15 Useful Online Platforms for Teachers during the Coronavirus Outbreak
If you were to ask my six-year-old me how I felt when I did not go to preschool during the 1999 bombing of our country, I would tell you without hesitation that I was missing my friends, our little rituals in the room and yard of the school. The twenty-six-year-old me during the coronavirus outbreak feels the same and more than ever thinks about the purpose of education, not just my education but in general.
By chance, my narrower professional orientation has directed me not only to think about the purpose of education in times of emergency but the role of digital technologies in the process of education and building responsible behavior and acting in a pandemic situation. More than ever, I need to speak about the purpose of education and the ability to support this process and its functions with the use of different digital technologies (devices, platforms, programs, and applications) during the coronavirus outbreak.
In a state of emergency, such as the one we are currently in, one of the measures taken at the state level is to discontinue the work of educational institutions and take classes through different platforms. This raises the question of how educators, pre-school and school teachers, and professors can keep in touch with their children, elementary and secondary school students, and university students, not just for the sake of adopting certain content provided by the curriculum (because, as we can see our plans do not often turn out as intended) to build a responsible attitude towards one’s own and other people’s wellbeing during the spread of the virus and in emergencies.
In this way, it becomes more than clear why we say that education is life and contextualized, and why its purpose cannot be reduced to content adoption but to building relationships with others, questions of security, activism, responsible action, self-care and care for others.
With the wish to help in a situation that requires “education during quarantine”, the rest of the article will contain suggestions for some of the platforms that help me personally study, socialize, care for and be cared for, to do daily, especially in such situations like the current one.
The following platforms have been helpful to me, especially as most of them are free and easy to use, and they allow you to create courses, share different content, maintain communication through video calls, messages, conference calls, post and share posts, comments, organize your language learning through the exercises they offer, create questionnaires, presentations, podcasts that your students will listen to, or maybe even listen to some of the online courses they already offer:
- Google Classroom;
- Khan Academy;
- Google Drive;
Emergency measures require friendly tips – be creative and open to suggestions from children, parents, and colleagues. Learn with and from them. Let the aforementioned digital tools be support for staying in touch during the state of emergency, but also be a way to adopt not only content that you have envisioned in preparation, plan, and program, but to build on the use of technology in the educational process, advocate responsible behavior in the state of the virus spreading and be active in promoting healthy habits, safety, and conscientious behavior.
About the author: Jelena Stojkovic is a Djokovic Scholar, class 2018/22. The program Djokovic Scholars at the University of Belgrade was launched in 2018 and thanks to this scholarship, Jelena now attends a Ph.D. program at the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy. Her research interests encompass early childhood education and development in the modern world, child rights issues and their participation in society, as well as the role of digital technologies in ECD.