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BIS teachers, students embrace e-learning during COVID-19 outbreak

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 10:00 GMT+7
BIS teachers, students embrace e-learning during COVID-19 outbreak
Teachers at BIS Hanoi are re-designing teaching by developing innovative and collaborative approaches to pedagogy. Photo: BIS

With the current coronavirus situation in Vietnam, almost every city and province has had to extend the school break as a precautionary measure. While the school closure has presented some challenges, it has been a good opportunity for schools to explore new and engaging teaching methods, provided through investment in digital platforms.

Many schools in Vietnam have started to use e-learning and video conferencing to keep lessons continued and to counsel students.

At the British International School Hanoi (BIS Hanoi), learning continues for all students, from Early Years all the way through to Secondary programs.

To support learning at home, teachers at BIS Hanoi are re-designing teaching by developing innovative and collaborative approaches to pedagogy.

Early Years -- a foundation stage

For Early Years students, the school believes that children will learn best through playing because playing helps them to develop their physical, social, emotional, problem-solving and communication skills in a fun and friendly manner.

Therefore, for the Early Years children, teachers stay in touch with parents by sending daily videos and activities for them to play with their children at home during this period.

From making patterns, guessing colors and numbers to story-telling or singing along, BIS received high engagement levels from parents and children, based on the huge number of videos and images of the children playing at home sent by the parents to teachers.

Primary & Secondary School

Teachers are largely making use of Google Classroom, Google Hangouts and Google Suites, which provide opportunities for students to work both independently and collaboratively.

These online platforms help teachers to give homework easily (through files or videos) and students to stay in touch with their teachers and receive direct feedback to support their learning.

With the help of technology, the teachers have been able to measure the amount of interaction and progress each student is making, while maintaining the quality of teaching to a very similar standard as students would have if they were physically at school.

Primary students often have catch-up meetings via Google Meets with BIS teachers. Photo: BIS

Primary students often have catch-up meetings via Google Meets with BIS teachers. Photo: BIS

In this prolonged school break, primary students often have catch-up meetings via Google Meets with teachers to share their home-learning progress and ask questions.

Besides online meetings, teachers at BIS Hanoi also record videos of their lessons or run interactive lessons via Google Hangouts to engage with the whole class during lesson time.

An interactive art lesson by Eibhlin Goppert, an art teacher at BIS Hanoi. Photo: BIS

An interactive art lesson by Eibhlin Goppert, an art teacher at BIS Hanoi. Photo: BIS

“The visualizer has really helped me to show difficult techniques and concepts to the students and I have loved seeing such high-levels of engagement from them,” Eibhlin Goppert, an art teacher, shared her ways to engage with students.

"With the help of Edpuzzle, I have been able to embed learning tasks and activities into various points of my YouTube videos. I have been able to then encourage students to apply this to a different poem/story/play, then the one used as an example in the video, to challenge their thinking and allow me to check their learning progress,” said Kate Wilson, an English teacher.  

To ensure students still receive enough knowledge as in a physical class, the teachers had to come up with multiple ways in order to motivate the students to study by themselves at home.

Students who actively engage in the home-learning program, and submit good-quality homework, will be awarded 'distance learning stars.'

This prize helps them increase 'House Points' – individual points to assess their learning and social skills and achievements at BIS Hanoi.      

Adrian Duckett, IB Coordinator and one of the ‘Home Learning Mentors’ at BIS, meets with his mentee via Google Hangout. Photo: BIS

Adrian Duckett, IB Coordinator and one of the ‘Home Learning Mentors’ at BIS, meets with his mentee via Google Hangouts. Photo: BIS

Especially, each of the IB Year 13 students (the final year of school at BIS) has been allocated a ‘Home Learning Mentor,’ a teacher that serves as a key point of contact during the school closure.

These mentors have the responsibility to keep an overview of all tasks set across the six subject groups and support students with maintaining high quality, independent learning through effective self-management.

The mentors have supported students in their organization so that they are able to meet deadlines, as well as act as a consultant and a supportive voice.

Mentors have also been able to escalate concern about workload if mentees fall behind.

In the near future, IB students will enter a very important exam to earn their IB Diploma. Therefore, these actions have been necessary to keep students learning at a constant pace during this prolonged break. 

“It has been great to maintain a close working relationship with the students while away from school and to offer our support as their individual learning mentors. Students have been making use of some excellent online learning platforms, including Kognity, to which many subjects subscribe, which provides a selection of interactive and digital textbooks and activities that allow teachers to monitor engagement and attainment,” shared Adrian Duckett, IB Coordinator and one of the ‘Home Learning Mentors.'

BIS Hanoi is part of Nord Anglia Education, a family of 66 Premium International Schools across 29 countries offering personalized and dedicated learning to 64,000 students from two to 18 years old.

The school provides rigorous, internationally-recognized curricula and qualifications including the English National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate (IB).

For more information, please visit www.bishanoi.com.

Tuan Duyen

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