Uche Linda Okpala is a Global Educator, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Skype Master Teacher, Wakelet Ambassador, Flipgrid Students’ Voice Ambassador, Global Minecraft Mentor, IT/Master Trainer, National Geographic Certified Educator and a Guest Speaker for Skype in the classroom.
As a teacher in one of the public schools in Nigeria, West Africa, I experiment with new ways of sparking curiosity, cultivating empathy, and sharpening critical thinking in the classrooms both online and offline. When the global pandemic broke out, it was not difficult for me to transition to remote learning because I have been leveraging the ed-tech tools and resources in and out of the classrooms. I engaged my students with learning activities such as virtual field trips, connecting with their peers around the world, collaborating and executing on the global goals project.
As a guest speaker, I involve myself with remote learning activities such as:
- Training teachers and students on how to integrate technology in classrooms.
- Creating interactive lessons, monitoring feedback from both teachers and students, planning, organizing and attending webinars.
- Engaging student-to-student collaborations and facilitating teachers for professional development all while in distance learning.
- Engaging students in creative coding activities to solve real-world problem scenarios.
I have been working tirelessly to enable distance learning to work for both students and teachers across the globe. When I’m done with the school workload, I normally stay back after school hours to engage my students with the 21st-century learning skills, mind-blowing games, virtual field trips, inviting experts, authors and explorers, thereby by bringing the natural world scenarios into the classroom. My students have benefited from leveraging the ed-tech tools and resources in the classroom in more innovative ways:
- Having a technological drive and an enthusiastic attitude towards the teaching and learning process.
- Building confidence in themselves to amplify their voices on global issues. Collaborates and executes SDG’s projects with their peers.
- Being equipped with 21st-century learning skills.
- They have virtually travelled to over 32 countries across the globe in the comfort zone of their classroom.
- Becoming global and digital citizens, experiences cultural diversity by connecting with their peers globally.
- Taking actions in the project-based learning (PBL), empowering students by designing a pathway for a greater community partnership, inviting their counterparts and community members as they serve as clients for students as they design a solution to real-world problems.
However, it has not been easy for me to accomplish all these. Data subscription and network connection were the tougher of the challenges. More so, I try to do the best I can with my limited resources. I hope and still striving to build a sustainable ecosystem of lifelong learning for my students so that they can be a member of the workforce, problem solvers, future programmers and data scientist etc.