In response to the Jakarta governor declaration of Massive Scale Physical Distancing (Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar) in March 2020, Sampoerna Academy has ever since applied virtual schooling mode as the solution to allow students to continue learning at home safely.
The switch has caused teachers, students, and parents to make a lot of adjustment so the teaching and learning process can run smoothly. Many challenges have arisen, one of which is how to make children stay engaged and focused during virtual schooling sessions.
To provide solutions to this problem, Sampoerna Academy as an intercultural school and STEAM method pioneer in Indonesia, shared some tips on how to make children focused during virtual schooling. The tips were shared by Ms. Frida Dwiyanti (Primary Principal of Sampoerna Academy, L’Avenue Campus) on “Stay Focused During Virtual Schooling”, which was a virtual talk with Parentalk Community on Thursday, 23 April 2020. The talk was accessible on Instagram platform so parents can readily learn the tips.
“During virtual schooling, we prioritize three (3) main aspects so that students can understand subjects well and help parents tackle issues when they have to accompany their children during sessions of learning,” Frida stated.
The first aspect to pay attention to is infrastructure. Frida spoke, “Our virtual schooling is facilitated by Google Classroom and School Dashboard to monitor the learning process at every campus. This allows us to monitor the duration of teaching and learning processes occurring every day in all SA campuses.
“Our school dashboard also makes it possible and easy for students to relearn as every session is recorded and sent to parents and students alike,” Frida explained further. In case of technical issues, Sampoerna Academy Information Technology Team is also available to help students, teachers, and parents.
The second is the learning method so that students can stay engaged using STEAM method. “Our school is not a mere academic center for students but it is also a place to shape the 5C competencies within our students,” she elaborated. These 5C competencies are Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Character.
The school consistently educates and involves all students by means of STEAM learning method during virtual schooling. As we know, STEAM method comprises Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Using the method, students are encouraged to think critically, by learning how to solve and analyze problems with technological tools and collaborative learning strategies which are fun,
creative, and relevant to real-life situations and needs. At Sampoerna Academy, the method has helped children grow into better individuals. They are smart, socially skillful, and communicative.
The third aspect is parents’ participation throughout the entire learning process, she said. “Parents are highly encouraged to participate actively in their students’ learning,” she said.
This is done by encouraging children to ask if they are curious, to work together with their children, to teach them how to think creatively, to encourage them to solve problems, to let them explore further and to take calculated risks, to test solutions, and to discover new ways of completing tasks. This explains why students at Sampoerna Academy are able to develop their 5C skills well.
Frida highlighted that parents’ involvement is an aspect that is equally important as infrastructure and learning method for a successful virtual learning. “A study showed that there is a positive correlation between parents’ direct involvement and students’ success at school. We believe virtual schooling will manage to bring more benefits for students when parents are actively involved. For example, parents can regularly check their children’s learning progress especially during the first two months of virtual schooling,” she said.
According to Frida, some parents who are actively involved in virtual schooling also appreciated the school’s efforts to offer a method and learning content that are creatively presented by Sampoerna Academy teachers. They also mentioned that school dashboard technology has made things are easier for them to monitor and help children learn at home.
Nucha Bachri (Chief Officer of Parentalk platform) enthusiastically welcome STEAM learning method applied by Sampoerna Academy. “During the current self-isolation period, children must learn at home by means of virtual schooling and as a working mother, I can entirely relate to the problems and challenges that parents are now facing to keep their children engaged and focused during learning sessions. This requires a lot of creativity and STEAM method is the right and interesting tool to apply,” she remarked.
To conclude, Frida asked all parents, including working ones, to cooperate with teachers to accompany their children while learning at home. “Play your role as parents so children can still learn as smoothly as they did in classrooms at school,” she finally ended her explanation. (*/)