I'm teaching economics courses at the High Vocational school ban Josip Jelačić in Sinj. Sinj is a Croatian town in the continental part of Split-Dalmatia County. Our school educates students from the age of 15 to 18 for various professions (economist, commercialist, tourist merchant, salesman, chef, waiter, hairdresser, pedicurist, beautician).Main subjects: Accounting, Statistics, Corporate social responsibility, Training Firm, Knowledge of goods….
The new situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought big changes in the teaching in the virtual classroom compared to the usual teaching. Online teaching has set new requirements for the rapid implementation of ICT and the integration of digital technology without time to learn about the possibilities and principles of using a particular web tool. The question of choice, approach and way of working arises. Teachers quickly set out to select the appropriate technology for teaching activities and certain groups of students while achieving the planned educational outcomes and expectations of cross-curricular topics.
Time to contribute in solving global problems
As part of the school course Socially Responsible Business, students of the 2nd grade of the profession economist with their teacher Nada Ratković, prof. mentor participated in many national, European and international projects solving global problems the world’s most important challenges: climate change. Through the school year students are participating in national projects „E-student for a greener tomorrow“, EU project „Students actions-Fighting climate changes“, eTwinning project „Breathe deeply & Think clearly“, international projects „Climate Action project“ and „SDG goal project“. The projects are significant because they can be presented for any general education and vocational subject. Every age, topic and school requires a different approach and gives students the future they deserve.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which started on the 16th of March, schools were shut in Croatia, so teachers and students were out of the classrooms like everywhere else across the world. Pandemic affected learning and teaching. Teachers were faced with the challenge of how to continue their students’ education. Teachers role did not change, even the teaching was organised remotely and on digital platforms. As a result, education had changed dramatically with the distinctive rise of e-learning and online learning which seemed to be growing exponentially.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning online. Learning online can be effective in a number of ways for those who do have access to the right technology. The challenge of online learning appears when some students do not have reliable access to the Internet and might not have access to high-speed broadband. It’s important to note that there is no single method which fits all when it comes to learning. Different groups have different priorities and the resources that should be used are context-dependent. There are also special considerations to think about talented students and for students with special educational needs and disabilities.
To organize online classes our school used Microsoft Office 365, Yammer, Google Apps, including Google Classroom. Resources that teachers used for involving students in online activities, lessons, quizzes, tests were digital tools such as LMS, Google Docs, MS Forms, Socrative, WordWall, Quzziz, Formative, Genially, Canva, Kahoot, Padlet, Linoit, Powtoon, Piktochart, Popplet, Wizer me, Learning apps, Loom and the videoconference platform Zoom.
For the first time in the High Vocational School Ban Josip Jelačić Sinj, on April 29 2019, we organized activities as a part of the STEM Discovery Week and held a STEM Event titled “Science Exhibition – Colors of customs and traditions“, to popularize science, bring it closer to students and show science in a comprehensible way.
During the event, our views and reflections on STEM have been revealed to the interested audience in a new, unique and original way, through the exhibition.