Online Teaching in Brazil

KDSL Global recently had the opportunity to connect with Fatma Trabelsi for a quick check in about her experience teaching online. She is a grade 4 teacher at Graded – The American School of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Fatma was recently celebrated for being innovative an committed to student learning in the new age of distance.

 

How is your distance learning experience?

I should say things are getting better and easier. I am working my way through all the technology features of the tools that I have never expected to use before! Yet this whole transition is extremely draining as it requires a lot of pre-planning and consistency.  If I can use an analogy this whole distance learning is like an airplane prior to take-off. The sound, the spinning, the speed, the fuel, the orientation are all set before the take off. That’s why I find it inspiring and exhausting at the same time.

 

 

What technology are you using?

At Graded, we are entering our third week of distance learning. The dust is gently getting settled.  The first week resulted in long hours of work in front of screen, serious exhaustion, several meetings with grade level teachers and designing the best possible plan to serve both parents and students of our grade level. Yes, we lacked sleep and we were tense. Surveys were sent at the end of the week to check if things went well. We were surely happy with the survey results.

In the lower school, we are all using Google Classroom, Brainpop for reading assignments/ Science. Screencastify for morning messages and mini-lessons, and Edulastic for standardized assessment. For regular check-in we use Flip Grid. Obviously, all the Google resources / extensions are used to support our presentations and enhance our mini-lessons. Our library has a bunch of online resources that became quite helpful in these days.

 

 

One message you want to share with your scholars.  

For all other scholars, it is important to remain calm, clear-headed and positive. We remain the familiar and the inspiring figures in our students’ lives. They need us now most as uncertainty and doubt veils their days. As educators we also need to empower each other and support those who need more help. This is a serious time where we need to show solidarity and compassion in both in action and words.

 

 

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Fatma Trabelsi is an experienced international educator with eighteen years of teaching and leading experience in different international schools across North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and South America. Over the years, she has gained deep understanding of the IB programme as well as the American curriculum. My recent work experience was the American curriculum with a major focus on the workshop model in literacy and math. She has been involved in IB re- authorization visits and CIS/WASC re-accreditation meetings at organizational level.

Throughout her teaching journey, she has often found herself actively engaged with the school growth and development. Fatma has a MA in Education, BA in English Language and literature, TEFL certification, and several years of teaching experience in international schools. Beside her qualifications, she received training as CIS visiting school member and  has recently completed a TTC workshop on leadership tools in international schools offered by Bambi Betts along with Middle Leadership course delivered by Nord Anglia.

Online Learning in Oman

Our School 
Sarh Al Jaameah Private School (SAPS) is a small private school allocated in Muscat, Oman. It serves grades 1 through 3. Its blended curriculum includes Cambridge Primary International (English, Math & Science), Ministry of Education Arabic subjects (Arabic, Islamic and S.S.), Life Skills and specials.
 
What Our School Implemented 
When the Ministry recently closed schools, no direct or implicit directives were given for the continuation of learning during this time. In anticipation of a school closure, and hearing other educational organizations around the world suspending school, I had my ICT teacher to create Google Classrooms for every subject across all grades. Because I have multi-language and multi-national teachers, I needed to have something that is easy to follow, explain and implement.
I chose to adopt the Google Classroom platform because it is the most teacher friendly tool that I have seen used in schools over the years. There are few limitations to what teachers can upload or link to each classroom. You can post as little or as much as you need to accommodate your individual school goals for virtual learning. In addition, Google Meet is also in the G Suite, which allows teachers to visit the same platform to assist with communication with teams inside the organization.
Tips for Others in Getting Started with Online Learning
 
1. Humanity Above All!
Before you delve into what can be managed on the education front, consider that your health, family and well being are the most important factors in the face of this challenge. Our jobs and online learning are beneficial to those we serve, but none of it matters if we don’t care of ourselves and each other. Remember that when you begin, or continue plans you have for online learning. Remember Maslow’s perspective on learning. It will matter to educators and families alike.
 
