Teachers were not prepared enough for what the Covid-19 outbreak would bring, and only few were able to change their entire teaching in a week or so. However, the epidemic forced us to look for new ways of teaching, since old methods do not work anymore.
In some cases, this search can lead to exciting new ways of working. In other cases, it can lead to desperate solutions to deal with the situation at hand. Either ways, the main challenge is the same: to preserve the quality education when the teaching is moved outside of the classroom. Our belief is that distance learning does not have to be a compromise in quality.
Teachers who were most prepared for the shift were those who were already trying new methods of teaching and experimenting with tools that work inside and outside of the classroom.
At Magma Math, it has been not only a great challenge to manage and adapt to change, but also an opportunity to learn about new and exciting ways of working. We are now taking the chance to test things that we previously did not have the time or place for, and we have to look at solutions that we have heard about, but have not dared to try.
Accordingly, we have discovered that the methods we have long advocated for work just as well at a distance as in the classroom. This includes:
1. Identifying knowledge gaps to see what students need to focus on in their development and understand they learning process.
2. Qualitative assessments of what students have learned. When dealing with math education, we need to focus on students’ calculations, how they process mathematical problems, and how they reach they solutions, whether they were right or wrong.
Our hope is that more people will feel the way we do see this as a great opportunity to challenge old habits. We may learn things that we can benefit from when we are back to normal.
We also hope that more people will explore solutions where there is no distinction between distance and classroom teaching; solutions that achieve quality education regardless of location.