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Singapore science teacher ups her tech game to reach students at home

Coconuts logo Coconuts 24/3/2020 Coconuts Singapore
a screen shot of an open laptop computer sitting on top of a table: Yishun Secondary School teacher Raquel Yoong seen in a YouTube live-stream. Photo: Raquel Yoong/Facebook Yishun Secondary School teacher Raquel Yoong seen in a YouTube live-stream. Photo: Raquel Yoong/Facebook

A local science teacher has joined others around the world harnessing technology to make sure her students don’t miss their chemistry lessons. 

Yishun Secondary School teacher Raquel Yoong shared yesterday her extensive efforts to transition her teaching into the post-outbreak reality: She is live-streaming lessons via YouTube, engaging students via Nearpod, giving assignments via an internal e-learning platform, and answering questions via WhatsApp Web.

“YouTube live-streaming my lessons today a SUCCESS!!!” Yoong’s post read. “Had a total of 22 students across my 1T1, 3N3 and 3E3 classes who are on LOA/SHN/MC today, and I really really didn’t want them to miss out on lessons, so I took a leap of faith and tried to YouTube Live (and also the Nearpod app) my lesson to them who are attending my lesson virtually from home!!!” 

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While some nations have canceled classes due to the escalating outbreak situation, Singapore’s remain open at all levels.

However, students who returned from abroad after March 14 were ordered to isolate themselves at home as much as possible but remain contactable at all times. Schools islandwide have been urged to provide home-based learning, such as through an e-learning platform most use called Student Learning Space.

Obviously, Yoong has gone the extra mile to incorporate other technologies and was not thwarted by technical difficulties. 

“Some small hiccups at the start bcos of the loaning of iPads, but no problem, plan B of using their handphones worked well nonetheless!!” she said.

“If you are wondering how the students at home can ask qns to clarify their doubts – they will text me via whatsapp web, and I show them to the kiddos who are physically in class too, and we have a discussion abt it, so nobody is left out.”

The coronavirus has killed two and infected 509 people in Singapore so far. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has said that schools are “safe places” for children, who he considers to be more “resilient” against the virus, and will remain open.

“If we close schools, many will not stay home, but may run around in the community and mingle with a lot more people, exposing themselves to more risk,” he wrote in a Facebook statement on Sunday.

This article, Singapore science teacher ups her tech game to reach students at home, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. 

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