Experts: Plan for more remote learning

Wednesday, 27 May, 2020

Experts: Plan for more remote learning

As students return to school across the nation, Professor Neil Selwyn from Monash University’s Faculty of Education suggests remote learning should remain a focus for schools, and the threat of further disruption should be factored in to plans that prepare for periods of non-face-to-face teaching.

“The gradual reopening of schools and resumption of face-to-face teaching is giving us a glimmer of hope that our lives are headed back towards more familiar territory. However, it may well be that the home-based schooling many of us have just experienced during March, April and May is something that we need to get used to.

“Communities hit by increasing spates of bushfires, flooding and other natural crises might well have to resort to similar switches to remote schooling. While the educational disruptions that this generation of schoolchildren are experiencing might seem unprecedented, it might well not be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

During a radio interview earlier this week, Professor Selwyn commended the efforts of teachers, parents and students during recent lockdowns but acknowledged the challenges that such a rapid shift warranted. He thinks while teachers are used to using technology for in-class teaching, the move to an online model presented its own set of demands.

Selwyn believes schools must prepare now for future periods of home-based schooling including provision of training and professional development to thoroughly equip educators.   

“If this is not the last that we’ve seen of large numbers of school students having to learn at home through remote education, then it makes sense to be now setting about preparing ourselves for the next round of home-based learning,” Selwyn said.

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