In this part of our project "Optimal digital learning during and beyond the crisis". is concerned with the question "What tasks can German schools and educational institutions take on in the crisis outside their core activities".
increase media literacy
Teachers and support staff should, wherever time is available, pay strong attention to the development of media literacy - for themselves and for students, so that they can meet them on an equal footing.
Push digital learning
In addition, the elaboration or further development of a concept for digital learning should definitely be pushed - a possible blueprint for this we have described in our Part 3 pointed out. Teachers in particular should make a significant contribution to the development of a learning platform, as they are "on the front line" on a daily basis. At this stage, they can provide "live" support in developing and implementing such a concept.
Determine communication channels
Coordination with the parents should also be carried out in the current phase, which is still continuing. The aim is to find out how best to work with the children as a team (teachers and parents):
- What support do parents want in learning at home specifically.
- Provide material and by what means.
- Possibly make "safe" home visits if parents can't cope.
- Provide video conferencing for existing class groups so that children can continue to interact socially.
Joint teams with the school authorities
There should also be a closer interlocking between the school authorities and the schools and teachers in order to enable more practical relevance and a better exchange. All that is needed here is to form cooperating teams for specific tasks, which is no problem from a technical point of view - e.g. via Microsoft Teams or similar solutions. After the crisis, these teams should aim to improve the school system and optimise processes.
Schools can / should cooperate with each other to build up common content (content pools), so that not every school has to create, digitise and integrate the required content itself. In this context, it is also worth remembering the possible direct cooperation with providers of textbook publishers and content platforms (content), so that content can already be fed directly via these partners in the beginning - and later increasingly. In this context, it is important to regulate the necessary licenses (rights and fees, if applicable). In addition, teachers from the same subject areas should coordinate their content at online conferences - if necessary, they should also form permanent working groups (teams).
„Part 3 - Optimal tools, concepts and structures that schools and educational institutions in Germany can build up, which will have a promising future even beyond the crisis | Point 3 - Content level: Teaching materials".
Pupils: Senior telephone partnerships
Pupils of the 6th to 8th classes could take over senior telephone partnership. On 2 - 3 days a week, joint (video) phone calls could be made in order to create closeness for both sides. This would reduce the stress factor regarding isolation, which has a negative effect on the immune system.
School canteens and caterers: home delivery
School canteens and caterers could offer home delivery to ease the burden on families and parents. This would help to preserve jobs.
The remaining reduced teaching time could be used to "clean up" and reorganize the technical infrastructure.
In case of emergency: Premises
Schools can provide premises in an emergency - especially gymnasiums. These could be used for mobile hospitals.
Educational institutions can establish themselves as further education institutions in this time and should use this chance. The new target group here is parents, to support them in teaching children or to flank them - similar to the "tutoring principle", which would also lead to a better quality market for tutoring.
The existing online infrastructures of innovative educational institutions could be used to implement this idea. Educational institutions without such a structure can offer learning topics according to our blueprint of an optimal learning platform (see part 3) - initially still with the aforementioned rudimentary tools and later with a mature online infrastructure (LMS).
In the next part of our project "Optimal digital learning during and beyond the crisis". is concerned with the question "How long the possible period of the critical phase of the pandemic will last for German schools and educational institutions in Germany".