BROCK: The Durham District School Board (DDSB) started Distance Learning on April 6th, as a result of schools being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Educators and students have had to adjust quickly to teaching and learning at home. While it has not been easy, many have found innovative and unique ways to make learning and engagement at home successful. We spoke to a few educators and students who shared their stories and experiences with us.
Here is a Distance Learning success story from Sunderland Public School, featuring Teacher-Librarian Sheryl Bunting and Grade 5 student Cole.
Q: Sheryl explain how the transition to Distance Learning has been for you?
A: At first, I found the transition somewhat difficult, as I missed our students and the routine of school. However, since my role at our school is to support our teachers and students with their technology, I quickly found that supporting the teachers and students was a great way for me to stay connected with our community.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about this innovative type of teaching?
A: We decided to produce a weekly video segment, called Sunderland PS (Sunderland Public School) News, about the students and people in our community. I just love getting the feedback about how we are all staying connected. I love to know that we made people laugh and that our students have an opportunity to show all of the amazing things that they are doing from home. Our segments include: a Weather Update, Sports News, an Academic Update, a Community Report, an Agricultural Report, a Local Business Report and Birthdays!
Q: What type of reactions have you received?
A: We have had an incredible reaction from our students, parents and community members. Our videos have had hundreds of views each and families are excited to submit their ideas for each new episode.
Q: Cole What’s the biggest difference between learning in a classroom and learning from home, for you?
A: The biggest difference is not having a teacher there. We are doing different activities like learning about WeVideo and how to act in a video.
Q: Do you have any tips for other students about how to stay focused while learning from home?
A: Do work when you want, but you have to do it. Do something different than usual work that you get from your teacher, like the SPS News videos.
Q: What has been your favourite assignment from your teacher since Distance Learning began? Can you explain the assignment?
A: We have been creating videos to make a newscast for our school with our librarian, Ms. Bunting. Some of us do the introduction or explaining of the video parts. Ms. Bunting puts together all the clips and edits everything and adds some of the funny stuff and music. I do the Sports News section each week. I like all our physical education activities and sports, so that is a good part for me to do.
Q: Anything to add?
A: It’s cool to see my classmates on the videos on the SPS News and you get to find out what they are doing.