"Classes continue": How students learn at home

Fractional calculation by video or a digital reading diary for school reading – numerous pupils in North Rhine-Westphalia have been learning at home in the Corona crisis because of closed schools since Monday, using their teachers' tasks via the Internet or mobile phone apps. After the first feedback, this does not work too badly, but there is also criticism: there is a lack of technical equipment and learning at home creates unequal opportunities.

In the north of D├╝sseldorf, the math teacher of a high school uses the gamer platform Discord, for example, on which the children usually play games like Fortnite. There is a text and a voice channel. The teacher distributes the tasks and is available for questions at certain times. The topic for the ninth grade fits the corona crisis with its skyrocketing numbers of infected people: the pupils have to buff potency calculations.

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"Classes continue – but at home", the Essen Helmholtz High School announces on its homepage. At the beginning of last week, for parents 5 to 9, all parents had been given links to the "Padlet" learning platform, which also enables students to respond. "I think it's great that in such a short time we have found a means by which we can not only provide the students with tasks, but also communicate with them," says a German and Latin teacher at the school, Jennifer K├╝ppers. The seventh graders are thus commissioned to write a portfolio with 17 points for their school reading – Otfried Preussler's "Krabat" – after the Easter break.

At the Matthias Claudius Comprehensive School in Bochum, the pupils already received work materials last Friday, especially in the main subjects German, English and mathematics. "Completed tasks can be scanned and sent to the teachers, who give feedback," says Dirk Budzinski, department head for classes 8 to 10. There are learning videos on many topics, teachers could be reached by email and phone for advice. The parents would be sent links through which they could access material and solutions. "But you shouldn't feel obliged to work as an assistant teacher at home."

The math teacher at an elementary school in Essen works with a weekly schedule: "For my second class, I put together tasks that the students should work on for 30 minutes twice a day. Those who are more ready should do additional tasks." If you need longer for the basic tasks, then you just need longer. Don't be checked. She sent the tasks to her parents by email.

And the students? The enthusiasm at the breakfast table is limited. "It's hard to teach yourself everything. It's annoying. You can't ask the teachers directly," says a 15-year-old. She got assignments from her teachers in every subject. In physics, it should describe in detail in a handout how a self-selected type of power plant works. Handover before Easter break. Presentation after the Easter holidays. For a nine-year-old, the mom received a self-recorded video in the morning, in which the teacher explains the written division. Still, she would rather go to school. What do you miss the most? "My friends."

Digital learning not only offers opportunities, it also challenges those involved. The headmaster of a focus school in East Westphalia reports difficulties. "The main problem is that the colleagues from the country and the school authorities have not been equipped with service computers," said the headmaster. "It is trying to beat the missing digitization in a few days."

. (tagsToTranslate) Equal Opportunities (t) Coronavirus (t) School (t) School Lessons