We’re going online!
To keep you safe and well, the Lewis School have made the difficult decision to move our classes temporarily only online. Read on to learn more about how and why we’re doing this.
In the past couple of months, the world has turned on its head. With a new disease rapidly spreading across the globe, governments are scrambling to come up with a response.
Many countries have taken the step of closing down schools and encouraging people to stay home where possible. In light of this situation, we have been preparing for several weeks now to move our classes online.
How does it work?
Online learning certainly isn’t a new thing and with drastic improvements to technology in recent years, it’s something that is on the rise. Online courses are have already become a popular choice for those who, for whatever reason, can’t attend an English language school in person.
Online lessons use video conferencing software so that teachers can still interact face-to-face with their students. At the Lewis School, we’ve chosen to use Zoom, which is a popular tool for both businesses and online teachers. Students will be able to attend their lessons online by following a link and downloading the free app.
The platform has several additional features that make it ideal for online teaching. For example, as well as regular conferencing, Zoom also has a feature known as a “breakout room” This allows the lesson to be split into separate sessions, enabling students to work on tasks in pairs or small groups, thus mimicking a classroom environment.
We will also be using another platform, Google Classroom, which will allow teachers to share materials, such as assignments, quizzes and listening exercises, easily to their students. Some of these tasks will need to be completed during lessons, whilst others will be given as homework.
With these tools combined, students will be able to continue working on the four main language skills: Speaking, listening, writing and reading.
In difficult times, it’s especially important to look on the bright side. So let’s consider some of the advantages of online learning:
This has to be our number one consideration at the moment. The fewer people you come in contact with, the safer you’ll be. Unfortunately, this means that classrooms aren’t a great place to be right now. Although we’ve all been doing our best with frequent surface wipe downs and washing our hands so frequently that they’re now red, this can only really do so much. The best place to avoid contamination is in the safety of your own home.
Online learning means that you can learn from the comfort of your own home. Forget the early morning wake up and the congested commute. Instead, you can roll out of bed five minutes before your lesson start, splash some water on your face, make a cup of tea and turn on your laptop.
New learning platforms like Zoom mean that online learning can be dynamic, interesting and fun. There are features of online learning platforms that allow for certain activities that you just can’t do in normal classrooms. Although you may be used to traditional classroom-based learning, there’s something to be said for stepping out into the brave unknown and trying something new.
The social aspect
Studying abroad is far more than just sitting in a classroom. Meeting people from around the world is one of the best parts of studying abroad. Whilst studying at a language school you can head out to explore the culture of the country you’re living in with your new international friends. Speaking together in your common language of English means that you can continue practising your language skills even outside the classroom.
Spending too long in front of a screen isn’t great for you. Extended screen time can cause eyestrain, headaches and backache. However, many of these effects can be mitigated by taking regular breaks and reducing your screen time outside of your lessons.
Online learning is dependent on you having a good internet connection and the right technology to use online platforms. To use Zoom, you will need access to a laptop or computer, a microphone and maybe some headphones to avoid annoying the people you live with.
We are living in truly interesting times. There are many factors outside of our control and that can at times feel quite scary. However, it’s in times like these that we need to be adaptable. Learning English online might not be exactly what you’d had in mind when signing up for the Lewis School but our number one priority right now is to keep you safe and if we can do that and help you continue your language education then that’s definitely a bonus.