Todman was one of the panellists on a live forum – A Chat With The Community – aired on the government’s official Facebook page yesterday, January 20, 2021.
He was being interviewed by Acting Chief Education Officer Connie E. George on the model that has now become the new norm in the face of the Coronavirus Disease.
“We are also seeing a greater interest in school from our students because they are able to use technology and the traditional means. So we try to use a balanced approach when we use our blended approach. The teachers, they themselves are excited being able to interact with their students. It is not the same to being able to interact online as it is in person [but] they are a bit overwhelmed because they have to teach the same thing in the morning and in the afternoon.”
In further explaining his point, he said, the teachers, “feel like it’s more beneficial for them to give their students that interaction, to see where they are, to address any needs or issues that they may face, they can address right on as opposed to online where they cannot see the child. So they have the opportunity now to dive in and see what’s needed.”
There is reportedly a greater interest in school from students in the Virgin Islands because of them being able to use technology and the traditional means. Photo not of children in Virgin Islands school.
Meanwhile, Todman said teachers are pleased with having to deal with fewer students at one time.
He explained: “One of the benefits the teachers brought to my attention is that we have smaller classroom size, so they are able to manage and have more one on one with students. So they are not teaching to a whole class of 30 children, so they can zoom in with the 10 children that they have. So the smaller population size gives them the opportunity to focus on students who have severe needs or to address accordingly.”
Another drawback he pointed to was the shorter time allotted to teaching.
“We are accustomed to having six to seven hours of teaching time per day, but to have it cut in half to three and a half hours is a bit taxing. We would like more time obviously to make sure that concepts are consolidated and that students learn. Besides that, there are more benefits than there are flaws.”
Due to the increased use of technology in schools, there has reportedly been an increase in collaboration and communication with parents.
The assistant principal stated that students seem happy with the new teaching methodology.
“One of the major benefits I would say, an increase in ed-tech using technology in education in school and out of school. We have seen an increase in collaboration and communication with our parents. We are able to send out emails to our parents, give them notifications through WhatsApp, through Google Classroom, things of that nature. So there is an increase in communication with all our stakeholders in the system.”
He continued: “The students are very happy; I think being in lockdown and staying at home for so long, humans are interactive beings, so to have that opportunity now to socialise with their friends and teachers, they are happy in that regard. They love the aspect of using both online and in-person.”