As school and classroom learning is now back approaching normal, we have been considering what we, as teachers at Swan Christian College, have learnt from the experience of providing the Learning@Home materials and how we can deliver better learning in the future at school and at home as a result.
It is great to see restrictions slowly lifting and I am enjoying seeing the extras that our College provides starting to emerge in the form of after school sports and arts activities, albeit in a modified form.
It has been interesting to discuss this with students and parents and a concern that has been expressed widely is the amount of time students spent on screens. This was excessive and we are examining ways to reduce that should we need to enter this process again.
I wonder if our students have reduced their on-screen time since face-to-face learning has resumed. This aspect of Learning@Home could be hard to reduce, and it may well require conscious effort and monitoring. While technology has been our most valuable tool during this period, it is time for us to check whether our children’s use continues to be excessive. I would encourage parents to be proactive with this and put guidelines or even boundaries in place for your children.
This need is reinforced by the finding of the eSafety Commissioner that cyber bullying has increased by 50% since Covid-19 restrictions commenced.
Our natural desire to be social and enjoying each other’s company face-to-face has been underlined by the joy evident as our students returned to school last week. The buzz and happiness of the conversations and interactions around the campus in the breaks and in classrooms was infectious and actively commented on by staff and students.
As we continue to negotiate this social reemergence, I look forward to parents returning to campus. In the meantime, while we wait for this to be relaxed, I feel a strong sense of community in the way parents and families are supporting each other at Swan. I encourage you to keep on actively caring for each other as we continue the journey together.