As the Coronavirus crisis deepens with the country dealing with a renewed coronavirus outbreak, Israel has gone into lockdown again.
On September 1st, 2020 schools opened to start the new school year. This was done according to the Education Ministry’s “Safe Learning” plan, which was developed in response to the pandemic, and saw full-sized classes for the first two grades, with “capsules” — small groups — for grades 3 and 4 (they attended school every day) and, for grades 5 through 12 a mixture of actually coming to school and engaging in distance learning.
This school year, I teach four different courses at the Six-Year Kugel High School in Holon, Israel. This is the school where I have been a teacher since 1989. From September 1st, I taught my pupils in small groups until Thursday, September 17th, which is the day we went back to teaching fully online. Lockdown started again on Friday, September 18th.
Since there was always the possibility of a new Lockdown, I made it a point to keep using Moodle to support my Face to Face lessons, helping pupils to learn with Moodle as well as with the textbooks. Once again, now that we have turned to teach fully online again, Moodle has become central to my work as a teacher.
Since Thursday, September 17th, I have had several Virtual Classroom (Zoom) meetings with the different groups that I teach. As for me (and hopefully for my pupils), these Zoom meetings are just part of the process of teaching and learning English as a Foreign Language. I tend to follow the Zoom meetings with a short video that sums up what was done and prepares the ground for future learning. I share the video with my pupils.
The attached videos can give an idea of how I am trying to do my job, and how Moodle helps me. The entire school system has shifted online, and, like my colleagues, I am constantly communicating with pupils. Of course, like teachers everywhere, I work in accordance with the policy of the school and the Ministry of Education.
Incidentally, I can’t imagine teaching without Moodle.
It isn’t easy for all High School pupils to learn fully online. They are teens and not College or University students. To be sure, it is even more difficult for kindergarten and elementary school children, and their family, to do so. No less significant, not every pupil has access to online learning for a variety of reasons. We are living through hard times, and not only in terms of distance learning.
I guess different teachers face this new situation in different ways, and mine is just one. I imagine that this situation is not unique to Israel, but has similarities and differences all over the world. We are all in the same boat, aren’t we?
If you are a K-12 teacher, give Moodle a try. I think it is worth your time and effort.