Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Online Distance Teaching - Covid 19

The past few weeks the world has seen dramatic change in our everyday lives. As a result of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, the teachers on Team 5 at Pt. England School spent time speculating about what it would look like if we had to teach our students from home. We then spent many hours planning, and developing what we felt would be the best way to do this while keeping in mind the daily structure and routine that our students are already accustomed to.

After receiving some advice and tips from our Manaiakalani support near the end of Week 7, we thought we had a plan to run with. We decided to change our regular team site to our distance learning plan for Week 8 so that students would be used to seeing it and working from it. We were waiting for the go ahead to introduce our students to Google Meet/Hangouts, that we thought would come after our school wide staff meeting scheduled for Monday after school before demonstrating for students what distance learning would look like the next morning (Tuesday of Week 8).

Our first Google Meet on 24/3/20 at 9am
Little did we know, life in New Zealand was about to be drastically changed after a news conference that began halfway through our lunch hour on Monday afternoon. It was announced that our nation was moving to a level 3 for 48 hours before a final isolation lock down of Level 4 for four weeks. This meant that we were no longer going to have the chance for a run through of Google Hangouts/Meet with our students before they were at home.

Our students were sent home Tuesday with a newsletter stating that school would be closed to students for the next four weeks and to staff after Wednesday. We now had 48 hours to ensure that all students had what they needed to continue learning from home.

It also meant that at 9am Tuesday morning the six teachers of Team 5 went live with our students using Google Meet.  We decided that this week would just consist of checking in with our kids twice a day checking that they were well, answering any assignment related questions, and ensuring that they understood the importance of staying at home. We are also keeping in contact with our students using Hapara Dashboard to comment on student's work and blog posts, as well as answering student questions through email.


  1. Kia ora Angela, it is so impressive that your team has made the transition to Google Meet and connecting with students remotely twice a day! The leadership and vision of your colleagues and the wider Manaiakalani support team are to be commended. Thank you for blogging your experiences and taking us with you on this extraordinary journey. We'll be sure to blog with and encourage students in their learning during the lockdown. Ngā mihi maioha!

    1. Kia ora Naomi. Thank you for your kind words. We honestly felt so accomplished after that first 9am Google Meet. it made all of our after school meetings the week before so worth it! Thanks again for all your support in our journey and on our student blogs!