HSC teachers and students get remote learning boost

HSC teachers and students get remote learning boost

HSC students will have access to free syllabus specific video content across more than 40 subjects for the rest of Term 3 to minimise the disruption caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The initiative is being rolled out by education service provider Atomi, an online teaching and learning platform used by 54,000 students in over 200 NSW schools.

It comes at a crucial time for upper secondary students, with internal and external exams, such as the HSC, looming.

Last week, the NSW Government announced a ‘flexible school model’ to provide HSC students the chance to access essential lessons and wellbeing check-ins. Under the plan, school assessments and trial exams will be completed at home across all schools in Greater Sydney, and only small groups of students will be allowed at school at any one time from 16 August.

‘Giving students the best preparation possible’

Delivered in bite-sized 4-8-minute videos, the content is designed to minimise cognitive load to ensure learning is retained. Concepts are consolidated with AI-driven quizzes and text-based exercises.

The platform quickly identifies where students are strong and weak, then automatically creates tailored revision exercises for them, so they know they’re ready for exams.

Rob Barakat, Co-Founder of Atomi, said the platform provides an efficient way for Year 11 and 12 students to prepare for exams and assessments and give themselves the best chance of performing well in what is a markedly disruptive year.

“Our courses are directly mapped to the curriculum for each state, and are supported with practice questions, from fast revision quizzes to full practice exams with marking criteria, sample answers and scaffolded responses,” Barakat told The Educator.

“Students in years 7-10 don't have high stakes exams, but ensuring continuity of learning is essential to their progress. This can be difficult to maintain from home, with many students experiencing ‘Zoom fatigue’.”

Barakat said Atomi provides “a fresh perspective on delivery.”

“Short, sharp, engaging video content mixed with interactive quizzes provides an awesome mix to ensure students remain engaged and teachers can 'mix it up’,” he said.

“Teachers currently have an impossible task to shift their classrooms online, maintain continuity for their students, whilst many of them are also contending with working from home with their own children and families.”

Barakat said the current time presents both a challenge and an opportunity for principals.

“Atomi works with schools to not only provide immediate support but to work towards what a digital future looks like. COVID has really changed the game. We also work closely with the executive to facilitate that transition towards a digital school strategy.”

This includes providing principals with rich data and insights around student engagement and learning. Principals can understand which subjects, faculties and year-levels are excelling or which are in need of more support.”

Another important part of this strategy involves professional development sessions with all staff and students to upskill them on making a smooth transition to digital teaching and how to use the tools at their disposal.

“We also help schools with their contingency planning. Answering ‘do we have the systems in place in case we're forced into remote learning again?’ and ‘will students remain engaged and is there a continuity of learning at all levels?’” Barakat said.

Barakat said this includes help with staffing, where subject support is provided in areas that may be difficult for schools to staff, or where there's a high rate of inexperienced casual teaching or difficulty in finding subject matter experts.

“Really, the platform allows the school executive to plan for a digital future, support their teachers and be assured that student learning remains engaging and uninterrupted."