Parenting & Family

Virtual synchronous learning

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  • Sep 3rd, 2020 8:51 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
857 posts
140 upvotes

Virtual synchronous learning

In recent weeks, I've asked me trustee, principal and teacher friends about what virtual synchronous learning might entail. No one knows whether teachers will use a blackboard/whiteboard or other visual tools during the video calls.

I've gone online attempting to get an inkling. I found this video which seems very good. Can anyone in the education establishment comment on whether virtual learning will be like this for the younger grades?

Thanks!

Virtual synchronous learning
10 replies
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Dec 27, 2013
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Woodbridge
hank755 wrote: In recent weeks, I've asked me trustee, principal and teacher friends about what virtual synchronous learning might entail. No one knows whether teachers will use a blackboard/whiteboard or other visual tools during the video calls.

I've gone online attempting to get an inkling. I found this video which seems very good. Can anyone in the education establishment comment on whether virtual learning will be like this for the younger grades?

Thanks!

Virtual synchronous learning
The short answer is that we have no idea. We don't even know for sure whether we're teaching virtually or face-to-face, at least among teachers that don't have 10+ years seniority. Some schools have over half of their students online with a dozen or more teachers being redeployed to the virtual school and while some of us have been told that we're probably being redeployed, nobody knows for sure. Even those teachers that are almost certain that they'll be teaching virtually don't know what grade(s) or subject(s) they're teaching yet, so no preparation can be done. I wouldn't teach 4th graders the same way I'd teach 1st graders, but primary/junior qualified teachers could be assigned to either.

What I would imagine is that school boards will provide resources and support to teachers but that it will be up to us to use the tools that we're comfortable with. I think that video is fairly accurate for younger students when the teacher is teaching the whole class but there will also likely be some small group and one-on-one conferences throughout the day. It's going to take a while to find the tools that work, and we'll probably discover plenty that don't along the way. A logical starting point for teachers would be to teach as though the kids are in the class but replaced by a camera and then fill in the gaps from there. There might also be some screencasting of information or videos.

For my 6s-8s in the spring, my synchronous teaching mostly involved screencasting on Google Meet. I'd have some math lesson up and go through it with the students or have the text of a book we were reading or a Slides presentation that I might have shown in class.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 24, 2006
857 posts
140 upvotes
I appreciate the thorough response. As a parent, trying to get more information is frustrating but I can only imagine the frustration of teachers.

OntEdTchr wrote: The short answer is that we have no idea. We don't even know for sure whether we're teaching virtually or face-to-face, at least among teachers that don't have 10+ years seniority. Some schools have over half of their students online with a dozen or more teachers being redeployed to the virtual school and while some of us have been told that we're probably being redeployed, nobody knows for sure. Even those teachers that are almost certain that they'll be teaching virtually don't know what grade(s) or subject(s) they're teaching yet, so no preparation can be done. I wouldn't teach 4th graders the same way I'd teach 1st graders, but primary/junior qualified teachers could be assigned to either.

What I would imagine is that school boards will provide resources and support to teachers but that it will be up to us to use the tools that we're comfortable with. I think that video is fairly accurate for younger students when the teacher is teaching the whole class but there will also likely be some small group and one-on-one conferences throughout the day. It's going to take a while to find the tools that work, and we'll probably discover plenty that don't along the way. A logical starting point for teachers would be to teach as though the kids are in the class but replaced by a camera and then fill in the gaps from there. There might also be some screencasting of information or videos.

For my 6s-8s in the spring, my synchronous teaching mostly involved screencasting on Google Meet. I'd have some math lesson up and go through it with the students or have the text of a book we were reading or a Slides presentation that I might have shown in class.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
OCSB will be using Hapara and G-suite for virtual learning.
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Jan 9, 2011
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hank755 wrote: In recent weeks, I've asked me trustee, principal and teacher friends about what virtual synchronous learning might entail. No one knows whether teachers will use a blackboard/whiteboard or other visual tools during the video calls.

I've gone online attempting to get an inkling. I found this video which seems very good. Can anyone in the education establishment comment on whether virtual learning will be like this for the younger grades?

Thanks!

Virtual synchronous learning
It's going to vary widely between provinces, between individual school boards within those provinces, between individual schools within those school boards, and even between individual teachers within those schools. It's impossible to know what's happening with your kids' teachers without knowing any of that.
Sr. Member
Aug 3, 2017
672 posts
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Here in Ottawa, it seems it will be a slight step above what we had in the spring, with a promise that it will be much better without much indication how that will happen within the next 7 days. As a result, we elected to send ours back to the classroom as I believe the risk associated with lost schooling and social development probably outweighs the risk of covid in our school. A terrible choice for parents to have to make, but here we are. Most teachers I know and have touched base with have no idea what is happening either, so that's a pretty good indication to me that anything other than the normal school delivery is going to be a gong show.
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dolfan1980 wrote: we elected to send ours back to the classroom as I believe the risk associated with lost schooling and social development probably outweighs the risk of covid in our school. A terrible choice for parents to have to make, but here we are.
At least you got a choice. They didn't give us that in BC.
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Aug 3, 2017
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Kiraly wrote: At least you got a choice. They didn't give us that in BC.
I think the reality is that the current classroom learning curriculum and processes took decades to develop and it's virtually impossible for the education system to adapt to online learning almost overnight. Here in Ontario, it is apparent that school administrators are really not equipped to do administration. It has always puzzled me how a teacher was qualified after 20 years teaching to be a good administrator. I think now that set-up is going to hurt the ability of the system to adapt.
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Nov 13, 2013
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dolfan1980 wrote: Here in Ottawa, it seems it will be a slight step above what we had in the spring, with a promise that it will be much better without much indication how that will happen within the next 7 days. As a result, we elected to send ours back to the classroom as I believe the risk associated with lost schooling and social development probably outweighs the risk of covid in our school. A terrible choice for parents to have to make, but here we are. Most teachers I know and have touched base with have no idea what is happening either, so that's a pretty good indication to me that anything other than the normal school delivery is going to be a gong show.
Barring a child with cancer etc. is this even debatable? The only question is if you have a grandparent living at home or a parent with a serious illness. Otherwise the decision is not even close.

It is shocking how much more sensible Quebec is on this issue.
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Aug 3, 2017
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fogetmylogin wrote: Barring a child with cancer etc. is this even debatable? The only question is if you have a grandparent living at home or a parent with a serious illness. Otherwise the decision is not even close.

It is shocking how much more sensible Quebec is on this issue.
I think everyone has their own circumstances to consider. My ex and I both work full time and, despite being fairly well educated, we know that we're not terribly well suited to be educators, particularly if the tools are not great. I am not judging anyone who is choosing not to send their kids. I really don't think we'll know what was the right decision until much later, people just need to choose based on what is best for their individual circumstances.

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