From Monday evening, all schools in Greenwich will be moving their classes online to reduce coronavirus transmissions between children in education in an effort to control the London borough’s infection rate, which is currently at its highest since March.
The move back to online learning follows council leader, Danny Thorpe, underlining that Greenwich is showing signs of a period of exponential growth which need immediate addressing, despite the government threatening legal action to keep schools open until the start of the Christmas holidays on Friday.
Following the news, Hilary Stephenson, managing director at Sigma, a user experience (UX) design agency, has offered some insight into how to make the transition online as successful as possible and why schools should be working to optimise their use of technology in teaching.
Hilary said: “Schools must update their approach to remote teaching based on previous lockdowns, as it moves back to online learning, while children are kept at home as Greenwich seeks to get the virus back under control.
“The transition between face-to-face and virtual education needs to be as seamless as possible to minimise the disruption of a child’s education. For the best outcomes, teaching staff, parents and children are going to have to work together to iron out any creases which were apparent earlier in the year, and any new issues that may arise as learning becomes remote again. Schools and local authorities shouldn’t lose sight of the need to make remote learning inclusive, with the same opportunities given to all pupils regardless of their home situation, accessibility or learning needs.
“Looking ahead, a blended approach to learning is the future of education as digital becomes more and more integrated in teaching. While the coming weeks will be challenging for all involved, schools in London should view the short-term closure of classrooms as a chance to assess which blending learning approaches work best for their teachers and pupils. Schools who do well to use this time to optimise their use of technology and will place themselves in an ideal position as we move to more remote, digitally-enabled ways of learning.”