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Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

05 May 2020

Bianca from Year 9 provides an insight into what virtual school is like from a student's perspective.

  • bianca

The world has changed in recent months and as such we have had to change our lifestyles accordingly; we need to stay home, we are not able to attend school as normal and so cannot see our friends or teachers. Us students have had to adapt our approach to learning, navigating state-of-art Virtual Learning. A penny for your thoughts: how do we deal with that? 

Behind the scenes
In my opinion, Virtual Learning has been a pleasure so far. The teachers have provided us with many open-source and free options for virtual science labs, quizzes, polls, e-books, and video chatting to support students. Physical health activities that can be conducted indoors are also options for students under quarantine. We are accessing the lessons through very well planned and prepared PowerPoint presentations and websites such as BBC bitesize, Education Perfect, Myimaths, Century Tech, Seneca learning and so on. At 7:45 each morning we log on to register with our form tutor to get the pastoral guidance too. Much the same as a normal school day we can discuss any difficulties, share important notices, or do a group brain teaser. We are rising in times of adversity!

Challenges
At first it was difficult for all of us to adapt to this new way of learning. I was nervous about how I would hand my work in or if I was completing things well, but step-by-step I grew in confidence and everything is going smoothly. Sometimes the work is difficult for us to access and/or understand the instructions given. English professor Ivy Schweitzer at Dartmouth college admits that “[He] can’t even see all their faces, so it’s important to keep checking in.” We don’t have the option of putting up our hand if we have a question like in class but we do have ‘Live Lessons’ where we get a chance to speak with the teacher to check any misconceptions and we can always write on the TEAM page for clarification. This emphasizes the great involvement of all the teachers at BIS Abu Dhabi. The ‘Live lessons’ also act as a much-needed social interaction with our teachers and peers. Learning Support are available for ‘drop- in sessions’ everyday to explain work and to help work alongside us if we find something difficult. 

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.”
– Eric Hoffer

Let’s improve yourselves!
During this time of virtual schooling, we have developed new skills of how to better use TEAMS, Stream and OneNote. We have discovered new ways of completing and submitting our work. TEAMS has given us the opportunity to see our friends, even if it is through a screen. We have encouraged ourselves to keep going no matter what as it is always darkest before dawn.

A little help…
It is tough to sit every day at home and not get the chance to see the real world but who said we can’t have fun at home? While some suggest that Netflix and snacks are their only buddies these days, some have found inspiration and have discovered new interests. I, for example, discovered that I love cooking, which until now was not that much of an interest. I have baked cookies, cakes and healthy dishes. Why not do some yoga with your sibling or have an online football tournament with your friends? 

There are many activities that can brighten your day. Stay strong, stay positive and look forward to tomorrow.

Bianca, Year 9