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Digital Learning

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Like fellow site author Jim Noble, I'm also acutely aware that many of you based in Asia have been living this situation for some time now.

The social and economic impacts of this (with positive ones on diminised emissions, pollution, increased time with family etc.) have been brought into focus with France's recent quarantine measures. Benefiting from each other's experience could be hugely beneficial in predicting how each country's situation may evolve next.

Data & Graphing Opportunties

I'm finding this site helpful for regularly updated stats (to try and anticipate what's ahead): Our World in Data (uses WHO "situation reports" data).

There's a lot of 'Fake News'/advice online.

This is a good talking point with students re: what makes an authoritative source (a big part of which, I think, is the degree of responsibility the distributor has for the accuracy of that information - the more responsibility, the larger the consequences of incorrect information, the more likely the data is to be as accurate as is currently possible(?).

The above graph is one I made yesterday from the WHO data (up to 15th March 2020).

I've scaled the WHO data so that:

  • 0 on x-axes = 1st known case of covid in that country for all countries

I've cut the graph off on y-axes at a max of 2500 just so can see more clearly current pattern (but Germany ,France, Spain, Italy-approaching 30 000, now all well above 2 500).

I gave this graph, along with the data, to my grade 9 (IGCSE) class and asked them to compare the graph with the WHO data and, in groups, for 10 minutes, exchange on (i) what's the same (ii) what's different (iii) what the advantages and disadvantages of the graph, to communicate this information, and the raw excel data (downloaded from WHO website).

I felt the Graph makes possible a more meaningful comparison, in terms of predicting how one country's progression is likely to compare to another - and gives insights into which country's policies, or simply their natural attributes e.g. Netherlands (along with England) is the most densely populated country in EU, but is not an island (as is UK). The US is surprisingly, given "big city" settings of manyHollywood films, sparsely populated - look up it's population density figures - you may (or may not!) be surprised.

Please do leave messages in the "comments" below if you have details on measures Japan are taking. I've only heard: "closed schools and banned large gatherings early" as possible explanations for slow rise. I wondered if (i) culture of face masks when ill pre-Covid19  and (ii) already having learned how to manage similar issues with SARS, might have played important roles in Japan's current success story (especially given its high population density in the towns and cities between Japan's many mountains).

Organisation of Resources and classes: Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype? Google Classroom or Managebac? 

I'm using a very similar set-up/work organisation to Jim Noble's, explained here.

Alongside this website and Jim's list of "Go To" resources, for G6-10 I'm also referring students to the following video tutorial sites, if they are looking for additional help:

Heggarty Mathematics

Corbett Mathematics

Younger students: G6-10

Points that have grabbed my attention from this intial experience:

  • Quizzes, Kahoots, Geogebra "Exam Mode" to give quick tests so that I can get feedback on how much they are understanding quickly and engagingly for the students.
  • No voice and audio for G6-8, only "chat" -> background noises and silliness can quickly distract the class.
  • Short explanations - followed by exercises/task/practical activity etc. for students to do. For more complicated topics, this is requiring me to break-down a topic into smaller steps (example to follow shortly . . . )
  • Students forming working groups using: Discord, Instagram, Teams within MIcrosfoft teams (red dot on their profile)


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