Transitional period (from classroom to online learning) in Fiji during this Covid 19 pandemic season

Fiji is going through this transitional period where digital literacy to online learning is very important.

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In Fiji we have now moved from classroom to online teaching and learning in 2020 and now again in 2021 post COVID 19 pandemic. The transition has been a learning experience for everyone (teachers, students and parents). Now teachers are learning new strategies via Google, MyTeachersFiji and FNU through various utube videos, webinars and professional development sessions. It has been interesting and I have learnt to teach and attend webinars using Google Meet and Zoom and learnt to evaluate my students learning via Google Forms and Kahoot. However some students in remote areas who don’t have internet and technology are missing out. They do receive worksheets but teaching cannot take place since no contact is allowed. Low achievers are also missing out since they relied on direct help from teachers. However we have to adapt to it and sharing and collaboration keeps us going.

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I agree that the transition has been a learning experience for all of those involved -parents, teachers and students and at the same time put a lot of pressure on almost everyone especially teachers who are doing it for the first time. Educators are currently updating themselves with strategies as they are ‘forced’ to use online tools in order for them to succeed with their online teaching and learning. While some teachers are fortunate to have opportunities of getting structured guidance in terms of how we can do distance learning better some will be only be assisted by the limited knowledge of online tools that they have.

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I teach in a secondary school where eLearning was launched a few years back. I must thank our retired Principal Mr. Sashi Singh for anticipating this transition from traditional ‘blackboard and chalk’ to ‘whiteboard and projectors’ . He spearheaded the installation of eLearning tools in each classroom from Y9 to Y13. It has made this transition during this pandemic much easier for us teachers. One of the challenges we have faced in our school though, is not having access to some of the online teaching materials. :expressionless:

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Yes right now educators, parents and students are in that transitional mode right now and I kind of like find it interesting as we go through this process we are learning to upgrade at the same time. It’s just awesome learning more about online learning and OER at the same time. Helpful indeed.

I have been observing the way my twin girls learnt through digital platform for the past few months. The transition was from a space with many different individuals sharing one common learning space to one that they are by themselves at home. It is a different space altogether. Physically the space at home is empty, there was no physical interactions occurring amongst children. I guess there was no learning even amongst the children themselves. Using the online platform, I can see that my girls are only learning from the materials sent from the teachers. There was no opportunity for laughter with learning and sharing of ideas from the children in mode that allow them to learn from each other. I could saw there was also less disturbance from other children as there was no one around. Whilst it was an intervention to remedy the current pandemic, it is also a digital divide created by technology. The divide I guess might also increase the learning gaps amongst children. It division runs across many aspects in the life of our children from affordability right into learning achievements. Whilst technology bring teachers and children closer, it also divides the “haves” and the “have nots”.

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I totally agree that digital literacy is important especially for the teachers first. Through the many workshops organized by FNU in collaboration with MEHA, teachers can learn a lot. Moreover, parents need the appropriate devices to accommodate learning from home. They also need to upgrade their knowledge on zoom, Google meet and many more. Though students are missing out on learning through peer interaction and playing, they tend to learn new things online.

As a teacher that is posted in a rural maritime school this is quite a challenge for every stakeholder in a learning environment. It is a positive move however a lot of work and determination and effort is required.
Why do I say this? We dont have good bandwidth to facilitate online meeting and most importantly student learning. Most students will be left out in these rural areas mainly because the internet connection is always on 2G or 3G. Teachers have to go to extreme to get good connection. Than there is the challenge of students or parents having gadgets that can facilitate this new learning trend. This change may work for those in urban areas but can be a challenge for us in the rural maritime area. Therefore the concept is great but it has its challenges too.

I teach in a special school . I must thank MOE AND AUSAID for anticipating this transition from traditional ‘blackboard and chalk’ to ‘SMARTBOARD’ . And this SMARTBOARD is installed in my classroom. It has made this transition during this pandemic much easier for us teachers. One of the challenges we have faced in our school is that for teachers to be trained in some courses like this in order to be familiar with some online resources.

Yes, indeed. Fiji is going through transitional period from face to face to e learning using google meet or zoom or other social media. Unfortunately majority of parents do not own a smart phone or other gadgets. Only printed worksheets are distributed. A laptop or tablet a child should be considered. this will greatly help teachers and students send and receive worksheets.

Digital learning is vital in this era we live in but sadly due to the scarcity and expensiveness of materials most isolated school would sadly be excluded from this new teaching method. Its because of network connection.