During the COVID-19 epidemic, our students are home-bound and teachers without a means to conduct the traditional classroom. This does not mean that learning must also be shut down. Even with limited internet access through a single smart phone, teachers can continue to interact with and guide the learning of their students.
Here is how the Mt. Meru Astronomical Observatory Ambassadors, teachers at primary and secondary schools, are addressing distance learning with limited internet access. You can too! Throughout this guide, we encourage you to be inclusive. Like a life raft for a sinking ship, you are rescuing your students from isolation, helping them to re-engage at a time when social distancing can other result in anxiety, fear, and psychological challenges. You are a lighthouse. Bring your students home again.
- Build a WhatsApp group specific to each Form (grade) and possibly each class (e.g. Form 4 Chemistry).
- Reach out to your students and invite them to join. If you do not have the phone number for each student or their parents, ask those students that you can contact to help you invite the rest of the class. Consider which of the students are at the center of social circles, the ones who are the most connected.
- Check the list of WhatsApp group members against your class roster, to learn who has been reached and who remains disconnected. Who does not have a phone at home? Do any others have an old or extra phone that could be (carefully) provided on loan?
- Using your Gmail account, log in and from the menu to the left of your profile image, select Google Drive.
- Here, you can upload a Word document or prepare a new Google Document with your first lesson plan.
- You can make this document available to all by providing a direct link to the file. Or, you can print to PDF, download, and send via WhatsApp.
- At the bottom of each assignment, include a link to your email address such the students can deliver their completed assignments, or consider building a Google Form.
- If your students do not have a computer at home, they can use their phone to photograph the hand written assignment and deliver via the given email.