How state schools are preparing for return of homeschooling
Queensland state schools will be able to use Zoom for video classrooms as the State Government ramps up remote learning systems amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Education recently introduced Zoom to its range of platforms available for schools during remote learning as it bolsters its video conferencing ability while continuing to upload units of schoolwork for Prep to Year 10 students.
It comes as the department has been undertaking reviews of the homeschooling period in Term 2 and scenario planning in case the coronavirus pandemic once again closed Sunshine State schools.
Department of Education Assistant Director-General for State Schools Performance Stacie Hansel said the reviews and planning were good business practice.
"My team has reflected on the learnings we had and how prepared we need to be if one school closes down, if ten schools close down, if the suburb closes down or the state closes down," she said.
As part of the ongoing reviews, the department has again increased the capacity of their online learning platforms to cope with demand, after doing so when the websites crashed within minutes of the first day of homeschooling in Term 2.
It has added Zoom, after ironing out security concerns, to its already-available tools, Microsoft Teams, ISee (virtual classrooms) and the website "Learning@Home" and online platform The Learning Place.
"Why we're providing a multitude of platforms is to provide schools choice and communities choice around what works best for them, we won't mandate any one of those, we'll certainly provide a suite to schools," Ms Hansel said.
One of the main things the Department recognised that parents and teachers wanted improved and more videos with teachers explaining concepts, she said.
"People really liked them, they wanted more of them, and we probably didn't anticipate they would use them so regularly in their classrooms," Ms Hansel said.
"We saw kids went back and replayed those if they might not have understood something, and because it was a commercial TV production it looked amazing.
Subsequently the Department recently launched EDTV, which provides fortnightly episodes for teachers and students designed to support teaching and learning on its YouTube channel.
"As part of our Education TV we will continue to look at producing lessons and work online to put up on our YouTube channel to support schools and students."
Originally published as How state schools are preparing for return of homeschooling