Schools prepare ahead as classes go online in Shanghai
“My daughter has started taking online classes again due to the latest resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully my company is also encouraging us to work from home for the same reason. That’s great since I can now look over while she studies,” said Luna Gao, mother of a 10-year-old girl, on Monday.
The Shanghai Education Commission announced on Friday that all local elementary and secondary schools will move their teaching online due to the city’s latest coronavirus prevention and control requirements.
It is the second time Shanghai has ordered a citywide online education campaign since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, local students took online courses for two to three months.
“The school acted very quickly and classes went smoothly on Monday, thanks to previous experiences in teaching, learning and homework management,” Gao said of her school’s girl.
“The only problem is that children are less disciplined at home than at school. I heard that teachers have to remind students not to send unnecessary messages from time to time.”
For local schools, preparations to go live started early.
Zhang Jun, acting principal of Chuncheng Campus of Minhang Experimental Primary School, revealed that all teachers at the school are working overtime over the weekend to ensure online teaching is going on. good.
“Our school actually started online teaching from Friday due to concerns about the pandemic situation in nearby areas,” she said. “We chose a new platform to deliver the lessons, so we trained our teachers and they practiced making it work on Friday.
“Over the weekend, we had more training sessions and meetings on how to operate the system and how to improve classroom efficiency to prepare all teachers and teaching materials.”
The school also conducted a survey of parents to ensure that all students could take online lessons at home and developed new lesson times for them.
Zhang said the school uses the city’s teaching resources, “Classes en l’air”, which have been developed and improved over the past two years since the pandemic outbreak.
“After two days of lessons, we found that some teachers were not satisfied with the internet speed. We submitted requests to communication service providers to improve their internet bandwidth to ensure students have a better experience. in the classroom,” the principal said.
On the outskirts of Baoshan District, a family of three teachers got busy teaching with computers.
Li Shuangquan is a high school math teacher at Gucun High School while his wife Zhang Lixin teaches high school math at the school. Their daughter is also a math teacher but teaches at another school.
Li said her school had provided them with tablets to live stream lessons from home. On Monday, each of them occupied a room to teach their own students with closed doors to avoid disturbing each other.
In Huangpu District, Xingye Middle School math teacher Xia Zhengxiong showed up to class when there were no students and the school allows teachers to teach from home.
She used chalk to write on the blackboard with a camera capturing her movements as she shared it with students in two classes.
“My husband is also a teacher and our 3-year-old son is naughty,” she said. “So I decided to work from school, fearing to be disturbed by them at home.”
To ensure that classes ran smoothly, she visited the school on Sundays to try out her computer and other support facilities in advance.
Meanwhile, some schools have students whose parents find it difficult to care for them at home.
Yangtai Experimental School in Baoshan is one of them. A total of 16 students of varying ages took online classes on campus on Monday.
The school installed online teaching software in different classrooms, where students were supported by trainee teachers and volunteers, and also provided lunch.
To make home schooling more interesting, some schools have organized extra classes for students.
Luwan No. 1 Central Elementary School in Huangpu held a class featuring stories about fighting the virus and another combining multiple subjects such as Chinese, math, art and sports to educate students on the pandemic. For example, the first lesson of the interdisciplinary course on Monday was how to exercise at home to stay healthy.
At Wuning Road Experimental Primary School in Jiading District, a 15-minute class was scheduled from Monday to Friday, involving various activities ranging from creative art and games to crafts and dance.
Amid the online wave, medical experts are reminding parents to pay attention to their children’s eye health as they spend more time staring at digital screens.
Yang Yong, director of the department of pediatric optometry and ophthalmology at Ai’er Eye Hospital in Shanghai, said good habits and proper timing of eye use are important for eye health.
“Inappropriate habits and environments are the main causes of myopia,” he said. “When studying online at home, students should maintain correct writing and reading gestures to keep away from books. Meanwhile, they should not use their eyes for more than 30 minutes each time and look away during breaks to rest and relax your eyes.”
Yang said projectors and TVs with large screens are a better choice than computers and smartphones because students can watch from a distance, but the distance should be no more than four times the length of the diagonal line of the screen.
“Meanwhile, parents had better make sure their children get at least eight hours of sleep and exposure to the sun for at least two hours a day, which is also helpful in maintaining eye health,” he said. -He suggests.
Yang advised parents to prepare enough vegetables and fruits and other foods rich in vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin and the mineral zinc to protect children’s eyesight. Chocolate and sweets must be controlled.
“And finally, kids need to wash their hands frequently, especially during the pandemic, and they better not rub their eyes with their hands,” the doctor said.