While some students have had the opportunity to thrive while learning at home, many have found the change in routine and lack of access to tablets and computers very challenging. This speaks to wider issues surrounding equality, especially socio-economic factors, where some children are able to utilize their parents’ devices while others may not have such technology in the home. It’s vital, therefore, for teachers to engage with parents and understand the needs of each child in the class and whether they’re able to fulfil them at home with distance learning tools.
Why are children staying at home – is it health related or can concerns about coming back to school be allayed and opportunities for in-person learning created? Are younger children able to learn in the company of an adult at home or take part in classes virtually? And do they have the space and equipment to do so? Raising these questions can be extremely challenging. But without answering them it can be easy for a lack of equality to become entrenched.
This issue is vital at a time when some students are unable to attend school. Schools and government programs have looked to bridge the gap in access by giving out equipment and remote learning tools, so ensuring those who aren’t able to physically be in the classroom can take part is essential. Check with parents to see what kind of internet connection, if any, is available.
If there are no computers in the home, then making sure children have one with the requisite virtual learning tools installed is also vital. Explore different programs to see if the local or national government is able to supply such distance learning tools, or whether the school IT department can offer computers on loan. Try to avoid asking students to print out worksheets – many may not have a printer to do so and having this paper returned for marking can also prove difficult, with postage being expensive and scanners not always a viable option. Wacom can help in enabling teachers to easily add handwritten notes to digital papers and essays, while students can utilize the same technology to draw and create in a more natural way while still using a computer.
Getting students to explain how they feel about the new learning environment can be an excellent way for teachers and peers to understand the challenges that everyone has faced during this unprecedented time. This can take the form of written exercises or an open discussion the first time everyone sits down together, physically and virtually, for class. Such open dialogue will help maintain equality and go a long way to ensuring that all students feel valued, whether they’re learning from home or returning to school for the first time in months. Such discussions should continue regularly to ensure everyone is on an equal footing.
It can be hard, but addressing the fact that some students are in the classroom and some are not is essential to ensuring that equality is maintained. This means speaking with students and explaining why things are different and how learning will look and feel in this new environment. Establishing a new set of rules and calling on all students to take part in classes, including those learning virtually, is a good way to normalize the situation. When it comes to group study, try and ensure that at least one member of each group is a home learner, allowing students in the class to develop their technology skills and understand the challenges that those who are not physically present are going through. Wacom tablets and displays make it easy and natural for students to work and collaborate on the same lesson plans and worksheets virtually with remote learners, as effectively as if they were sat side-by-side.
透過自然的介面技術讓人與科技緊密相依，是 Wacom 一貫的願景。這項願景讓 Wacom 成長為全球的互動式數位板、手寫液晶顯示器及數位筆的龍頭製造商，更是數位簽章保存與處理解決方案供應商。Wacom 直覺式輸入裝置的先進技術，已在全球各地造就出許多一流數位藝術、電影、特效、時尚及設計鉅作，其領先的介面技術同時為商業和家庭用戶提供表達自我個性的利器。創立於 1983 年的 Wacom 是全球性企業，總部位於日本（東京證券交易所股號：6727），分公司及行銷與銷售代表處遍佈世界各地 150 多個國家。