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Irina Lukyanova on how the school lives online

Irina Lukyanova on how the school lives online

Since the end of March, Moscow schools have been working at a distance. Both teachers, and children, and parents, and the Department of Education were not ready for the fact that the entire educational process will be transferred online. About what is happening now with secondary education, says the expert of the project "The Earth Is Flat - How to read the media?", a literature teacher, at the Moscow School of Intellectual, writer and journalist of Novaya Gazeta Irina Lukyanova.

- Schools urgently switched to online learning. How would you rate what’s going on in the first few weeks? How and why do they deal with it / fail to, what are the main problems?

- The main thing, it seems to me, the schools as a whole are not very good at structuring the material when translating face-to-face lessons online and do not really understand how much work can be done and how much can be given. Here, the Russian school does not have any distinct methodological developments. All this is groped empirically. And it turns out that schools in this situation behave differently. Some quickly and properly took up distance learning — and very quickly discovered that it was exhausting. Others did not immediately adjust, the turmoil began with the search for suitable platforms, everyone was at a loss — it depends on the general level of organization and advancement of teachers, on the general level of computer literacy, on the experience of conducting distance learning outside the school. In two days, our school organized full-fledged distance learning: everyone found out on Friday evening that the children would not go to school; over the weekend, teachers chose the platforms on which the training will be conducted, organized technical support for students and teachers, quickly registered the entire school in a Google class, and on Monday morning began online classes according to the usual schedule. Other schools, as far as I know, are now losing classes, suffering from technical turmoil — familiar parents complain very much about this. But when we worked online for the first week, it became clear how much preparation an online lesson requires, how much verification is required after an online lesson, and how much force it squeezes from you. Not only from a teacher, but also from children.

- What happens to children, to schoolchildren who find themselves in online isolation? Are their relationships with each other and with teachers changing? Could you share any observations?

- And by the end of the first week, the children began to complain that it was hard for them, that they could not sit at the computer for six hours. They began to ask to replace the conferences in Zoom’s with independent tasks that can be done at a convenient time. On the other hand, schools that did not organize themselves so quickly had other problems: there, on the contrary, teachers began to simply leave the children to do independent work. For example, read a paragraph such and such, do the task such and such, and so on in all subjects. Write an essay on physical education, make a presentation on fine arts, that is, the children were actually left to their own devices, only with huge homework. Here, of course, the parents began to get very nervous, because it all fell on their shoulders: the control, the provision, the “find”, and the “help”. Here parental patience has already begun to burst. Some schools did not choose a single platform - and it turned out that one teacher leaves the VKontakte task, the second sends it to the social network, the third leads the conference through Zoom, the fourth offers a meeting on Google hangouts, etc. Poor children do not know where to run.

The Department of Education immediately said: we have a solution, we have the Moscow Electronic School (MES). But it turned out that the MES is completely not designed for such an increase in load. NES, the Russian electronic school, also had bugs when I went there, I could not use the content there. And sometimes the content on the part of objects is so bad that I want to cry. I can’t say anything about other subjects - teachers complain about different things, but I would hardly have used literature lessons at MES.

We all found ourselves in new conditions for each. On the one hand, it is difficult to calculate the overload, on the other hand, not everyone can cope with technical means. Not everyone copes with the organization of the process. It’s hard to control, and to count who was present at the lesson. They seem to be seen who you have there online. But if you have it there, but its sound and camera are turned off, then I don’t know, maybe he just went to the kitchen to drink tea. On the other hand, requiring children to sit with their cameras turned on and show me interested faces is also generally difficult, because sitting there for six hours in a row devotedly to look teachers' eyes in the eye is not enough for anyone to do.

- Have there been any new ethical issues related to online learning? What kind?

- I probably did not come across any. The strangest thing that I encountered was when a completely unfamiliar user appeared in my lesson. I just didn’t let him into the zoom conference and didn’t find out who he was and where he came from. He didn't appear again.

There are various surprises with open conferences — not necessarily at school ... For example, my colleagues held an open zoom conference, which was widely announced, and there were some trolls who began to demonstrate gay porn. It is clear that it was necessary to initially turn off the screen sharing option for users in the settings, but not everyone figured it out on the run when they transferred their activities to online. When in a hurry I had to jump onto a technical platform that you still don’t know thoroughly, when I hadn’t fully figured out the settings yet. This entails such strange situations when you conduct an online lesson, give new material, and you need to deal with how you block the child’s ability to paint stupidities on a public desktop.

- Your top 5 tips for teachers and top 5 tips for students and parents.

- Do not try to grasp the immensity, do not load yourself and children to the maximum. Carefully calculate your child’s own strengths and strengths. To diversify the lesson so that there is not a monologue or discussion all the time, but so that you can alternate, give some materials for children to work independently in their free time, but not to throw them completely into the abyss of self-education. There should be regular monitoring, regular feedback on specific dates, because children in this format are not very good with self-organization. They can run almost anything. On the other hand, realizing that we will live in this mode for a long time — most likely, we will study like this before the end of the school year — we need to calculate our strengths and go in slow, measured, clear steps. And if even this year we do not have time to give something from the program, there is no need to worry, because life does not end there.

- What changes will remain forever? What will change in school after coronavirus?

- A lot turned out to be just convenient. For example, give a task in a Google class, do Google forms for verification. Usually we don’t use it, but why not. It is very convenient to immediately see who handed over the homework and who did not, to receive all the texts in one table. Colleagues are actively mastering the Padlet, they will also probably use it — and many others, too. Now there is a stock of accumulated techniques in case the school is quarantined for any other reason. There is no need to close and announce an unscheduled vacation, but there are already achievements if you understand what and how to do. There will be tools, skills, experience, and they will not go anywhere.

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