Overcoming distancing and digital communication during the times of Corona – what are the best ways to deal with the challenges?
During two Zoom-sessions, organized by DEDI, practitioners within the field of civic education have been juggling with the answers to this question and sharing their experiences.
At the first Zoom meeting, held by DEDI April 15, the online meetings had just become a popular and necessary tool for continuing work. Zoom, Skype, Facebook or WhatsApp groups had become the main platforms for sessions, lectures, workshops and webinars. Subsequently, the participants were all facing new dilemmas and challenges. One of the most common was finding ways to reach out and to who. They also has to make new considerations on the choice of topics, since not all topics are suitable for online forums. Another challenge was the distance created by the internet. It often makes it harder for hosts to ensure that all participants feel included and focused during the meetings. During discussion rounds in “break-out rooms”, the participants made short presentations and proposed solutions.
Difficult to monitor
Furthermore, the participants focused on the dilemma of using open sources versus closed sources, and the choice of language. A representative of Messahat elaborated further on this dilemma. Messahat is working in close contact with informal education. They underlined that internet technology provides high quantity of open source material, but it is difficult to monitor the learning process. Also, learning tools, particularly laptops and internet access, are not available to all children.
A representative of the AUC Lazord fellowship underlined that, for many organizations, the times of lockdown have also been an important moment to conduct self-monitoring. They themselves had taken a closer look on how to improve the performance, re-structure the network, and monitor partner organizations.
The meeting was moderated by Ali Abdel Mohsen, Education Projects Manager at Care International, Egypt, and Ayman El-Husseini from Collectives Routes and Mubtada’ Initiative. They also moderated the second Zoom meeting on May 5. During this session, the participants dived deeper into the specific challenges and solutions. Thus, the meeting became yet another occasion for all participants to learn new tricks and enjoy the feeling of helping each other to face the challenges of the corona times.
The Zoom-sessions are part of DEDI’s Toolbox project, intending to bring practitioners and other stakeholders within the field of Civic Education together in order to share knowledge, experiences, and new ideas as well as to inspire each other. You can read more about DEDI’s projects HERE