On Thursday 22 July 2021, we welcomed hundreds of educators to this month’s edition of the Global School Alliance Virtual Education Conference.

The 13th conference of its kind united educators from around the world to discuss the most important parts of planning for a return to the classroom

Mastering Your Planning

Our global discussion was led by educationalists who represent Abu Dhabi, Tunisia and the UK.

Jon Tait, Deputy CEO and Director of School Improvement UK, introduced how his school have benefited from the shift in learning.

‘We have progressed 18 years in 18 months when it comes to our use of digital technologies.’

Jon explained how efficient learning, combined with improved technology, provides more time for teachers to balance out their day.

Utilising educational resources such as the Global School Alliances offers teachers the opportunities to learn from school’s globally and their approach to integrating technology into the classroom.

Mrs. Bushra Afreen, Academic Coordinator and Head of Department of English and Abhilasha Singh – Principal at Abu Dhabi Shining Star International School, teamed up to discuss some of the major challenges faced at schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of these being the shift from classroom to online making it difficult for students who ‘feel safe and feel happy coming to school’ as it provides a safe space for many of their students. Both Bushra and Abhilasha addressed the concerns regarding connectivity and inclusion – making it difficult for all students to participate in online study.

‘We wanted to focus on how thankfulness and gratitude help them focus and of course help them increase academic achievement’ said Bushra. By taking up gratitude and implementing it into the school’s curriculum, students are able to learn about owning their responsibility – covering important aspects set out in the SDGs.

Fethy Lataief, Senior EFL Teacher in Tunisia, shared his experiences working and collaborating with international schools on projects and exchanges. His outstanding work has been recently recognised as part of the school’s ‘International School of the Year’ – awarded by the Economist Education Foundation.

Fethy mentioned that ‘building resilience and instilling thought leadership through collaborative global learning’ has helped his school to gain new advantages and learn new strategies in the pandemic.

He added that although we are returning to the classroom and national lockdowns are being lifted, we must continue to progress with the developments that have held us back previously.

Building resilience and instilling thought leadership through collaborative global learning.

Fethy LataiefSenior EFL Teacher in Tunisia

Fethy is extremely passionate about collaborating with schools globally and ‘impacting others’ is his shared priority.

How are teachers feeling about Hybrid Learning?

The conference polls highlighted specific areas that delegates found to be the most challenging parts of hybrid teaching.

We asked our attendees, ‘What has been the hardest part about moving your classes online?’ Results showed that 46% of attendees cited ‘extra work’ as being one of the main challenges, whilst 43% said ‘using technology’ posed challenges for many teachers.

To follow up, we asked our delegates to share some of the highlights of entering a new way of teaching. 65% of attendees voted ‘mastering new technology skills’ as one of the most important outcomes.

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