Remote Learning in the Primary School

Andrea ChesterLeave a Comment

RMIT School of Education hosted two online sessions on September 22 where recent RMIT B.Ed graduates shared their experiences with current students and staff.  In the morning Tuan Gian (Class of 2013) shared his experiences of integrating digital technologies across the primary curriculum with students in the Design and Digital Technologies Course

In the afternoon Rachel Hickey (Class of 2017), Tayla Mason (Class of 2018) and Molly Lowe (Class of 2019) shared their experiences of delivering remote learning during 2020 with over 50 students from the B.Ed, MTP (Primary) and School of Education staff. Paul Carney (Class of 2011) lent moral support and expertise in the upper primary years, an unexpected but delightful ‘ring-in.’ 

Three excellent presentations each took a slightly different angle to remote learning from Prep to Grade 6. Our presenters shared their detailed daily schedules, the types of learning activities they facilitated, and the lengths they went to to support their students and their parents during the lockdown. We learned about the challenges faced by teachers, from the need to provide access to technology to students, the increased pressure from having parents in the ‘classroom’, the challenge of keeping students engaged in online learning and the emotional drain of being exposed to the pressures of family dysfunction. We also heard about the positives, which were mostly about the relationships that have been built between students and teachers, between teachers and teachers and between teachers and parents and how teachers are now valued more highly than before. 

The session included a rich discussion about what aspects of remote learning might be retained once face to face learning is resumed, the extent to which learning has been lost, and about the potential implications for teaching in 2021 as schools will have to face the fallout from this year. Work/life balance and teacher wellbeing was also a theme.

The session was really well received – here are some of the comments written by students in the chat: 

That was such an amazing and resourceful session. So glad I had the opportunity to attend this guest presentation. It was great to hear different perspectives and a behind the scenes tour of online teaching! So thank you very much! 

Just wanted to say a huge thank you, it is amazing to see how the schools that have been working in the background. I wish you all the best in your spectacular teaching futures, and I hope the rest of the year is a little smoother 🙂  

Thanks guys, amazing session and lots of information 🙂 

thank you very much! this was incredible 

Definitely appreciated you opening it up to the masters 🙂 

Thank you so much! Lots of great information and honestly making me feel more confident and excited going into teaching! Your time is very much appreciated 😃 

These sessions were a fabulous example of the strength of connections we have with our alumni and how willing they are to give back to RMIT. All presenters were grateful for the opportunity to share their practice – but not as grateful as we were in having them show us a glimpse inside a range of schools and how they are responding to the challenges of remote learning. 

For those who could not attend in person, here’s the link to the recoding of the Remote Learning in the Primary School session

With thanks to Nicky and Thembi for designing and facilitating these sessions and providing the summary above.

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