2. Do something to keep the school community connected
As we can see, educational responses to the pandemic are different from country to country, state to state and school to school within a system. Some organizations have a plan, while some require little to no continuation of learning. There are a gazillion ways to do this. Find what works for you. Don’t worry about emulating others, but do consider some of the creative ideas that have been shared. Even if you can’t address school wide online learning, create a YouTube page for weekly announcements or encouragement, send emails with web-based sites for extension activities, or make calls to families once per week to check-in with any of the workbooks and packets that may be sent home .

3. Create and use a model that is teacher, student and family friendly 
Work together to create a plan…
  • Begin by drafting a plan that all of your staff can have input on. Brainstorm all of the things you think are necessary, practical and feasible based on your goals, resources and current global situation. This includes non-instructional staff. Everyone may have a perspective that may not be readily evident unless you have a variety of views. What do you want to accomplish? Google Docs are great for planning, time-saving and convenient in or out of the workplace.

Online Learning Plan

 

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4. Consider the capacity of your staff
Remember that everyone is not an expert in using/implementing technology effectively. Choose platforms, apps and resources that are teacher friendly because they are the ones that have to develop assignments and navigate your chosen online learning tools.
5. Set up a mock online learning environment – Perfect to engage in professional learning and development initiatives!
Experiment with teachers before asking families to engage in the process. You don’t want to be trouble-shooting with parents unnecessarily. The process can be cumbersome. I created a professional learning Google Classroom for my staff first, requiring a couple of assignments, responses and uploads based on one of our SIP goals with my teachers:) The plan was to incorporate a blended learning environment prior to the school closing. This allowed me to demonstrate and engage my teachers in person, explaining and translating while on the interactive board and their devices. It proved to be very productive and reassuring. The additional benefit to the staff is that we get to engage in continuous professional learning. Use some of this time to catch up or reinforce school wide best practices or introduce others.

 

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6. Keep student work and planning simple
  • Ensure clear expectations (uniform criteria)
  • Compact curriculum
  • Cover essentials only
  • Minimize assignments
  • Refrain from formal grading
  • Make some of it fun!
  • Encourage
  • Praise
  • Give Feedback/Support
Note – Remember the context for why we’re all even having online learning. If students/families aren’t able to keep up with assignments, consider what they may be trying to manage at home. Encourage them to complete what they can, and remind them that our role is to provide some continuation of learning and access. The whole world has a lot on their plate right now. We are just trying to minimize the gaps we all know will occur during this crisis.
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7. Monitor the progress of your online learning
Teachers can and should provide feedback to students with appropriate next steps, praise for their effort to keep up with work and support parents in this homeschooling environment. Administrators, add yourself to each classroom and you’re able to address accountability and support teachers in the process. Note – All the classrooms show up in your Google Classroom app, but you can disable the notifications, so you’re not inundated with participant responses.
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8. Consider feedback and modify plans where necessary 
We’ve seen many memes and responses to the plight of schools and families’ frustrations. While many of these are hilarious, we need to understand the explicit and underlying messages being conveyed. If the online learning we create is overwhelming, stakeholders will not engage in the process, at least not effectively, making the best of plans all for naught.

9. Use available platforms to communicate with each other
We are using Google Meet. For those folks required by your local education authority (LEA) to implement online learning, choose one of the many platforms to hold meetings online for discussion on some of your school’s online initiatives. Most are now free to access. For some of our international schools, this may be difficult, as most VOIPs are blocked. However, some countries, like Oman have suspended restrictions due to the crisis at hand.
Our staff has had very successful meetings on Google Meet. Both my English and Arabic speaking staff engaged to discuss progress and next steps. It offers accessibility using closed caption, chatting sidebar, optional mute, screen sharing for the initiator/presenter of the meeting and multiple screen layouts. The staff took turns in verbal responses while typing thoughts, ideas and questions to be included in our discussion. Responses are used to follow up.
 
