COVID-19 and Remote Learning Part 3: Some international data

This, the third post in a series about COVID and remote leaning, presents highlights from the report, Remote Education in Times of COVID-19: Digital Ethnographic Study – The ‘New Normal’ in Some Parts of the World, prepared by a range of researchers across Brazil, Italy, England and India.

It aimed to:

… analyse how Remote Education impacts children and young people in elementary and high school during social isolation in Brazil, Italy, France, and Portugal. We heard their voices about expectations, perceptions, and experiences to describe and make sense of this particular socio-educational time.

The sample is comprised of mothers, teachers, university professors, psychologists and students across Brazil. Italy, France and Portugal.

There is a lot of very interesting data in the report, with their conclusions worth repeating:

  1. Remote Education does not comply with the transfer of face-to-face classroom to home
  2. Collaboration, dialogue between the parties, is one of the keys to the development of Remote Education
  3. Technologies in tune with reality and the preparation for their use are fundamental elements to develop Remote Education
  4. The focus on human interaction rather than content is essential for the schooling process in any teaching situation
  5. Changes in the evaluation paradigm, pedagogical and instructional are necessary to understand the connection and inseparable parts of teaching and learning
  6. Control is replacing for autonomy; instruction for mediation and, didactic for self-learning
  7. The teacher’s continued training can take place online, by interactional and interdisciplinary parameters rather than curricular and structured ones
  8. Routines, planning, organisation are shared from bottom-up not top-down
  9. Education systems need to come into line with families’ reality
  10. Digital platforms need to adjust to the user in real-time
  11. Curricula and programs need to be mediated by the school in collaboration with parents and students
  12. The school redefines its role: as media for sharing and reconciles rather than controlling and punishing

Similarly to the Australian study (which the authors also cited in their report), responses to remote learning can be both negative in regards to stress, overwork and uncertainty, and positive with many seeing opportunities to adapt elements of digital learning back in the classroom. However, access is still an issue, with different approaches to pedagogy across different countries also influencing how (and whether) students are given agency in their learning. In this regard their final recommendation is worth thinking about:

  1. 13. Observing and listening to the student become the norm, and the students are considered autonomous, critical, transformative, and able to become agents of their learning.

The report is in draft mode at the moment and can be accessed via this Google doc.

My final post in this series looks at how COVID-19 has impacted Australians’ use of technology generally. The answer may surprise you!

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