About There are not many adepts of the first strategy, but I have met such
There are not many adepts of the first strategy, but I have met such
Ivan Andreevich Semenov, deputy director and teacher of informatics at Lipetsk MAOU Secondary School No. 55, Lipetsk “Linguist” told us how to organize a full-fledged distance education using digital technologies.
I have been responsible for the informatization of the school since 2016, and my responsibilities include finding new digital tools and testing them. Two years ago, YaKlass offered the school his system, demonstrated it, and our director seized on the idea long before the quarantine. I first tried out the platform and asked other teachers to look at a resource for their disciplines. Initially, there was not much material on history and social studies, although now there is enough, mathematicians immediately found something interesting for themselves, teachers of chemistry and the Russian language did not remain indifferent either, but for my lessons YaKlass is just a klondike.
When there are no students at school
All the informatics material for the fifth or ninth grades on the platform is built on our textbook by Bossova, so it helps me a lot when preparing classes. This is very convenient: I tell the topic, at the end of the lesson the class reinforces it with exercises, and the students do their homework on the basis of the site, where I can attach links, additional materials.
The hero essay springboard main advantage of this system is significant time savings; the teacher does not need to check stacks of notebooks. The algorithm is simple: the teacher assigned a job on the website, noted how much time the student spent on it, what tasks caused difficulty, and how many points the student received. I have my own scale of points, according to which I give grades for online work, for example, from zero to forty percent of completed assignments – three, from forty to eighty – four. I love the ability to set a timer for tasks and add my own stuff.
Most of the teachers of our school use Yaklass for distance work, with the exception of teachers of French, Spanish and other rare subjects, since there are no tools for them on the site yet. The age of online education is not a hindrance, our seventy-year-old Russian language teacher is one of the most active users in the school.
When quarantine was introduced, the system was debugged and put on a worker thread. Many teachers have already posted on the site the best practices and materials, so even though the work has switched to a different format, no one panics. Now YaKlass even invites us to work with experts and become authors-developers of lessons in quarantine. It’s a pity that the platform does not yet offer video tutorials and webinars, but YouTube and other video hosting sites are helping out.
If your school does not have much experience in organizing remote education, then it is worth taking several organizational steps:
1. Analyze resources
Let the person responsible for informatization analyze the systems that can help you: YaKlass, NES (Russian Electronic School) or others. Here, for each school with its own characteristics, different options may be suitable.
2. Demonstrate the system to teachers
At a meeting where you will sit a meter apart for preventive maintenance or online, you can show the system in real time, how to register, conduct a lesson, and set homework within the site.
3. Explain the new format of work to children and their parents
If high school students can independently go to the site and create a personal account there, then for primary school students and their parents, you can prepare detailed instructions with screenshots.
4. To establish exchange of experience
For example, at YaKlass, teachers actively exchange their best practices. If you have difficulty organizing distance learning, you can always throw a cry on the SOS website and get tons of ideas, tips and materials.
5. Remember that you are leading the learning process
Do not transfer all of the teacher’s functions to an online resource. Even in distance education, a teacher, a living person, should be with students, because the site is only your assistant.
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One of the troubles of the Russian school is classroom overcrowding. Even in our gymnasium (the best in Kazan), a rare class consists of less than 28-30 people, and in a normal secondary school this is generally a common practice. Of course, our city is one million and a university, and there are several lyceums living in completely different conditions, but this is an exception (which, as you know, only confirms the rule).
As a result, the ratio “teacher – student” turns out to be rather low, and therefore the teacher loses the opportunity to build a lesson on the basis of personal tasks and individual trajectories. Of course, using computer technology and excessive effort, it is sometimes possible to compose separate tasks for each; however, the differences between the different options will inevitably turn out to be only numerical – and, therefore, primitive and insignificant. This will not be an individual approach, but an imitation of it. And therefore, education in a normal school of the Russian Federation (even an in-depth one), at best, can only be personified, but by no means individual, and, unfortunately, not an individual, but a certain group of schoolchildren acts as the point of application of the main efforts.
To roughen up the situation, here we can single out three main teaching strategies in relations with the group: relying on the strongest, on the weakest and on the middle stratum.
Bet on the strongest
There are not many adherents of the first strategy, but I have met such. Sometimes they begin to build their pedagogical path by giving an incredible number of twos; however, in the end it is inevitable (after complaints from parents and pupils themselves, “raids” by the administration, etc.) they come to the position “it is easy to get a three from me, a four is hard, and only a select few have an five.” Personally, I consider this choice to be a game of pedagogical giveaway and self-deception. The above inevitably ends with the teacher teaching a small handful of the most powerful, losing all contact with the rest – with obvious consequences for them. However, for working with small classes, consisting of solid geniuses, the method is acceptable.
Betting on the weakest
This strategy seems to me even worse. The fact is that, focusing on the weakest, the teacher chooses the speed and depth of learning the material in accordance with their capabilities and needs. And the latter are usually limited by the desire of the Losers to somehow “close” the topic and not get the final “bad”. The not entirely honest teacher simply “draws” a three; the decent explains the same thing to the class over and over again – until the laggards understand – sacrificing subtleties, proofs, difficult and interesting problems.
The former give their students lessons in relativistic morality. The latter deprive most of the class of all the pleasure of learning: students simply get bored. And – just as importantly – such educators discard exactly what makes mathematics a unique subject. For it is precisely and mainly mathematics that educates in children the ability to analyze and synthesize, to perceive abstract entities, to consistently and critically think. It is precisely the aforementioned criticality that is the first to be sacrificed to the dull training of the poor. Children with normal mathematical abilities simply “sleep” in the classroom, while the teacher, with perseverance worthy of a famous equid-hoofed one, drives a nail into the cast iron. At the same time, schoolchildren develop contempt and disgust not only for this teacher or his subject – for mathematics in general. And this attitude (of the victims of a senseless struggle for one hundred percent academic achievement towards my wonderful science) is successfully passed on to posterity almost at the genetic level – God forbid, a good teacher will be able to convince at least their grandchildren.
Bet on the middle layer
Personally, I bet on those who perform slightly above average. First, the most important and hardworking part of the class is stimulated (alas, the most talented, unlike those mentioned above, are well aware of their capabilities – and therefore are often somewhat lazy, frivolous or arrogant). Secondly, the average (and even the most diligent of the weak) perfectly see the leaders, whom you can (and should) chase – these are not geniuses-geeks, to compete with whom it is pointless. Third, it is this group of schoolchildren who are fully capable of perceiving the complexity, subtlety and beauty of mathematics; assimilate not only statements, but also the rationale for them – and even demand these proofs! But the main thing that distinguishes mathematics from other sciences that are called (not very correctly) exact is the desire for absolute rigor and consistency, the refusal to take anything for granted.