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How the teachers pandemic is transforming education in the 5G era

Mark Davidson remembers the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as a "slow, rolling jolt". He could see it coming, but it was still shaking when it hit.

"We heard from Gov. on Friday that we would be back to school on Monday. Then we heard on Sunday: 'No, you won't, and you need to enable home learning as soon as possible,'" says Medicine in Southern Alberta Davidson, superintendent of Hat Public Schools Division.

Even with such a short time, the division managed to develop online resources and reorganize classrooms in a matter of days so that all 7,500 students from 17 schools—from kindergarten to high school seniors—have access to home learning. Have everything needed.

Teachers across the country faced similar challenges with equal courage. While the transition to this new distribution format was cumbersome, many found a silver lining in the rapid adoption of digital technology.

"Employees felt that some of the online tools they feared were accessible to them and required skills that were already within their reach," says Davidson.

future of digital education
Even as students return to the classroom in the face of the pandemic, digital technology will become a vital part of their education system.

Therefore, the rollout of 5G technology across Canada is an essential resource for teachers and students moving forward. TELUS 5G is already available in all major cities and is expanding rapidly in all regions, preparing Canadian schools for the future of digital education – a future that teachers are already embracing. By the end of the year, TELUS 5G is expected to cover more than 70 percent of Canada's population.

Toronto-based Future Design School helps schools in North America innovate and plan for new ways of teaching and learning. The company's CEO and serial entrepreneur Sarah Prewett says teachers are excited about the technological advances and advances in delivery strategies during the pandemic, which have made it possible for them to adopt new teaching methods in addition to more traditional ones.

"Certainly what we've seen from teachers is that there's a reticence to go back to what's considered normal, and they really want to do all these ways of leveraging technology to deeply engage students. Looking at new approaches," she says.

Amid the pandemic-induced changes, more teachers are employing a "flipped classroom," a concept that has existed for a long time but only became mainstream in the switch to online learning.

With the flipped classroom, students receive taped lectures or lessons ahead of time. They are encouraged to do their own research, then come to class ready to practice, discuss, or be involved in group projects.

The evaluation of students is also being reconsidered. As Prevet points out, "If I asked you a question and you can Google it with the answer, that's not a real assessment of knowledge."
Teachers are addressing this issue by coming up with assessments that allow students to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge through alternative methods such as journals, portfolios, discussions and presentations.

Educational apps are also emerging as useful tools in this quest. For example, Vancouver-based reading app Simbi is designed to inspire students to recite books that other learners around the world can listen to along with the story.

Symbi CEO and co-founder Aaron Friedland says that after the pandemic hit, the platform's user-base more than doubled in two months, and teachers from 104 countries are using it as an alternative to traditional flow benchmarking. enjoy doing.

With Simbi, over 130,000 learners can narrate books for an immediate positive impact, while teachers reap the proficiency benefits of tracking their progress remotely through the app.

Access to reliable connectivity is important
At Medicine Hat, where TELUS 5G is expected to come online this year, Davidson says teachers are making good use of educational software and apps. The division has come together to form its own online school called "The Hub", a distance learning option for children in elementary education up to class 9.

The 480-student center began in the fall of 2020 as an option to return to a physical school location or receive a pencil-and-paper package, and could continue permanently if enrollment remains stable. The services it provides benefit from immune sensitivities, anxiety issues, and other challenges that make it difficult to attend school in person.

Face-to-face schools attract the most students, however, Davidson says that "we have found that there is a place and there are students for whom online learning is something that we must keep and ensure that it is of high quality and is stable."

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