Covid-19 won’t last forever, but online learning here to stay, former Hong Kong finance chief says in predicting ‘new normal’ for education
John Tsang, who founded the non-profit Esperanza in 2018, foresees blend of traditional classroom teaching, remote classes going forwardCity’s teachers have shown ability to quickly adapt, he tells Post, but resources still needed for lower-income families, including free Wi-fi
A blend of online and in-person lessons is set to be the education world’s “new normal” in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought face-to-face learning largely to a halt, a former top Hong Kong official has said.
John Tsang Chun-wah, who served as the government’s financial secretary for a decade before resigning to run for chief executive in 2017, also said he believed a bottom-up approach to pushing the government to roll out new policies is more effective than waiting for the administration to adapt to change and develop their own ideas.
Common Sense has launched an online school to help educators and families cope with remote learning and teaching. “Wide Open School,” as it’s called, features resources curated by the media organization and provided by a number of well known education content providers, including Khan Academy, Scholastic, Time for Kids, National Geographic, PBS, Sesame Workshop and others. The daily learning activities are organized by grade band and subject.
The website features:
- Coverage of math, English language arts, science, social studies, science and the arts;
- Virtual field trips;
- Resources for special needs students and English learners;
- Ideas for physical activities and life skills;
- Links to daily live events; and
- Guidance on emotional well-being.
There’s also a link to a bunch of guidance on setting up a virtual classroom. For grades 6-12, that incorporates links to remote learning resources, how-to’s on setting up Google for Education and Zoom, digital citizenship lessons and a list of the “best messaging apps and websites for students, teachers and parents.”
While most of the sites require no log-in for access, some do require registration. Common Sense has warned users that the external websites and applications “are governed by their own privacy policies or information-collection practices.” For that reason, the organization advised, “We encourage you to review the privacy policies and information-collection practices of any external websites and apps before using them with children.”
“This crisis has reminded us of our deep appreciation for the work teachers do every day in their classrooms,” company officials noted in an “about us” page. “At Wide Open School, we celebrate teachers–and parents–as they take on this new challenge.”