Updated: May 13, 2020
Our project, Chineasy, aims to come up with a detailed evaluation of different pedagogies to aid the Chinese learning of ethnic minority kindergarten students in Hong Kong. We conduct lessons on a weekly basis with eight kids to test out the effectiveness of our designed pedagogies.
After a few weeks of school suspension, we were worried about the learning progress of our students. Inspired by the semi-success of online lessons at our school, we decided to give them online lessons through online meeting apps. However, the first few lessons were very difficult. Due to unstable wifi connections and unfamiliarity of the students to the online learning applications, there were technical problems all over the place. For example, pronunciation was unclear, online interactive games could not be played due to serious lagging and kids could not sit still due to the weakened interaction.
In order to overcome these problems, we have come up with a few solutions. Firstly, for lessons in general, interaction is the key to success. Unlike face-to-face lessons, there is no direct interaction between teachers and students. Toys cannot be played to grab their attention. Therefore, we decided to incorporate our teachings with stories and cartoon clips to keep the kids engaged. Secondly, we also started to record video for the concept teaching part for a better audio quality and stability, while continuing online face-to-face lessons to ensure interaction and check their understanding.
It certainly needs a number of trials to find out the best way to cope with the present situation. Hence, patience, flexibility and constant adjustments are extremely important. However, one needs not to be overly pessimistic about the project outcomes, because advanced technology available nowadays can provide a path to circumvent the inconvenience to a large extent.
Above: Screenshots from one of the team's online sessions.