Since February, schools in Hong Kong have been suspended due to the outbreak. While students are stuck with less interactive online classes, one school thought it would be a good idea to bring the fun back through an online sports day.
On Thursday, March 5, students of Hong Kong Academy (HKA) took part in a virtual sports day, Quartz reported. During the live streamed event, students had to complete a series of exercises, including push-ups, running, and planking. Students uploaded videos of them completing the sports challenges from various areas, like their homes or outdoor areas of their choice. They also recorded how much time it took for them to complete each challenge and posted them online.
Teachers even played the role of sports commentators, monitoring a live chart with individual and team scores. According to Steve Dare, the head of HKA, the virtual sports day was an attempt to “try and keep fun in learning.”
One survey done by HKA on its students showed that online learning was taking a toll on their mental health. Spending extended periods of time studying through a computer screen definitely sucks the fun out of school. For HKA, virtual sports day is a response to this collective lethargy.
While the livestream happened on Thursday, March 5, the online platform was available until Sunday, March 8, for students to post their results. Without physical supervision by teachers, trust played a big part in the execution of the virtual sports day.
“When you can’t see them, there is a positive presupposition that they will treat this seriously,” said Dare.
The teacher-commentators entertained students by demonstrating how to stretch and perform the challenges. To make things more educational, they also chatted about the importance of certain skills and tackled gender stereotypes about athletic abilities.
HKA also came up with a running challenge to encourage students to keep active amid the coronavirus outbreak. The goal is to collectively clock 2,815km of running, which is the distance from HKA to Mount Everest.
Besides HKA, some schools in Hong Kong are also conducting physical education online. Students are expected to follow their teacher’s demonstration, as the teacher observes them via their webcams.
Schools in Hong Kong will remain suspended until April 20, at the earliest, due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.
The nationwide school closures prove trying for parents in Hong Kong. Many have chosen to send their children overseas to study. As for parents whose children remain in Hong Kong, they are now responsible for supervising their kids at home. This has created additional pressure on parents, who now, on top of their day jobs, also have to take the lead in managing their children’s learning.
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