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Embracing E-Learning at BIS Secondary Campus

In recent years, Learning Technology has played an important role in developing both staff and students' educational experiences at the British International School Ho Chi Minh City to ensure that we stay at the forefront of 21st-century education.

Professional Learning Programmes for our teachers on the theme of Learning Technology, such as Google Certified Educator, showed particular significance this week in light of the challenging circumstances. We have seen some excellent examples of E-Learning in meeting our students’ needs. Nothing has changed in terms of the quality of education and provision for our students - indeed, many of the approaches adopted have already played a role in our students’ learning for many years!

Over the past 3 days, students have been able to build on their prior learning and teachers have developed innovative and collaborative approaches to pedagogy. Students have responded extremely well to the programmes put in place. We have been able to measure the amount of interaction and progress each student is making, whilst providing constructive feedback to their assignments. Some examples are included below from Science, Maths and English, in order to give you a flavour of the rich experiences on offer.

Mathematics with Mr Quarrington

“Being away from school provides the students with an excellent opportunity for self-reflection, especially after their mock examinations. I created this video to address specific weaknesses I found when marking their papers."

"The video allows the students to test themselves, and re-visit parts they don’t understand. Combining this with a set of diagnostic questions and then focused past examination questions allows students to really master the topic”.

Y13 English with Ms Davies

"My Year 13 IB Diploma class are currently studying the poetry of Sylvia Plath. We came together this morning via the digital platform Google Hangouts, after a brief introduction and a check-in with the students, I proceeded to record a series of videos on Plath’s poem ‘Ariel’ using Screencastify; in these short videos I analysed and explored the poem using an electronic copy."

Y13 E-Learning English | BIS HCMC

"Students were able to ask questions in between the videos via the Hangout interactive chat, and have now been set a piece of writing to complete on the poem’s imagery."

Biology with Ms Smith

"This week has been both challenging and rewarding as we teachers support our students through online learning.  I have used a variety of methods to communicate with my class.  My entire Year 13 class joined me on a Google Hangout discussing the impact of climate change while my Year 8 class have been watching video clips of famous athletes then working on a Google document to develop a balanced diet for them.  Year 9 were due to do an experiment and analyse the results which is pretty hard to do at home without the correct equipment!  Instead, I did the experiments in lab, videoed the results and asked them to write them up.  Year 10 and I have been communicating by video – they send me a video of how enzymes work and I send a video of my feedback. Here is an example:

"Luckily, all the children I teach are already used to working with online technology and have a strong work ethic that allows them to work independently, albeit with my support.  Whilst I am missing being with the students, I know they are refining skills that are invaluable, not only in situations like this but also in their future life."

Google Classroom, Google Hangouts and Google suites have been the main platform for E-Learning that encourage students to work both independently and collaboratively. It has been a pleasure to see both teachers and students engaging so positively with technology-infused learning - we can look forward to more of the same next week!

Greg Roberts, Design and Technology Teacher and Learning Technology Integrator