Nam Ngo Thanh, Master Trainer, Nguyen Hoang Group

Nam Ngo Thanh has authored multiple articles, and he has been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. He is the founder of many global projects Five Safe Fingers, Kindness Everyday, Stem, SGDs in actions, etc. In 2015, he was presented with the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Award, and in the same year, he represented Vietnam at the Microsoft Global Forum. He is Microsoft Master Trainer, Skype Master Teacher, and Microsoft Learning Consultant. He works passionately to develop creative approaches to delivering quality education to his students in ways that inspire them to learn. He has been selected into top 50 Global Teacher Prize Finalist and he is also the winner of Asia Educator of the year 2017, 2018 Global Innovation Collaboration Award and Digital Citizenship Champion.

Coronavirus has impacted many countries in the world and Vietnam is no exception. To ensure the safety and health of children, all schools in Vietnam have been closed for nearly 2 months. The Vietnamese government is extremely concerned about not letting disease spread because Corona outbreaks are strong. They are constantly raising people’s awareness about protecting themselves and protecting those around them. Every day, the health ministry sends messages to citizens’ phones to update information and instructions on how to stay healthy. People who have symptoms or a history of contact with an infected person are isolated and are given special medical care.

The outbreak of this epidemic has turned the daily lives of people here (Vietnam) upside down. For the students, this is the longest Tet holiday in history with a series of holidays lasting from January 26 to May 4, 2020. In my school, Nguyen Hoang Group, we are asking students to stay at home until we are sure that the epidemic has ended.

Let COVID-19 Not Stop Your Learning

With the motto of “Stop going to school, not stop learning”, we have implemented an online learning plan, teaching on TV, distributing homework sheets, etc. In addition, to “No students will be left behind”, we apply the final form is to the student’s home when the above forms do not have conditions to perform. With these actions, we ensure the safety of students while helping them consolidate their previous knowledge and at the same time learn new lessons under the Ministry of Education and Training’s curriculum. From important subjects such as Math, Literature/Vietnamese, English to subjects with interesting social knowledge such as History, Geography, Science; and even aptitude-focused subjects like Music, Fine Arts, Physical Education, STEM, Value – Life skills are also integrated through challenges and experiences.

Effective Support From Technology

We are using technology to make students’ learning no different from when they are at school. We are also using a variety of tools for different purposes to interact with students during their absence. Microsoft Teams has been extremely helpful in giving out assignments and responding to student work.

The most difficult thing for effective online learning is maintaining students’ interest in learning for a long time. To do this thing, we are using tools like Microsoft forms, Quizizz, Kahoot! to create fun interactive tests. While this confinement period is on, we are working with our students to gradually get used to this form of learning. Both teachers and parents are working together and are supportive of this turn to online teaching. Just sitting at the desk, with a few clicks, students can connect with teachers and classmates.

Although learning online, we make good use of the time when students are at home. We organize many activities for students to participate like when they go to school such as holding a painting contest called “Staying home but drawing”, successfully preparing Nano silver dry hand sanitizer qualified with the World Health Organizations standards, producing bilingual videos to share about COVID-19 preventative measures, introducing Vietnamese traditional Tet culture to international friends through the Skype, Microsoft Teams application.

The Companion of the Student’s Parents

At first, many parents were worried about the effectiveness achieved when their children attended online learning. Understanding that, we always create opportunities to have the support of parents. We have proactively adjusted the program, arranged specific schedules for each class, each student and specifically informed parents and students. Teachers and schools communicate regularly with parents via email to update information, coordinate promptly. In this way, we have created a connection between the family – the school. We always encourage parents to participate in the lessons with their children so that they can understand the efforts of teachers and schools in maintaining student motivation as well as checking their children’s learning. In particular, we also hold online parent meetings with technology support. It can be said that all educational activities at our school were as normal as before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Positive Results from Effort

With constant efforts from the school, teachers, parents and students, we have achieved proud results. Through the survey, 90% of students said that they enjoyed online learning. Moreover, they have built up the skills to self-study that were previously limited. We will continue to maintain and develop online communication and online learning methods. These methods will continue to be maintained, even after the COVID-19 epidemic is over, students will return to normal education.

The Big Lesson After the COVID-19 Season

The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us identify many lessons that we have never thought of before:

  • Enhancing the capacity to use technology: Perhaps we never think that one day all teachers and students will not go to school but must use online teaching and learning instead. In order to adapt to social isolation, every teacher, student needs to improve their ability to use technology equipment, which they previously had no need. Obviously, this skill becomes a mandatory requirement for the online education process. I am glad that after the COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers have become excellent at using technology in their classroom.
  • Improve students’ learning skills: In order for online learning to be effective, students need certain skills such as self-study, information selection, decision making, etc. COVID-19 created opportunities suitable for building these skills for students that they will use throughout their lives.
  • Flexibility in adjusting programs and methods: Many schools and teachers sometimes remain conservative in applying programs and methods at their schools and classrooms. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, if conservative, education would surely fail. You can only succeed when you are flexible in all circumstances. This is the skill you need to teach your students.

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