Schools in Mexico closed on March 23rd and are scheduled to reopen on June 1st.
The swift and complete shutdown of schools is forcing students and teachers to find solutions using the tools they have at hand, which is not much. This brave new world highlights the need for technology in the schools and in the homes, little of which currently exists.
We asked KKIS students to give us feedback in order to know how they have been working and how they have overcome obstacles during these times. From 91 students who responded, only 31 have a computer and WIFI connection at home, the rest use cellphone data packages to deliver their homework assignments through WhatsApp or E-mail.
Many students feel anxious because they think that they are not working properly. One student told us: “These weeks I had contact with some teachers, I also had to deliver assignments and projects digitally, which is something very weird and complicated for me… I am uncomfortable since I don´t have Internet, so it makes it difficult to send my homework…”.
It has also been challenging for teachers to find a way to keep teaching. In the classroom, public school teachers have little more than whiteboards. Now, some are learning to use online platforms, such as Classroom. The disadvantage is that not all students have WIFI, so teachers also need to use WhatsApp or E-mail to try to help these students.
While this pandemic is shining a light on the lack of digital tools to provide educational opportunities to all students, we are also seeing some great examples of teacher ingenuity – individual teachers creating tools and positive learning environments for their students during this difficult time.