HERE ARE 5 GOOD PRACTICES SUGGESTED BY CWS
The decree #IoRestoACasa (I stay home) issued after the spread of the Coronavirus throughout Italy and the consequent closure of schools and universities until April 3 implies a rethink not only of the working methods but also of school, teaching, the relationship between students and teachers and the management of children for working parents.
In a context like this, a digital transformation-oriented approach becomes fundamental. This means not only adopting digital technologies able to bring schools to the cloud and therefore allow distance learning, but also undertaking a digital education path that allows to understand the full potential of digital languages, tools and environments.
CWS, which is a company that supports other companies in the Digital Transformation process and has always been attentive to the needs of young people, has drawn up a set of good practices derived from the observation of the needs and uses of digital tools by parents, teachers and students to suggest the potential of digital technology both as a technological platform and as a resource of content and tools.
1. SEARCH FOR ONLINE EDUTAINMENT CONTENT
When schools are closed in an emergency situation like the present one, many families have to deal with the problem of time management of their children, especially minors, who often tend to prefer entertainment activities to educational ones in front of a smartphone or a computer. However, these two terms should not be considered antithetical: even among the apps and YouTube videos there are educational content designed for children's entertainment. From the Brain Out app that uses the gamification mechanism to test logic and measure IQ, to the video lessons dedicated to high school students by teacher Elia Bombardelli who explains mathematics but with the language of YouTube.
2. USE SOCIAL NETWORKS, YOU CAN FIND STUDENTS THERE
The second problem that emerged concerns the provision of teaching. Since not all schools were structured to manage distance learning, some teachers used the tools already used by parents and students.
Primary school teachers, in order to make up for the lack of contact with students, improvised audio or video recordings shared on parents' WhatsApp groups. Surely not the best way but in an emergency, it can make up for the lack of other possibilities.
On the other hand, older students can be reached more easily through social networks. This is how some teachers have used the most popular socials to lecture through Instagram's live videos.
3. SHARE EXPERIENCE AMONG TEACHERS
On the social networks there are also groups dedicated to teachers where experience and tools are shared among those who are more active in introducing digital solutions in education in schools all over Italy, such as the groups “Insegnanti due punto zero” and “Insegnanti Online - Come insegnare online” on Facebook.
4. GO TO THE CLOUD TO MANAGE TEACHING REMOTELY
For years now, online teaching tools such as Moodle have been adopted in universities, both to support working or non-attending students and as a support tool also for frontal teaching.
More recently, the electronic register has been introduced in primary and secondary schools, but it is still limited in terms of multimedia content sharing.
An evolution of these tools are the collaboration platforms. Collaboration suites such as Google Suite and Microsoft Office, created to meet the needs of private individuals and companies, also have a version dedicated to schools which is currently available free of charge as indicated on the MIUR website (https://www.istruzione.it/coronavirus/didattica-a-distanza.html).
5. PREPARING FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE SCHOOL
In addition to the suggestions to deal with the emergency, the advice is to look at the crisis as a time of change to introduce new practices and habits that can then become the basis to innovate the school and turn it into a Smart School.
In the school context, as well as in the company context, it means undertaking a path of digital transformation. This term means both adopting the opportunities of cloud technologies and adopting a mentality ready for experimentation, change and uncertainty management.
This is not an easy challenge, especially in large organizations such as the school system that on the one hand have to manage the complexity typical of an educational institution, on the other hand provide a very delicate service such as the education of students. But change can also come from below, from the choice of single institutions, single teachers or parents to adopt the digital opportunities described here.
It is precisely to schools and teachers that CWS wants to provide its expertise and support them in the process of digital transformation of the school.