Teachers and School Leaders Sharing during COVID-19 ZA (Wk 3)

Tuesday 7 April and Thursday 9 April 2020 (Week 3)

Dear All

Thank you for your participation in the Teachers Let's Chat discussions, for your willingness to share, listen and support each other.

There are so many religious festivals at this time, I would like to wish you all many blessings now and always.

To our Christian friends, Blessed and Happy Easter - The Lord Has Risen!

To our Jewish friends, “Chag Pesach sameai-ch!” “Happy Passover!"

To our Muslim friends, many blessings during Ramadan, as you fast and pray.

Difficulties and successes of engaging with all students during Covid-19 in South Africa

Sharing Teaching and Leanring Information with Learners:

  • Using video conferencing (Google Hangouts meet, Ms Teams or Zoom), in large and small groups. Small groups allow for closer collaboration and engagement, more personal interaction and communication.

  • Security of video conferencing: Google blog: How Google Meet keeps video conferecing secure, and Singapore locked Zoom access in Schools

  • WhatsApp Groups - class, small groups for engagement, and broadcast groups

  • SMS messages, via D6 or school bulk SMS

  • Teachers phoning learners, and having a discussion, especially those who are not responding and seem to have difficulty engaging. Catching up via phone.

Types of resources used or created by Teachers for Learners

  • Teachers are creating resources on a range of digital platforms (Google Classroom, MS Teams, PurpleMash, SeeSaw)

  • Teachers creating videos to share with learners

  • Teachers creating - Learning channels on TeacherTube and YouTube Search for the topics and areas and share with learners. This is my limited channel. Schools could create their own YouTube Channels, and save video in playlists they have created. The playlists could be named according to subjects and grades or both. Leareners could then be told where to look for the resources.

  • Resources shared on WhatsApp as pdfs, voice messages and videos.

  • Apps and websites to engage:

  • Teachers creating “House party” app - ensure you set the security settings, so it is a “closed” party, and not open to the public to prevent lurkers dropping in, see guidelines

  • Teachers using “Flipgrid” available on MS Teams and Google for education logins

  • Here is the “TechIUse It would be great if you could share a video or two :)

  • Teachers creating audio recordings to share with learners

  • Text Instructions of paper work tasks for learners to use complete in their workbooks and textbooks

  • Pointing children to online DBE resources

Responses from and engagement with learners

  • Teachers using interactive digital platforms are able to see learners’ progress work, mark and reply (for example: Google Classroom, MS Teams, PurpleMash)

  • Learners sharing answers via whatsapp is also working. Learners take photos of completed work and share with teachers, or send voice messages.

  • Learners sending sms messages to reply.

  • Regularity of Communicating Learners

  • Limiting communication, considering some families may only have one device which has to be shared by many family members, including the parent who may be trying to work.

  • Realist expectations for what learners can do under these circumstances.


  • Not all children have the same access to technology.

  • How are we going to reach our learners who don’t have access to technology?

  • Costs of Bulk SMSing, teachers costs of own data, phone calls, SMS costs in keeping all learners informed and connected

  • Schools sending out work, but not engaging with learners via video or voice - learners feeling isolated

  • Schools not creating spaces for learners to engage and chat to each other in a space online space, children feeling fearful, isolated, unsure and alone!

  • Creating a space where learners can chat and play is very important

  • Schools who are sending out school work in large amounts, and expecting children to run a “normal” school day, is adding stress to parents and homes.

  • Data access, how does “datafree” work? Explore Datafree.co see Moyo Messenger. Find out about: What is datafree? (on Android and Google play)

  • How do we do effective assessment? Can we use Google forms for assessment? How do we know our assessments are valid?

  • Where tech is available - host