Teachers brave digital classrooms as coronavirus close schools - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Teachers brave digital classrooms as coronavirus close schools

Teachers brave digital classrooms as coronavirus close schools

Limiting screen time and telling students to hush are things of the past now that coronavirus has many teachers swapping whiteboards for laptops.

Ten days after transitioning online, French and Spanish teacher Constance Du Bois says the current situation has “nothing to do with classroom teaching.”

The 37-year-old Franco-American teaches at New York’s United Nations International School, a private institution of 1,600 students that is far better equipped than the city’s public schools.

But even in a school that already uses many tools of online communication – and serves privileged families with easy internet access – Du Bois says transitioning to online teaching did not come without challenges.

Instructors there had already begun planning to teach online in early April after spring break – but those plans sped up once a professor was diagnosed with COVID-19, which has now infected nearly 5,000 people in the United States’ largest city.

The school closed immediately after learning of the positive test – before the online curriculum was ready.

The first difficulties were technical, Du Bois told AFP via video conference.

“We tested the program with a few students, but in reality, we weren’t yet acquainted with the platform,” she said, having just finished a lesson with teenagers aged 14-15 in front of her computer at home in Brooklyn.

“The students had plenty of technical problems, lots of crashes.”

Even once those basics were resolved, other, more structural problems appeared.

(AFP)
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