Schools around the globe are challenged in bringing actual teaching to their students online, and all of this since March and the onslaught of the covid-19 pandemic.
Through careful planning and preparation, the Australian International School Phnom Penh (AISPP) had systems in place to address this educational dilemma, even before the government was forced to close school campuses, its head of school states.
“Closing the schools here in Cambodia was in keeping with educational regulations around the world, but the advances in technology were already here to support our teachers and our students to continue their learning.
“It is not nearly as engaging for most students to have to learn online from behind a screen, separated from their friends and teacher, but for others it is advantageous.
“Students who may be quiet while sitting in class all together with their peers seem to feel safer to speak up when online. Students who are more tech savvy than ‘paper and pencil-skilled’ may react differently to the classroom shifting into ‘their’ realm of technology.
“There are many different levels of teaching and learning, and we are all getting better at them together. Our students remain eager to learn, and our teachers keep trying new things to make the online experience more fun and engaging for the children,” said head of school Betsy Hanselmann.
One issue that parents have brought to attention, she noted, is the amount of time their child spends on their computer.
“We realise how challenging it is for some parents to get their children to focus on actual learning when using their computer, as opposed to chatting with friends, playing games and distracting themselves from the learning with movies.
“It may make it easier to remember that the tech items that we all use are rather addictive by nature. We want to use our phones all the time, just as students want to use their tech equipment.
“We suggest that it is easier to monitor the actual use and actual learning and interaction with school work if the student sits in an area of the home where the parents can see what is on the screen. Once they are alone in their bedroom, most young people succumb to the ‘fun’ on their computer and not necessarily focus on their learning,” Hanselmann said.
She added that the Australian Curriculum is a very conscious choice for AISPP, as it is a solid, well designed curriculum focusing on the learner in the centre.
“The Australian Curriculum puts curiosity and inquiry into every lesson and classroom, which is a solid fit to match with the International Baccalaureate [IB] programme frameworks. The Australian Curriculum is what we teach, and the IB is how we teach it.
“AISPP is proud to announce our third IB programme, the Middle Years Programme [MYP], having earned authorisation in October 2020.
“The process included a virtual visit from the MYP Team, lots of preparation work from our teaching team and the administration who are closely tied to the MYP, and of course the students and parents.
“No school programme can be considered a good one without the children and their learning and input,” Hanselmann said.
AISPP is a proud member of the Australian International School Association (AISA), and a global partner with Australian Independent Schools New South Wales.
It offers programmes for children aged two years old through to Grade 12.