At the moment after the natural disasters in Japan, many expat families with children hesitate to go back to Tokyo and Yokohama. This is a big issue for the IB high school students who are getting their work ready, adjusting their grades and applying for the universities for the following year. They need their work done. A lot of the IB teachers are already in touch with these students who are scattered around the world through email. They answer the questions they have and guide them in their studies. But these students need proper guidance and study in the following months and they need to take some required exams in order to graduate. This is a particularly difficult situation for both the teachers and students who are at the moment in different countries far away from each other. On the other hand right after the earthquake happened in elementary school, our principal sent out an email to teachers to prepare some e- learning material for their students as the school had to be shut down for another week before the spring break. This raised a lot of concerns from both ends. The teachers, being through the earthquake and the nuclear disaster and being expats advised to leave the country, have been through a lot of stress. They did not have any time to sit down and think about any kind of e-learning at all. On the students’ side it was no different story. Their families had taken them away from the cities; most of them evacuated their homes and flee to their home countries. Some of both end lost family and friends. As a result the teachers put together a package and the students have been informed about it. We all are curious what percentage of these kids have gone through these e-learning materials, what percentage did not. While all these were happening, as a part of my studies, in my current course I was reading about online learning tools. After spending some time on different online learning platforms, I have to admit that I find them useful. If we had an online learning center for our students to follow the subjects they were taking in high school online, now they would not have had suffered from contacting their teachers at all times. And on the teachers’ side it would have been easier as the notes and resources would have been already present at this site. For elementary school, with the support of parents the kids could have followed up with content they were supposed to be working on. May be as the IT department, we need to sit down and discuss about these online tools as they might be great backup resources and platforms in students’ ongoing learning process.
Hargis, J., & Schofield, K. (2007). Integrating Online Learning into Elementary Classrooms. In P. Adamson, B. Adamson, & N. Clausen-Grace, et al (Eds.), What Works in K-12 Online Learning (pp. 33-47). Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
YouTube: “Using Moodle in the Classroom”