A month of distance learning: teachers’ and students’ opinions on online education

17.04.2020 tagged as , , , , ,

More than a month has passed since the government of the Republic of Moldova decided to close schools for quarantine.

During this time, teachers and students were forced to switch to distance learning and do it as fast as possible. One of the projects that contributed to the management of distance learning in Moldova was the online platform Studii.md.

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Over the past time, teachers of many schools in the republic have been able to assess the effectiveness of distance education. Thus, Dumitru Bob, teacher and director of “M. Eminescu Secondary School” in Sipoteni commune, Calarasi district, says: “If truth be told, I have to admit that teachers had to make more effort into getting familiar with these platforms. But we started by helping the senior teachers. To those who had no computers at home, we offered laptops for the duration of the educational process.”

According to Dumitru Bob, the main problem with distance education now is that not all students in the commune have an Internet connection.

Violeta Bujor, the mathematics teacher at the “M. Eliade Lyceum” in Chisinau, says that online education isn’t yet quite familiar to teachers. “These online lessons are not very convenient for teachers, but we are moving out of our comfort zone and trying to apply new educational technologies. Such classes take up much more time.” Despite the fact that technical problems often arise, the teacher is optimistic: “I always post lessons, presentations or training materials on studii.md. This way I can make sure that all my students have access to teaching materials. I’ve read about parent dissatisfaction –too many groups on messengers, you get lost among the messages. Studii.md also enables parents to communicate more effectively with teachers. In addition, it is easier for parents to monitor their children’s activity while doing online lessons.”

Students didn’t share the same opinion on the new teaching methods. On the one hand, information technologies are close to the new generation, but at the same time they indicate that the support of teachers is decreasing for objective reasons.

Remarkably, parents believe that much of learning depends on the dedication of their children. “I believe that if a student is responsible for learning, there is no difference between the way the lesson is delivered – at school or virtually. I state this as I see my sons, who seem to be quite engaged, motivated, and immersed in the online learning process. I didn’t notice them getting very tired doing their homework. Again, I cannot say that they now have more tasks than usual,” says Magdalena Marandyuk.

According to Alexandra Granich, project manager, the team working on the platform would very much appreciate it if the ministry of education mentioned the product: “We would like the Ministry of Education to become familiar with the options and benefits of the platform. It is important that students, parents, and teachers can communicate more, the platform provides more data and details for reports that are requested by the ministry and departments. Again, at any time you can access every teacher’s activities in any school.”

As a reminder, the Studii.md online platform was developed by Simpals with the support and assistance of UNDP and the Tekwill Information Technology Development Center.

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