. Through the use of Teams, teachers were able to set up channels that allowed the whole class distribution, in addition to private channels that only the individual student and their teachers could view. This gave us the capability to share files, have discussions, ask questions and provide feedback in either a shared or private domain.
From holding video conferences with the students, to using a range of methods for the students to submit work, it has certainly been a great learning experience for all involved. Teachers can schedule video conferences with their classes in advance, which allowed for instruction to still take place. To ensure this was effective, teachers needed to find a way for the students to contribute to these sessions appropriately. When submitting work, students have been required to download and upload assignments in various formats, including the use of Microsoft programmes and the likes of Flipgrid and Sway. Students have had to learn how to navigate Teams in a short time frame, with the support of their parents, teachers and peers and it has been great to see the support network thriving.
One key issue that needed to be addressed with the students was the appropriate use of the platform to ensure that it was being used responsibly and for its intended purpose.
We look forward to seeing where this journey will take us.