Learning together virtually at The Aga Khan School, Dhaka
“Technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hand of great teachers can be transformational.”—George Couros
Covid-19 has forced us to move the classroom to a remote learning environment and rely on the internet and our devices. Digital technologies have also opened up a limitless new world of opportunities.
Digital tools enable teachers to personalise lessons and give students ownership over the time, space and pace at which they learn. Moreover, learning online is delivered in a way that is relevant to how students are likely to work in the future and widens their access to resources.
For students, being at home and isolated from their friends can be challenging. On top of that, engaging in online classes in a physically isolated setting can be difficult. The effective use of technology to foster academic progress, support students and ensure their social and emotional wellbeing is essential.
There are a range of digital tools available, here are ten tools that we have been using at The Aga Khan School, Dhaka:
have been a fixture in the physical classroom for generations. Zoom whiteboards and whiteboard.fi
emanate the physical tool in a virtual space. What’s more, everyone in the classroom gets to have one of their own and can use them to draw, write, make notes on images and work on equations.
- Zoom Breakout Rooms
– no lesson is complete without some collaborative learning. Teachers commonly use Zoom to conduct classes. The Breakout Room feature allows teachers to create smaller groups for example for tailoring the groups according to learning styles and individual needs. Zoom also has signals that may be used in a physical classroom, such as hand raising and clapping, which helps students to appreciate each other and maintain respectful classroom relationships.
- Padlet, Google Docs
allow students to collaborate by working simultaneously on a single document. While Google Docs is the familiar and simple word-processing document, Padlet and Jamboard have more interesting functionalities that help to display and present ideas.
- Google Classroom
is a complete classroom environment, and many teachers enjoy its ability to streamline the assignment process, from giving instructions to allowing students to upload their work and see their assessments.
revolutionised entertainment, and it can do the same for the classroom. It enables students to publish their work on a public forum. “It helps the audiovisual learner to watch and listen in order to grasp new ideas or reinforce concepts as well,” says Grade 6 teacher Nazah Salawat. “For video making, I use the Vlogit, Snapchat and Android apps.”
enable teachers to gamify their assessments, making them more engaging for students. Google Forms work for more straightforward quizzes.
- O Lab
, or Online Labs, lets students experience the laboratory environment, learning by seeing and experiencing science experiments through video and animation.
- Virtual Gallery Walk – A virtual gallery walk allows students to walk through a series of galleries or exhibits, often in groups, studying or observing visual cues arranged by the teacher. Often students will leave their own observations on sticky notes or note them down to present later.
help students present their learning and work. Prezi is a web application for making presentations, which means that anyone can use it on their browser without installing any software. It also allows slides to be grouped into topics and sub-topics.
- Powtoon, Blender
are accessible digital tools that allow students to delve into video and graphical work without getting too technical. These tools give learners a fun and engaging way to present content. “Before [using Blender] I didn't know that we could make models online,” says Azeemah, a Grade 5 student.
Photos (top to bottom):
- Covid-19 has forced us to move the classroom to a remote learning environment, which has opened up a limitless new world of opportunities (photo taken prior to Covid-19).
- Learning online is delivered in a way that is relevant to how students are likely to work in the future and widens their access to resources (photo taken prior to Covid-19).
- Participating in online classes in a physically isolated setting can be challenging for students, and the effective use of technology to foster academic progress, support students and ensure their social and emotional wellbeing is essential.