20 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Supporting remote learning by students was the main topic of Kinsale College’s first-ever Virtual Staff Meeting which took place over the internet on Thursday, March 19th.
Kinsale College won the West Cork Business Award for Best Use of Digital late last year, thanks to its innovative and progressive use of new Microsoft digital technology to improve teaching and learning at the college. Now their use of digital media has been stepped up to another level with the requirement to close the college as part of the nationwide effort to reduce the impact of Covid_19.
College Director Liz Moynihan said they decided to hold a virtual staff meeting because many of the staff were concerned about students and in particular students who had additional learning needs and who were suffering high anxiety levels at this time of uncertainty.
‘We used Microsoft Teams to bring all 25 members of the teaching staff together into a virtual room. It worked perfectly – everyone was able to log on. she said.
‘We had a great meeting discussing how to support all our students who are expected to continue their studies remotely for these weeks. The teachers were particularly conscious of students who require additional supports and may be in need of extra resources at this time. We shared some ideas and strategies which various staff members have already put in place, and this will ultimately benefit all our students.’
They are planning to use the conferencing software regularly over the coming weeks. Liz said that it was reassuring for the staff to get the opportunity to meet and hear each other’s views in a virtual setting. The meeting also offered the staff an opportunity to contribute to the contingency plans been put in place by CETB for end of year assessments and to discuss the best options available to the college.
‘It was really uplifting to see everyone – I think people were genuinely delighted to be able to log on,’ she said. ‘We are delighted to have such a high standard of digital technology at our disposal. We are very grateful to Cork ETB for investing in our college so that we can offer the highest standard of modern educational technology to our students.’