This week was a remarkable moment in the history of Masada College with the launch of our online home learning platform on Wednesday 25th March. We have been preparing for the possibility for online home learning since early in the year, when the threat of Coronavirus potentially closing Australian schools, first came to light.
Our College has been dedicated to supporting our teaching staff to ensure they have the skills to work in the technology space and learn new software in a relatively short space of time. Ryan Gill, Head of Learning and Teaching (Yr 7-12) explains the College has been using existing platforms such as Google Classroom but expanded these to include video conferencing tools such as Google Hangout and Zoom. “Taking on the technology was a daunting task for some of our staff, so we gave them the time and resources to feel confident with this teaching style,” said Mr Gill. “It has been amazing to watch our teachers who considered themselves to be the least technologically savvy, embrace the new learning platform and show such creativity in their teaching approach,” he said. “By the launch date, our teaching team was well prepared to go on this journey of online learning,” said Mr Gill.
NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) announced on Tuesday that the Higher School Certificate will go ahead in NSW for 2020, despite the Coronavirus. Here at Masada College we recognise there will be significant work for Year 12 teachers to recreate assessment tasks that can be submitted electronically and we are very focused on our Year 12 cohort to ensure they stay on top of their HSC curriculum.
“Motivating students to attend all online classes, having a well-balanced life style and driving students to strive for excellence without personal contact with peers to challenge each other, will be tougher than usual says Mr Gill. “Despite the challenge, we are continuing our wellbeing support programs with our dedicated team of Patrons and College Psychologist. Our Physical Education and Rock and Water programs will continue online, with our College Principal leading by example, running online fitness sessions. This week he energised our Year 7 and 8 boys, showing our students that in limited space, star jumps, burpees and running on the spot got heart rates racing and helped students to refocus on their afternoon lessons.
Fortunately, this generation are very comfortable with technology and our students have been grateful to the College for continuing to provide them with the highest calibre education, many have been very pleasantly surprised! We have received lots of very positive feedback from staff, parents and students in the methods for ensuring our students are engaged and learning online,” said Mr Gill. The smooth roll out of Masada’s online home learning platform has allowed for the uninterrupted education of our students and is a testament to the agility and flexibility of our Masada staff.