Thursday, March 4, 2021

ShakeOut I LockDown I MeetUp

 We're proposing a new drill for schools that are fortunate enough to have their learners attending in person:

 It's well past time we included regular MeetUp practices. These should be designed to support success in the event of further requirements to stay home and learn via remote learning.

Over years schools have been required to have regular 
  • Fire Drills: to prepare for fires on the school grounds
  • ShakeOut Drills: Preparing for earthquakes and tsunamis
  • Lockdown Drills:  Preparing for Emergencies and Traumatic Incidents
In October 2020 we proposed that Manaiakalani Schools add regular MeetUp practices to the raft of eventualities for which we prepare our young people.

When our schools were first closed for COVID-19 in March 2020, schools preparedness for the move to remote learning varied. Perhaps the most common area of variance was video conferencing. This included the teacher confidence to host it and the learners understanding of protocols and procedures to enable a successful connection for learning.

By October, with Auckland schools having been through two seasons of remote learning, it became obvious that anyone with the luxury of learners sitting in the same room should be taking the time to practice using video conferencing effectively for remote learning. We suggested that teachers and principals maximise the opportunity to observe barriers to access, which in turn become barriers to learning and lead to isolation during distance learning.

Recommendations for a MeetUp include:

  • Socialising protocols and expectations for your school/kura
  • Rehearsing digital skills and social behaviours required for successful connections and learning
  • Ensuring equity and access for every student, to learning and social interaction
  • Supporting and reinforcing Cybersmart interactions

Ideally, a MeetUp practice would need two adults. 

  • Someone in another room/place to lead the online interaction with the learners - even doing something as simple as reading a story to the class
  • The teacher to stay in the classroom with the learners to both provide support and to observe (taking notes to follow up on) successes and barriers
Four seasons of lockdown later (at the time of writing this) it is beyond time that teachers and students are able to seamlessly segue into connecting with each other via Google Meet in Manaiakalani schools **

This week Matt Goodwin and Fiona Grant from the Manaiakalani facilitation team released an entertaining and informative blog post to support learners (and teachers) to "follow a good Google Meet etiquette".  They included a poster of prompts to support a successful Google Meet.

** Disclaimer, of course, that this is assuming learners have a device and connection to the internet at home

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