10. Consider and document how you’ll continue to incorporate these wonderful practices in the future!
 
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Natasha is currently the principal of an international school in Oman. As an education specialist (Ed.S.), and founder of Key Education Solutions Consulting (KEDS), she also employs 20 years of experience to engage schools, and families in research-based, best educational practices. Professional learning and development of educators is her passion, particularly in the area of Mindset research, and its implications in educator effort and evidence within the classroom.
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Global Education Conference

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Bienvenue! Welcome! 歡迎! Willkommen! Benvenuto!
환영! Seja bem-vindo(a)! Bienvenido!

We are pleased to announce the eighth annual Global Education Conference, a free online event bringing together educators and innovators from around the world. It will be held Monday, November 13 through Wednesday, November 16, 2017 (November 17th in some time zones). The entire virtual conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform.

The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity. To attend this year’s conference and to be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates, please join this network.

Present at the 2017 Global Education Conference
The conference seeks to present ideas, examples, and projects related to connecting educators and classrooms with a strong emphasis on promoting global awareness, fostering global competency, and inspiring action towards solving real–world problems. Through this event, attendees will challenge themselves and others to become more active citizens of the world. Participants are encouraged to learn, question, create, and engage in meaningful, authentic opportunities within a global context!

The call for proposals for the 2017 conference will open July 1st, 2017. Presenters can submit proposals for general sessions focused on five possible tracks:  Teachers, Students, Curriculum, Leadership, SDGs, Higher Education, and Exchange/Study Abroad Programs.

Proposals should focus on ideas, projects, programs, and initiatives that promote global understanding and collaboration. Keep in mind that this conference is not focused on technology exclusively; proposals must focus on global collaboration and tie to the mission of the conference. Those who enter submissions that do not relate to the mission will be asked to revise. Companies must be sponsors of the conference to participate.

The final deadline for submissions is November 1, 2017, and presenters will be notified of acceptance on a rolling basis starting in August 1, 2017.

Keynote presentations are by invitation only; suggestions can be submitted here.

KDSL Global Webinars

 

November 2017  

5th What Works in Formative Assessment – 5-6PM Dubai time – Howard Pitler

13th Learn more about the Computer Science Standards 7-8PM Dubai time – Tammie Schrader (FREE)

14th – The PSAT, AP and the Khan Academy: What is changing at the College Board and how it will make a difference for your students – 5-6PM Dubai time – Tamsin Thomas (FREE)

19th – Unlocking Curiosity in the Classroom5-6PM Dubai time – Howard Pitler

 

 

January 2018

16th – Sparking High Potential: Encouraging Thinking in Gifted and Advanced Learners – 5-6PM Dubai time – Patti Drapeau

17th – Strategies for Student Engagement – 5-6PM Dubai time – Andrew Miller

31st – Learn about the new UAE teacher licence scheme– 5-6PM Dubai time – Ashley Green (FREE)

 

February 2018

20th – Strategies for Coaching Teachers – 5-6PM Dubai time – Andrew Miller

20th – An Update on the C3 Survey – 5-6PM EST – Kim O’Neil and Kevin Simpson

25th – Contextualizing Math Lessons – 5-6PM Dubai time – Asma Akhras (FREE)

 

April 2018

9th – Five Teacher Behaviors that Prepare Students to Lead – 5-6PM Dubai time – Tamera Musiowsky (FREE)

10th- How to Use a Reading Text for Various AFL Levels in Class – 6-7PM Dubai time – Hiba Ibrahim

23rd – Empowering Students Through Inclusive Practices and Self-Advocacy – 5-6PM Dubai time – Tamera Musiowsky (FREE)

 

For more information email kdslglobalinfo@gmail.com.

 

Global Collaboration Day

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Global Collaboration Day is a series of online events taking place on or around September 21, 2017, depending on your time zone. Register here to receive the full schedule of Global Collaboration Day events. If you want to HOST an event for Global Collaboration Day, follow the directions on our website.

Students, teachers, and organizations will get online to celebrate global collaboration on September 21st, 2017, as back-to-school season begins in the northern hemisphere.

On this day (and beyond), experienced global educators and other professionals will host connective projects and events and invite public participation. The primary goals of this whole day event are to demonstrate the power of global connectivity in classrooms, schools, institutions of informal learning and universities around the world, and to introduce others to the tools, resources, projects, and networks that are available to educators today.