“School is going to look very different in term 2,” Premier Daniel Andrews said. “If you can learn from home, you must learn from home.”
As we fast approach Term 2 – it is clear that we will be creating a new norm for schooling in 2020. To slow the spread of COVID-19, we will transition into an online learning environment for the foreseeable future. Whether from the comfort of your home, or from your child’s classroom, the transition will pose it’s challenges but we can rest assured, we will be supported every step of the way.
It is clear that the Australian Government is in this with us! They will loan more than 6,000 laptops/tablets to students who don’t have such resources available to them. SIM cards and dongles will also be distributed to those students who don’t have internet access. Thanks to Telstra, 4,000 SIM cards will be distributed to Government Primary & Secondary schools.
“Every student will get the support they need, whether they are learning at home or attending school on-site. We will provide a device to every child that needs one and provide thousands more with free internet”, said Education Minister - James Merlino. No child will be left to feel underprivileged and every child will have access to the education that they deserve to stay on track with their ongoing learning and development needs.
Whilst transitioning into an online learning environment will pose its challenges, it’s not all doom and gloom. We will see our children rise-up to the occasion and in most cases, they will be sure to exceed our expectations. School students are technologically savvy and many are privy to the vast array of online educational resources available to them. For many years, technology has been an integral component of education, so navigating this space will be a walk-in-the-park for most kids! With Government planning in full flight and the support and guidance of teachers and support staff, you can expect your kids to be self-sufficient and capable of taking responsibility for their own learning through the upcoming school year.
Despite having access to incredible tools and resources, kids will need some guidance creating structure and a routine. Some parents are dressing their kids in their school uniform first thing in the morning and only allowing ‘play time’ at the end of the day once they have changed out of their uniforms. Others are setting a schedule, inclusive of all breaks and meal times and strictly adhering to it. Ensure your child has a quiet place to undertake their online learning, adequate tools such as stationary items, school books, notepads etc., sufficient breaks and proper nutrition to maximise brain function and sustain their energy levels throughout the day. It may take some trial and error but getting into the groove and finding a daily structure that works for your child is the key to success in online learning.
2020 has been an unprecedented and challenging year globally. It has forced us all to create new norms, whether we have transitioned into remote working, succumbed to economic pressures and been laid off, had to make significant changes financially to sustain ourselves and our families, or transitioned our kids into homeschooling, it hasn’t come easy! Now is the time to focus on those things within our control – we have a choice to embrace these changes and see the value and positives that they may bring to us, our children, and our communities. Remember, this new norm is temporary so let’s make the most of it while we can!
Further advice, tips and resources to help you support your child’s continuity of learning from home.