Middle School Teachers on the use of virtual classrooms

This paper focuses on The perception of Elementary and Middle School Teachers on the use of virtual classrooms prior to and during COVID-19.

Middle School Teachers on the use of virtual classrooms
The perception of Elementary and Middle School Teachers on the use of virtual classrooms prior to and during COVID-19

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The changing role of teachers and technologies amidst the COVID 19 pandemic: key findings from a cross-country study
“Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning” wrote the Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire in his famous book “Pedagogy of Freedom” (1996).

Despite the overwhelming consequences of the pandemic, this global crisis has also been an extraordinary time for learning. We are learning how adaptable and resilient educational systems, policy makers, teachers, students and families can be. In this blog (which is part of a series highlighting key lessons learned from a study to understand the perceived effectiveness of remote learning solutions, forthcoming) we summarize lessons learned in different countries, with special focus on teachers and how they had to quickly reimagine human connections and interactions to facilitate learning. The role of teachers is rapidly evolving becoming in many ways more difficult than when learning took place only in person.

How has the pandemic changed the role of teachers?
Two crucial factors have shifted due to the pandemic.

No matter the type of channel used (radio, TV, mobile, online platforms, etc.)

teachers need to adapt their practices and be creative to keep students engaged as every household has become a classroom

– more often than not – without an environment that supports learning.

Some countries are supporting teachers with this. In Sierra Leone, where the main remote learning channel is radio, a ‘live’ and toll-free phone line is open for students to call teachers with questions and schedules of radio lessons allow time for children to help their families with daily chores.

Second, the pandemic has recalibrated how teachers divide their time between teaching, engaging with students, and administrative tasks. The pandemic has highlighted the need for flexibility and more time for student-teacher interactions. For example, in Estonia teachers were given autonomy to adjust the curriculum, lesson plans, and their time allocation.

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