6 February 2021 2021
Due to COVID-19, classroom type of activities has come to a standstill since the first semester has started. Online activities might be a stopgap arrangement, however, schools would face the dilemma of while it caters for some learning needs of children, it generates some concerns on health issues such as eye-sight. Moreover, ‘concrete’ learning is the basis of children’s learning which is not adequately provided by online activities.
To seek the best possible solution of keeping active learning of children while minimize the drawbacks, we reviewed our previous experience on home-based learning and teaching, consulted with doctors and specialists on the and have devised a ’20-20 plan’. It is based on two sessions of online activities, pre-recorded and real-time respectively; 20 minutes per session and separated by no less than 20 minutes of interval. Interactive activities incorporating the elements of music, exercise and arts are staged. We recommend parents to observe the following:
– Minimum distance from the device (0.6 M or 2 feet for computer; 0.3 M or 1 foot for iPad);
– An eye exercise at the end of each session, such as looking at objects 6 M (20 feet) away and walk for 20 steps.
To enhance the effects of online activities, we have the privilege of joining the various programmes of The Hong Kong University Faculty of Education, The Education University of Hong Kong in conjunction with the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. These programmes enable us to stage multifaceted, interactive and children-oriented online activities. Children learn some areas that they miss from classrooms, including the proper manner in social environment (they learn in group online).
We also try to maintain our regular activities, without classrooms, such as games pouches, book borrowing, science week and arts week, read aloud etc. Our children have enthusiastically participated and impressed their parents.
We have been busy preparing for the online activities that would use more energy and skills than classroom activities, but we face such challenges with positive views. Our children’s happy, eager and satisfying faces and responses full of confidence have encouraged us despite all the difficulties.
We hope that the pandemic would subside soon so that school life would return to normal.
Opportunities are for those prepared.