Expectations for Online Learning
It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom, and certain behaviours are expected when we communicate with students. These guidelines for online behaviour and interaction are known as netiquette. We have to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the expectations for online learning.
Guidelines for Parents
We acknowledge that the transition to virtual learning will be challenging for families. Parents will need to think differently about how to support their children; how to create structures and routines that allow their children to be successful; and how to monitor and support their children’s learning. Schools like hospitals are caregivers and we, as a school will fall back on the school framework of Relevance, Relationship and Rigour to support parents in this process of creating meaningful engagement with their children.
Parents need to establish routines and expectations
- Create an ambience for virtual classes, remove all distractions from the room.
- We suggest that students begin their studies at regular school hours.
- Do not let the children sleep late.
- Do set expectations around – blinking 15 times every minute, moving regularly and taking periodic breaks as they study.
Define the physical space for your child’s study – Your child may have a regular place for doing homework under normal circumstances, but this space may or may not be suitable for an extended period of time, as will be the case of virtual learning.
- We encourage families to establish a space/location where their children will learn most of the time. It should be a place that can be quiet at times and have a strong wireless internet signal, if possible.
- Ensure that no other device is placed in the same room. And multiple windows should not be open during virtual learning.
- Above all, it should be a space where parents are present and monitoring their children’s learning.
Monitor communications from your children’s teachers on Teamie. Teachers will communicate with parents through Teamie, as and when necessary. All communications from teachers regarding class schedule, timelines, google hangout sessions and assessments will happen through Teamie. The frequency and detail of these communications will be determined by your children’s ages, maturity, and their degree of independence.
Parents are advised to contact their children’s teachers and emails are the preferred mode of communication. However, we ask parents to remember that teachers will be communicating with dozens of other families and hence the communication should be essential, succinct, and self-aware.
Parents are advised to use Parental Control softwares e.g. Qustodio, McAfee Total Protection, Norton Family Premier
We also encourage parents to have their children explain the features of Learning Management System – Teamie teachers are using.
Begin and end each day with a check-in. Parents are encouraged to start and finish each day with a simple check-in and centering exercises.
- In the morning, ask your child
- What are they learning today?
- What are their learning targets or goals?
- How will they spend their time?
- What resources do they require?
- What support do they need?
This brief grounding conversation matters. It allows children to process the instructions they’ve received from their teachers. It helps them organize themselves and set priorities.
- Older students may not want to have these check-ins but they should nevertheless. Parents are encouraged to establish these check-ins as a regular part of each day to help children navigate distance learning and create a much needed structure. These check-in routines are crucial for building the skills of self-discipline among children.
Establish times for pranayam and reflection. A challenge for some families with multiple children will be how to manage all of their children’s needs, especially when those children are of different ages and have different needs. There may be times when siblings need to work in different rooms to avoid distraction. A suggestion for parents would be to use noise-cancelling headphones to block out distractions.
Encourage physical activity and/or exercise. Make sure your children remember to move and exercise keeping in mind their health and well-being. Our physical education teachers will recommend activities or exercises, but it is important for parents to model and encourage exercise
Remain mindful of your child’s stress and anxiety. Heritage is implementing virtual learning given the unique situation at the moment and will continue to work in collaboration with parents to ensure the well-being of all students.
Monitor how much time your child is spending online. Teachers are creating virtual learning lessons which will have a right balance between online and offline learning experiences.
Instructional coaches, programme leaders and principal will continue to monitor the quality of virtual transaction, resources, lesson plans and feedback shared by teachers with students periodically.
It is imperative to set rules around their social media interactions. Parents are expected to monitor their children’s use of social media. Help your children maintain contact with friends responsibly. Older students will rely more on social media to communicate with friends.
Please note that Social media apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Facebook are not official, school-sanctioned channels of communication. Remind your children to be polite, respectful, and appropriate in their communications and to represent the school’s values in their interactions with others, this applies for written words and as well as tone of conversation.
Students must comply with the school’s Behaviour Management and Acceptable Usage policy while they are online. Students/ parents/ guardians are not permitted to take photos, screenshots, record videos/ audios of the virtual sessions. All material shared on teamie and google hangouts is the school’s intellectual property and downloading/ circulating/ sharing of content without permission is strictly prohibited.
Managing screen time
We recognise that transition to virtual learning does not compare to physical classrooms. It’s important that our students continue their social-emotional and cognitive growth in these times of social distancing and isolation. It is comforting to have a routine in these times. Younger students may need assistance with setting up and using online tools. The most effective models of virtual school have a carefully considered healthy and balanced amount of offline and online learning time. This use of learning time will include some synchronous learning with real time conferencing with teachers and classmates. It will also include and be balanced with significant blocks of asynchronous learning and opportunities to work offline and unplugged.
There are multiple research that suggest that screen time when paired with high-quality instructional practices and carefully planned lessons is good for students. Screen time is inherently made more effective and less isolating and less passive when there is a human on the other side.
For more information, please check this blog that summarizes the research on screen time for children:
Screen Time is Good for Kids – If There’s a Human on the Other End
Recommended screen time, that is not video conferencing for learners and teachers, are based on the recommendations created by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Ages 2–5: 1 hour, broken into sessions of a maximum of 30 minutes.
- Age 6 and above: no specific screen time limits, but screen time should not affect physical activity and face-to-face interactions at consistent limits on screen time are also very important.
Guidelines for Students
- Setup a daily routine
- Find a comfortable, quiet space to study. Your background should not distract other participants
- Regularly monitor Teamie/ Managebac to check for announcements and feedback from your teachers
- Do not open multiple windows on your laptop. There should be no other device in the room. Keep only your Teamie/ Managebac system open.
- Be mindful of ambient noise and movements. They should not distract others.
- Keep your notebooks with you. Your brain remembers more when you use pens and paper. Typing your notes may not be as effective
- Complete assignments with integrity and academic honesty and meet the timelines
- Communicate proactively with your teachers if you need additional support
- Collaborate and support your peers in their learning
- Comply with the school’s Behaviour Management and Acceptable Usage Policy while you are online
Be a Cyber Smart Citizen
It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom, and certain behaviours are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your teachers. These guidelines for online behaviour and interaction are known as netiquette.
- Be vigilant: Visit safe sites which are age appropriate and approved by your parents and teachers
- Be cautious: Make good choices when you are online. Share only information that is required and safe to share. Make sure that you log out after your work is done. Do not share your password with anybody.
- Be respectful: Be kind and respectful to others when you are online. Promise to THINK – True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind. Avoid slang terms such as “wassup?” and texting abbreviations such as “u” instead of “you.”
- Be vocal: Tell your parents and teachers if someone is being hurtful or unkind online or sharing disturbing content. Stand up to Cyber Bullying and remember that your digital presence should not hurt others.
- Be safe: Use safe Wifi networks and keep your device safe and secure at all times.
- Be honest: Always follow copyright laws and remember to cite the sources that you use for your work.