Children refurbish old computers so that classmates can take part in homeschooling video chats
When Germany went into the first nationwide lockdown in March 2020, the teachers at the Lyonel-Feiniger-Gymnasium in Halle (Saale) quickly realized how different the conditions of their students were in homeschooling. Unanswered e-mails, missing homework and not using the school’s digital learning platforms – After just a few weeks, contact with various students was difficult to maintain. It was clear: Those who don’t have a computer at home are more likely to be left behind. The information necessary for learning at home was often simply not received.
A group of pedagogues from the school and committed people from the school development association agreed that these new challenges also require new solutions. As part of a Sponsorship opportunities-Project funding from the donation-financed foundation for education and support for the colleagues responsible for Saxony-Anhalt, they called out without further ado a project “think tank” out. “Technically disadvantaged” pupils were also able to participate via telephone. Together, the assembled school community addressed major questions – What difficulties are we facing and what can we do together to make the situation easier for everyone? How can the communication between teachers and students during the contact restrictions now function? – and designed an exciting, effective project in response.
In tandem for cohesion
The students educated themed tandems and met regularly in the following weeks and months, in accordance with the Corona requirements, digitally and in person. Children with learning disabilities or particularly shy children, for whom, according to their teacher, distance learning was particularly difficult, could be specifically integrated via the tandems.
A group of particularly tech-savvy students decided to tackle the problem of the missing end devices themselves: They asked parents, local companies and the school’s network “E-waste” donations. With the support of technology experts from the school development association they set up donated devices (parts) so that they could be made available to classmates and thus enabled them to support homeschooling and participation in lessons via video conference. In the further course of the project, the students also offered repair and maintenance work – they drove to their classmates at home.
Another group that “Creative Tandems”, decided to spread joy through creative projects. Video chat was used to tinker with and exchange ideas, teachers * sometimes gave impulses. A large part of the finished works was sent by the children by post to residents of a retirement home. The students wanted to encourage courage – they imagined isolation to be particularly tough for older people.
Another project group designed t-shirts for their classmates with a designated homeschooling logo as a reminder of the challenging but special time.
“The joint project work released a lot of resilience”, reports one of the educators who implemented the project. “Forming the tandems and getting into the mutual interaction process was very time-consuming, because [aufgrund der Umstände] close support was necessary, ”she continues. But it was worth it: “In the tandems, the students were able to develop a common goal and purpose in their actions” and experience real self-efficacy.
“We would like to thank the Education Foundation for this great support offer and the motivation for our adventurous project”, write the project-implementing volunteers at the end of the project. We find: An impressive project. And thank you for the great commitment of the teachers at the Lyonel-Feiniger-Gymnasium, the school support association and the participating tandem children.
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We support Sponsorship opportunities Projects in which Sponsorships between children and young people with different opportunities to participate, but of roughly the same age. The most diverse project formats are conceivable: We want to make projects a reality that start exactly where the needs of the children and young people are on site. Since 2016, with the support of the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) as part of the federal program “People Strengthen People”, we have already been able to initiate over 11,000 sponsorships – and would like to continue to sponsor 3,000 sponsorships every year. Together with you, with committed people on site, we want to create meeting places and contribute to equitable education.
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Education Foundation • Regional team Saxony-Anhalt