Whilst many parents across Aberdeen are struggling with home schooling, the reality of teaching from home has also been a challenge for many teachers. Mr Paton, Principal Teacher of Art, Design & Technology at St Machar Academy explains how he’s used technology to benefit his pupils and parents.
When we were told to begin teaching from home I, like many teachers, started to think about the best ways to engage with pupils whilst they were at home, and very quickly realised all the challenges this would pose.
Over the past few years my team and I have worked hard to develop digital teaching resources as well as refining our approaches to face to face learning and teaching, and in a purely online presence it would be this element that would be sorely missed.
For that reason I decided to create a resource that provided a bit of face contact for pupils, easily digestible chunks that could also be easily accessed by both pupils and parents, and so my YouTube channel "Mr P Teaches Stuff" was born.
This is by no means a new thing - there are thousands of excellent channels out there already - but I figured that pupils might like the idea of seeing their teacher up there too. I know there are other teachers in my school that had the same idea, and I'm sure this is played out locally and nationally. Even teachers that don't want to publish their material on the big wide internet are creating videos and resources that are used by pupils in the secure Google Classroom environment.
Since working from home, my colleagues and I have developed our approaches to online teaching and there's some fantastic stuff out there using Google Classroom, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram to name but a few.
Of course, with any online resource privacy is a major concern and so I use a blended approach to the material I create, with generic subject content and tutorials going up on YouTube whilst content more specific to the school and my pupils going up on Google Classroom.
I think it's fair to say that online teaching cannot replace face to face learning in a classroom environment, but in this difficult and uncertain time teachers have really rallied together to develop and share their skills, resources and approaches so that our young people are not disadvantaged.