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ICT Department Newsletter

Currently, as I am sure you are aware, school buildings have been closed in the interest of public safety and the welfare of all members of the school community. Does that mean that there is a break in teaching and Learning at AIC? Not one bit! On behalf of the IT department and the staff of the school, I am excited to be able to introduce to you some of the tools that teachers have been using and introducing to students in order to continue offering the same high standard of education to students during the outbreak.
This list might look like a lot, however most of these work so well together that they can all be used from one user friendly platform (Teams).
? 微软 Teams – This is the main platform we will be using to hold classes, set quizzes and assignments. It also allows video conferencing and many of other services below can be added to this platform.
? 微软 Forms – This is a way for students to write their answers to a set of questions, and teachers are then able to grade and comment on the work from students. It is very easy to use, and a great way for teachers to handle homework and smaller tests.

? 微软 OneNote – this is essentially an online notebook for a class. It allows teachers to upload documents, allow students to work together on ideas in the collaboration space, and also has areas for students in a class to keep their own work that only the student and teachers can view. This works very well with Teams and the other 微软 products.

? 微软 Stream – This is the part of 微软 office where teachers can add videos and recordings of classes. It is generally quite simple to use, and lets teachers keep and edit video clips in different channels, groups and areas to better organize these recordings. Students can also use this to record themselves giving a presentation or to watch a particular explanation from a teacher that they want to hear again.
? Zoom – This is a video conferencing platform that can also embed into 微软 teams and has an app for phones. It is generally more stable than using teams, and also has a few added features that can be very useful, however it is not as simple as Teams. Some teachers will use this, particularly with larger classes, or classes that need discussion in smaller groups during a class.
? Powtoon – This is an online toolset for making professional (but fun and simple) video presentations. This has been used by some teachers to pre-record short classes and notes into an easy format for students to understand, with a voiceover to help explain ideas in more detail than a simple set of PowerPoint slides.
? Quizlet – This is a very helpful site and app that lets students test themselves and helps them quickly pick out if there are any misunderstandings in the language or knowledge of a topic. This is particularly helpful in subjects with a lot of specific vocabulary like Science. I personally like to use this for IBDP Biology as it lets students review words from individual topics in their course. It can be added as a link to 微软 teams.
? Kahoot! – Kahoot has some similarities to Quizlet, however is more fun, and makes students work in groups and compete to answer questions faster than the other team. Many teachers around the world use this to check whether students have completed reading assignments or as a way to revise a topic before a test.
? http://virtualbiologylab.org/ - OK, this one is very specific to a particular subject, however is an example of how students that are unable to access school lab facilities are still able to understand some ideas that are normally taught through practical work. This site is appropriate for DP students, and could be used to generate data for an IA. Virtual Labs and Models are not only acceptable for this, but in topics like genetics or biotechnology, they can give some of the best and most interesting research.
? Padlet – Padlet is a simple to use online noticeboard. It allows a group of students to create posters or websites of their own by each adding their own content and ideas.
? ISAMS – Registration is still being taken using ISAMS, just like regular classes. Students not only need to be online, but also active in the teams chat, and completing any assignments.
? Managebac – Managebac is still being used, notably for IBDP coursework, as work that is submitted can be checked for plagiarism, however for the online classes, 微软 Teams is the main platform because it is simple to use, and allows video chat as well as other embedded features.
Special Note!
? WeChat/Weixin – Students should NOT be using Wechat AT ALL during class time. Classes are being delivered through Teams, NOT Wechat. Teachers are using mainly Teams and Zoom for video calls and messages. We also encourage parents to communicate with the school through Email as well, as it sets a good example to students about professionally appropriate communication (which are different from social purposes). It also helps staff to keep track of important information, communication and issues.
Hopefully this explains some of the ways we are supporting students, although teachers all have their own ideas, tools and favourite ways to teach a particular topic. We are all also learning and adapting our teaching styles to the changing situation, so we hope you can support our hard work in bringing the AIC experience to students despite the current ongoing situation.

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