6 lessons teachers can take away from the pandemic

COVID-19 has put new demands on the triple bottom line, and there is no one manual or exit for and from the current situation.

Though we currently experience a partial lockdown, the unpredictability of the pandemic is real, and the restrictions on social and physical interaction remain in place.

COVID-19 did not only disrupt learning as the pandemic manifested new opportunities for more and continued learning through personal and professional development initiatives.

COVID-19 presented unique opportunities for educators to rethink and redesign what it means to teach and learn in the 21st century and beyond. The Pandemic offers a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to address the gross inequalities and inadequacies in the Educational system.

In the article, we impart six lessons schools can take away from the pandemic.

  1. Together we can achieve so much more: Teachers discovered intrinsic and new strengths within themselves and among colleagues.
  2. Teachers bonded during a time of adversity: Teachers talked, listened, and worked
    with parents, community, and outside groups to co-design and co-deploy solutions.
  1. Teachers employed a plethora of technology: Teachers swiftly learned the power of educational Apps such as Zoom, Doodle polls, Padlet, Seesaw, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams.
  2. Personal Development Planning PDP & Continuous Professional Development CPD: During the lockdown, Teachers benefited from more professional development opportunities and joined more professional (online) chats than ever before.
  3. Learning, unlearning and relearning. STARR – Situation. Tasks. Actions. Result. And… Reflect… Teachers know that this is no ordinary start of term. Teachers must now be deliberate in learning and development and must invest in digital literacy.
  4. Technology-Adoption Maturity: During the lockdown, many teachers were finally able to make successful cases for tech-adoption in their schools.

Teachers who had the support of management and whose management believed in technology found it easier to adapt to online learning during the lockdown.

Notwithstanding, teachers should continue to work collaboratively and share best practices within and beyond their schools.

Teachers showed their invaluable worth during the lockdown. This is why we support our teachers to build on the feat with improved provisions and specialised training that supports lifelong learning inside and outside the classroom.

We should all focus on our teachers’ (physical and mental) health and wellbeing and ensure that the anxieties and uncertainties faced daily are supported and listened to and that our schools, as well as Governance, and provide positive and safe teaching and working environments.

Practical tips for parents for guardians of young gamers

The New York Times published a pretty bleak look at what quarantine induced screen/gaming time is theoretically doing to kids in January of 2020. But this is not a new topic or issue. Silent movies were said to provoke crimeViolent TV and, later, violent video games said to cause violent crimes. War games have been said to cause mass-shootings.

In fairness, every generation has its own social and moral panic about emerging technologies and technology adoption, and it is far from over for video games and gaming discussions.

The issue is that no one actually keeps their eye on the ball. As each new technology comes out, we forget the last one. In recent years, we have been easily excited and distracted by emerging technologies, rhetoric, and ‘experts’, most of which has now come to light following the sudden manifestation of COVID-19. It is therefore pivotal to maintain focus and not only see the pandemic as a disruption, but also as an opportunity to bridge certain gaps and re-calibrate for tech-adoption maturity and beyond. In the article, I address a concern from a parent in London below.

as a parent with an artistic child I see him losing all his other interests, if I let him play everyday there would still be an argument when it’s time to stop! I personally worry about too much time staring at a screen.

A Concerned Mother

Gaming is a joint leisure time activity for many people around the world. When humans share leisure time activities together, they often initiate, build, and foster diverse social relationships. For more on the social and economic side of gaming, read my top tips for parents and guardians here and the socio-economic benefits of gaming and eSports here.

Contemporary online gaming devices are not so different from a personal computer or a smart phone and the internet. Contemporary gaming devices and access are pretty much portals to infinite social worlds, applications, and engagement.

Our partners at IFB UK believe that computer games (digital games or video games) are great and as we approach tech-adoption maturity and the final phase of the 4th industrial evolution, more and more things will be game-like. Have you played a game on Facebook recently and shared with your friends?

They reported that many people believe that there is a scientifically established relationship between violent video game play and violent crime, when in fact there is no research to indicate such a link. There is also strong misperception that just because someone plays a lot of video games, they are addicted to them or less-useful. This totally disregards the fact that there is currently an open debate as to whether or not video game addiction exists at all.

Pre pandemic, WHO classified gaming as a mental health disorder. Some leaders openly voiced their concerns for gaming addiction and its inherent link to violence – for example, the mass shootings in the USA. In the UK, the top mental health nurse has warned that video games are pushing young people into ‘under the radar’ gambling. It is far from over for gaming, but for now, here are some simple tips for parents and guardians of young gamers.

Simple Tips For Parents & Guardians

1. Be aware of the 3Cs, communication, connections and context of communication and connections during multiplayer-online gaming.

2. Off-line, use framing to focus on time and activity planning and management more than screen-time.

3. Gaming must not be his/her only social, playtime and relaxation activity.

4. Be present and interested and participate when he/she is gaming.

Finally, it costs to purchase a v-box for a young person every week to play video games such as FORTNITE. This partnership and privilege should be positively framed and transferable to developments at home and in real life.