Students secondary editing computer 2160 x 1023

The transition to online learning


Perspectives: March, 2020

We are discovering much about our world during these trying times and fortunately it is not all about toilet paper and pasta. Social media platforms have gone into overdrive with suggested resources for remote and online learning and it can be overwhelming. We have spent a bit of time assessing some of what is out there and want to share some of the highlights with you. We hope our overview provides you and your students with practical and stimulating teaching opportunities.  

Now that learners cannot head out and about on excursions, it is wonderful that so many museums and galleries have digitised their collections and created virtual tours of their sites. The online art forum and publication Hyperallergic has helpfully shared a list of ten online tours and we can also recommend the NGV virtual tour of Indigenous art exhibition Marking Time and the fashion-focused Collecting Comme. And don’t forget ACMI is looking forward to being able to share our new museum with you and your students when we re-open and life gets back to normal. 

If you are wanting to engage primary students with science-focused investigation, Mystery Science has gathered some engaging video lessons of varying lengths. Check out this ten minute lesson on sound effects. Thanks to zoo webcams your students can access animals in zoos all around the world, so you could build a unit around scientific observation with each student focusing on a different set of animals. 

The folk at Scholastic have created a daily menu of lessons and learning resources, and teachers can pick and choose what works best for their students’ learning plans. We liked this simple history of emojis, as a great way to get students thinking about something they probably take for granted. And our friends at the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) offer excellent resources to illuminate a range of engaging programs and have put together ideas for learning at home

You don’t really need us to remind you about the invaluable resources created by our friends at ABC Education, but you can also encourage your students to check out the ABC’s brilliant resource on news and media literacy. Supporting young people to be critical thinkers and thoughtful citizens has never been so important. We also need to build digital citizenship from an early age and Interland is a fun game for building awareness in primary students.  

Literacy and storytelling is at the heart of what we do at ACMI and we are captivated by this charming project which involves actors and animation bringing picture books to life.  

If you want to get your students creating their own live-action, animated or game-based stories whilst at home, ACMI Education has some excellent online resources and modules to help them get started.   

The message is keep it simple, which this helpful teacher working in Beijing emphasises. And we agree that it is not all about screens. To that end, we want to share our flipbook and thaumatrope templates for younger learners and suggest you set senior primary or early secondary students one of our favourite design challenges, making a game out of a single sheet of paper.   

We also need to encourage learners to keep moving for the sake of their physical and mental well-being and remember, when all else fails, there is always something to cheer us up on social media.