When the world began to fight the coronavirus pandemic early this year, medical experts wondered if there would be waves of cases, a usual pattern seen in other virus pandemics. According to the WHO Covid-19 Dashboard, the overall pattern so far has been one of increasing cases of covid 19.
However, some countries in Europe, South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and even Africa that saw a high number of coronavirus infections early on, followed by a decline, are now having a “second wave” of surge.
The probing question now amongst school administrators, teachers, students, and of course parents is: “Should we be worried?”
The impact of the “First Wave” of the coronavirus on education was a lockdown in almost every part of the globe, causing schools and families to react rapidly to a new teaching and learning scenario without the benefit of prior planning.
A Second Wave Now Looms…
Just recently, the Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed that all government and private schools in the state be shut down indefinitely because of the spike in the numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease not only in Lagos state but the entire country.
Could the resurgence of covid 19 in Nigeria be because safety measures were relaxed or ignored?
Whether or not this is the case, schools may once again have to face the adverse effect of a total lockdown. The question however is, will the effect of the second wave be as intense as the first?
Fortunately, the coronavirus disease outbreak is no longer novel. Society is more informed, and to a large extent more prepared. The education sector need not be paranoid about a second wave, but leverage on the opportunities that have been put in place to ensure learning does not come to a halt.
As odd as it may seem, the first wave of Covid 19 in Nigeria actually paved a way for a tech-enabled education especially in Africa; online learning is currently the obvious way to keep lessons going.
Unfortunately, though, not a lot of schools have well-established online learning systems which is why the news of another lockdown could probably feel like another volcano eruption.
Similarly, some parents during the first wave of the virus might not have tagged homeschooling as one of the best lockdown experiences, and it’s possible that taking on their children’s education once again is such a daunting prospect already.
Is there a Way Forward?
Gradely has since been exploring how to better use technology to improve the learning, teaching and homeschooling experiences for parents, teachers and of course students whether or not a virus pandemic is imminent. We do not think that the scare of a second wave should be the only reason to make learning digital.
Our goal is to ensure that every student is a successful learner, and so to guarantee their learning is not further compromised by the lockdown, we are continually on the forefront of providing seamless online learning tools and content that support personalised learning in and out of the classroom.
Highlighted below are a few learning tools on Gradely that can provide some form of academic normalcy for students and teachers alike, as well as make homeschooling a bit easier and more fun for parents as we transition into another cycle of lockdown:
– The Gradely Class Feed
Studies have shown that about 67% of students felt relieved to be back in their routine and in touch with classmates and educators in a class-like setting after schools were asked to reopen in September.
Most students want to have a sense of community, they want to be able to stay in touch and collaborate with their peers and teachers. This is what makes them feel productive. Not a lot of children thrive in isolated learning.
Therefore, imagine a safe online space where an entire classroom community of students and educators can come together to collaborate. Think of it like Facebook, but on a more educational ground, where teachers and students can send updates, share files and engage in real-time discourse.
We call this feature the “Class Feed”. This is where you will find all school/class information, clarifications or announcements.
– Interactive Live Classroom Sessions/One-on-One Tutor Sessions
Having some type of synchronous live interaction can be especially beneficial as this goes furthest to mimic in-person social interactions.
On the contrary, parents would have to deal with bored and unengaged children if their home learning practices are lonely and isolating, geared toward solitary study, and lack opportunities for social interaction between learners.
With Gradely, parents and schools can enhance the students eLearning experience by ensuring they are connected to the real world with Gradely’s real-life conferencing tool which affords the learner a one-on-one learning session with a tutor, live classroom peer discussions and knowledge sharing sessions, where teachers can give answers to every learner’s inquiries.
More so, teachers get to share recorded live class sessions on the class feed for the benefits of students who might have missed the class.
– Flexible Digital Assessment Process
As a teacher, you do not need to be physically present with your students to carry out assessment processes like homework, quizzes or even examinations. Rather than sending Homeworks via exhausting emails, or having to worry about how students would submit hard copy notebooks, Gradely provides an automated homework assessment tool as an easier alternative.
In the case where the lockdown period stretches longer than expected, and students need to write examinations, conducting proctored tests and examination with Gradely will always come in handy.
Do note that Gradely’s content library aligns with the Nigerian and British curriculums. In other words, Gradely prepares students for both internal and external examinations, as well as give you access to these unlimited and already curated questions.
With these resources at your disposal, you can set homework, quizzes, and examination questions anywhere in less than a minute.
– Gamified Practice Questions
Gradely has unlimited practice questions based on the Nigerian (WAEC/NECO) and British (IGCSE) curriculum, Every child gets personalised practice questions tailored towards the topics they need help with the most.
This doubles as an engaging feature for students whilst they remain at home because it happens to be gamified. Dr Judy Willis, a certified neurologist and extensive researcher of how learning occurs, posits that gamified lessons increase retention because learners feel more connected to the material.
In other words, this is simply a means of motivating learners to keep playing or in this case, learning and pushing their skills further. They get to unlock a new mastery level with every practice and parents can track their progress from the Gradely dashboard.
Educators Can Overcome this Resurgence
Although previous researches suggest that school lockdowns will widen the learning gaps in children of school ages, the existence of the Gradely solution totally erodes this assertion as Gradely was built as a 24/7 learning resource that not only helps to narrow learning gaps but to close it completely.
We might not have all the answers pertaining to a few other industries, but we sure have what it takes to make this a smooth and seamless transition for both schools and parents.
Are you a school administrator or parent? Let’s get you started on Gradely. Click HERE.
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