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How edtech solution MAPPEN is stepping up to help schools through COVID-19 closures

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MAPPEN Team
The MAPPEN Team

Teachers around the country are finally getting the recognition they deserve, as parents grapple with working from home and managing their children’s education simultaneously.

However, it’s important to note that the responsibility for education outcomes won’t be falling to parents alone during this uncertain period. Schools have already begun the shift to distance-education, which uses technology to ensure that learning remains teacher-directed and follows the mandated curriculum and lesson plans in place at each school, with the support of solutions like MAPPEN.

Edtech is coming to the rescue

A world-first online curriculum for primary schools, MAPPEN took 5 years of development from two full-time education experts to create best-practice lesson plans mapped out from Foundation to Year Six.

Already being used by more than 350 Australian primary schools, MAPPEN was originally developed to be delivered by teachers in classrooms, but in light of the coronavirus pandemic has been adapted for students to be able to login in from home. Already we’re seeing more than 80,000 primary students are benefitting from this program.

This pandemic has forced countless businesses to adjust and rethink their channels of communication, with technology companies playing a greater role in our lives than ever before.

We’re seeing communities come together to support each other through this crisis, from hotels offering rooms to doctors and nurses, to online networks supporting our local restaurants through closures.

Passionate about childhood education, MAPPEN too are offering free subscriptions to any schools looking to use this distance education tool to support schools through this uncertain time.

It’s important to remember that there is a big difference between “home-schooling” and “distance-education”. There are many places where the two phrases are constantly being used interchangeably and I think there is a lot of confusion around at present, and something schools need to be supporting concerned parents with.

As a parent, your role is to reassure your students and create an environment your child can thrive in. As is normally the case the lessons, stimulus, and assessment required to meet the curriculum requirements will all be provided from your child’s school.

In many ways the shift to e-learning is simpler for secondary and tertiary students, but for primary students it can be a greater challenge as typically the majority of learning happens offline.

We’ve worked hard to develop a curriculum that is rich and engaging with a combination of online and offline tasks that are easy to navigate. We’ve built in text, videos, images and audio into all of our lesson plans to engage with and provide for different literacy levels.

Distance education means that while the content will be teacher-directed, parents will still have a role to play in establishing a learning environment and routine.

Here are 3 tips for parents to support continued education during coronavirus closures

1. You are not expected to replace the teacher!

You are your child’s parent, not their teacher; it is a very different relationship. Try to remain flexible but firm.

2. Set the stage for learning

Children, like adults, prepare themselves mentally for the day ahead by following routines and having triggers. On normal days, getting dressed in school uniform, driving, walking or riding to school, saying hi to their friends and then sitting in their classroom all prepare students for the learning they are about to undertake.

Your role as a parent is to create a routine and set up triggers for home learning that achieve the same goal.

Some ways you can do this is by:

  • Having your children get dressed in their school uniforms (if they have one)
  • Setting aside a specific learning space that is only used for “school time”
  • Packing a lunch box with healthy snacks so children don’t get distracted by a hungry tummy
  • Setting and sticking to an agreed routine

It’s a good idea to punctuate academic learning with some physical activity – this can be something aerobic or it could be something like a nature walk to investigate your local area.

3. DEAR – Drop Everything And Read

Silent reading time is something you can model starting with just 5 mins – with you reading as well. Anything is OK to read – comics and so on, just ensure it is a hard copy book, not a device! 

Danny Ritterman is the CEO and co-founder of MAPPEN. For more information on distance-education and how MAPPEN can support you and your school, visit here.

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