Charlotte Eykerman & Nanor Pontigian Opinion Editor & Science and Tech Editor, The Pawprint
Schools worldwide are currently closing due to the fast spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In the UAE, all schools are currently closed until 5th of April, but this could easily change. The administrators of education have been forced to lean on e-learning to continue the education of their students.
On Sunday 22th of March, the first day of e-learning began for all students in the UAE, and many schools and teachers are still figuring out how to involve all students in their classes. They have begun to use several applications like Zoom and Google hangouts to have live lessons to connect with students and ensure their success.
Two editors from The Pawprint, have decided to write their opinion on their online school experience since it’s a new experience for the UAE.
So far, we have faced no technological difficulties, and everything has gone quite well. Working at home makes it easy to concentrate better, since you can have your own space with no distractions. We have been able to work well and understand all the material that has been shared with us. However, we believe that teachers believe that since we’re at home, they can pile on homework and work for us to do during class. They seem to think that staying at home means that we have extra time to work on extra assignments, this has made it difficult to keep up, which can make it overwhelming for students.
Another struggle has been keeping up with the thousands (or what feels like thousands) of different applications that we have been asked to use. We just wished that teachers could all use two main applications for example, Zoom and Padlet. The variation makes it confusing and more tiring as we have to keep up with what each teacher prefers.
It’s been interesting to see how each teacher decides to teach their class. We have been able to communicate with them how we normally would and they have been helpful with our questions, even though they’re not able to see us physically and teach us face to face.
We are concerned about how they would manage our grades in the case this break is prolonged. We still don’t know how we would take our exams and quizzes and if they would be online. Having online exams might be unfair for some students who have worked really hard since the chance of cheating and searching up answers will make the exam easier. But, there are formats that can be used to combat this e.g. timed answers.
In conclusion, we from The Pawprint think that our e-learning has been a great experience and while there are still questions and concerns, currently it has been successful in teaching students the necessary material and we’re interested to see what happens in the near future.