St Jamestown TV News (Audio): How Effective is Virtual Learning?
by Nea Maaty
(Nea is a community journalist with the FOCUS Media Arts Centre)
Journalist Nea Maaty discusses the efficacy of online learning during Covid with educator Thorn Rox Hayward and students of St Jamestown’s Rose Avenue School.
For almost two years, Toronto and many parts of Ontario has been dealing with the lockdown. Education wise, students are either homeschooling, involved in virtual schooling or some form of mixture of the two. One thing we do know is that students are not having the experiences they used to have as part of a regular school day.
Rox Hayward, a teacher at Rose Avenue Public School in the community of St. James Town, Toronto, discusses the positives and negatives of virtual education this year. Hayward teaches grades 3,5,6,7 with the Toronto Public School Board. Hayward is a supporter of on-line education. “My students and I, have fun every day.” say’s Hayward.
For Hayward the teaching experience this year has been very positive. Attendance in her virtual classroom was always at 100%. “The students were excited to learn and to give more to the educational experience.” say’s Hayward. Even so Hayward admits to barriers. “One of the teaching duties this year has been making sure that the families of students - who are struggling financially because of the lockdown - know how and where to access community and internet resources.”
Not everyone is enamoured with on-line education. I talked to parents and students about on-line learning. One parent I talked to expressed how difficult it was to have the children all day at home working or playing on the computer. “I’m worried about their education level.
Whether you like virtual education or prefer in-person classrooms, it will be interesting to see how much on-line education will be integrated into the public education curriculum in the years that follow the pandemic.
Focus Media Arts (formerly Regent Park Focus) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative stereotypes about the Regent Park community and provide interventions to high risk youth living in the area.
We are motivated by the belief that participatory media practices can play a vital role in addressing local needs and development priorities, as well as support the work of building and sustaining healthy communities.
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