Teacher stories in the time of corona: Michaela Půlpánová
The second half of the past school year was marked by distance learning. Due to the harsh impact of the pandemic, school lessons had to quickly move behind computer screens. However, many teachers managed this transition brilliantly. Michaela Půlpánová, a science, geography and PE teacher at Vrchlabí Elementary School, Vrchlabí, Czech Republic, is one of them. Hereby, we’re presenting the first article from the series about how teachers managed transition to remote learning. The article includes a video with her classroom activity below.
Even before the transition to distance learning, Mrs. Půlpánová often used Corinth 3D models, “mostly because the content is really engaging and comprehensive”. When she began with distance learning, she quickly incorporated the online version of Corinth, Lifeliqe, into her classes, which, among other things, allowed her to insert 3D models into Microsoft Teams, and many other apps. The following interview will give you a closer look at how it all went.
Teachers all over the world have had a difficult challenge. What aids or technology tools have helped you with the transition to distance learning? On the contrary, what didn’t work so well?
In the first phase, we used an app called Bakaláři (a crossover between Student Information System and Learning Management System), but it did not fully meet the needs of distance learning, so we switched to Microsoft Teams. I, specifically, used Lifeliqe and the Skolasnadhledem.cz and Umimefakta.cz websites, which helped me with teaching geography and science.
How did your students manage to handle it all?
For most students, the transition to distance learning was not a problem, especially once online lessons were incorporated.
Can you briefly describe how did you use Lifeliqe 3D platform?
I used Corinth (the offline version of Lifeliqe) even before the distance learning, I had pictures in the presentations, I used 3D models a lot. During distance learning, I was glad that I could continue to use what students were already used to but online. Although all students at our school had the opportunity to sign up for the Lifeliqe application, where they could use the entire program, I used a lot of links for students where it’s not necessary to register, but still, students could explore the model at home. I also used the models in worksheets and tests.
What do you consider the biggest benefits of Corinth and Lifeliqe?
It saves time. I don’t have to create anything new in a complicated way, I can use my preparations, in which I insert pictures of 3D models that I need. The app is easy to work with, attracts students’ attention, and increases interest in teaching through 3D images, animations, and zoom images. In addition, if we come across a topic in a class that has an overlap with another subject, such as physics and chemistry, we elaborate on it without any problems.
So how does teaching with 3D models affect students directly?
It attracts their attention and increases interest in the topic being discussed, leading students to research activities.
And what about the school administration and your colleagues, how did they approach the potential permanent increase in the use of online teaching tools?
The principal and administrator supports us in using Internet tools for teaching. Due to the fact that our school has undergone extensive reconstruction and modernization, we will have a greater opportunity to use ICT. We share our experiences with our colleagues in the natural sciences, and every time we discover anything interesting, we share it with each other.
And finally, can you tell us what your lessons will look like when you return to class? How will the transition to distance learning enrich it and in what aspects you can not wait to return to the standard regime?
I assume that I will continue the same way I always used to teach, but I will try to engage the students even more so that they can find out for themselves what interests them. Therefore, I hope that the “student access” link sharing in the Lifeliqe app will remain.
We can already promise you that it will stay. Thank you so much for the interview!
We would like to thank Mrs. Michaela Půlpánová once again for sharing her experience. As a bonus, we’ll be sharing her classroom materials soon. In the meantime, you can watch her guest speaker appearance in our webinar on how she shared assignments with her students through Teams.