Pubblichiamo integralmente l’articolo della prof.ssa Caterina Lizzio, responsabile dell’Istituto Massimo per l’ Educazione alla Cittadinanza Globale scritto per Educate Magis
CHALLENGES OF DISTANCE LEARNING/ONLINE LEARNING AND HOW YOU HAVE FACED THEM
Imagine you wake up one day and you are told you are going to spend the next 2 months (or more) locked in a golden prison: your house. How would you react?
some months ago someone had told me I was going to have a long period
of smart working from my comfortable living-room, I would have
thanked God for the amazing opportunity!
waking up too early in the morning, no traffic jam, no parking
problems, no carrying books and PC up and down the steep stairs of my
school and across its never-ending corridors, no more stress… in
other words: a Heaven on Earth!
sometimes from dreams to nightmares it is but a short step. So here
we are, in quarantine, that is to say locked in our houses, without
the slightest possibility of peeping out to breathe some fresh air
and have a talk with the neighbours, not to mention perform all the
usual day-to-day tasks.
than a hypothetic WWIII, Covid-19 is an appalling sneaky enemy, one
of those you cannot easily defeat, a greedy element which feeds
himself on our lives, never having enough.
first days we were disoriented, but having to face the Hamletic
‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous
fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing
we soon realized there was no room for mourning: we took arms!
Italy we are not so used to online learning, but we are quite good at
making the best of the situations, so every school has started making
plans to face it all.
start with, I have immediately contacted my department colleagues
(English language and Literature) and my students, either by mail or
through the tools offered by our online register; but it was not
thanks to our institutional school accounts, we have been offered the
possibility of using, among others, Google
The former allows you to create your virtual class with your real
students, the latter helps you connect live with your classes.
this new virtual environment I have seized the opportunity of
connecting with my colleagues and students daily, trying to recreate
a sort of ordinary
For sure! I can apply the flipped
approach: first I choose materials to upload on Google Classroom,
then I ask students to read or view them, before getting back into
our Meet classroom to introduce new historical and literary periods
as well as outstanding authors with their masterpieces.
of some technical problems, we can make
the lesson together as usual, with a double positive outcome: first
thing first, girls and boys are called to jump back to ‘normal’,
keeping in touch with each other and with teachers, which represents
their daily practice, and they can continue learning not only
concepts, but how to reinvent their lifestyle, to face new
challenges, to use all their potential to react to awful
it a huge Reality Task2?
One of those we have always tried to recreate, so to test them in
class on real life issues, asking them to prove how skilled they are
on teamworking, problem solving, creative thinking, and so on?
some of my classes students have also organized small groups for a
“remote teamworking” aimed at presenting authors and their
literary production, contextualising them politically, historically
activity I proposed to my classes (the two ones likely to sit the
final State Exam in June) was the last act of a project started in
September, that I had to modify for contingent reasons. The project,
eye on the future with a foot in the past: resilience and
about the importance of memories and experience to develop the right
“tools” to holistically
face the present challenges, being resilient
and thinking globally.
studying together the majority of the authors, masterpieces and
events of the Age of Anxiety – Modernism, after analysing some
specific points of Pope Francis’s encyclical letter “Laudato
si’”, I asked them to research information about Covid-19 and its
effects on the society.
they had to write an essay to highlight similarities between epochs,
verify the influence of historical events on social conditions, to
express their opinion concerning the fact that, due to a world
holistic vision, we require a new kind of universal solidarity as, to
face problems, it is essential to seek comprehensive solutions.
are still sending their works and I can say, having already read some
of them, they have hit the target!
know it may sound like a paradox, a non-sense, but we all are closer
now than we have been till a month ago. We are focusing on one
objective: staying alive fighting against a common enemy.
gives us and our students the necessary strength to continue thinking
positive, taking advantage of the situation, turning it into an
opportunity for us all.
sum up, it is true: “mala
But instead of surrendering, of behaving like losers even before
having tried to play, let’s get into the game, support each other,
think positive and show our students we master the 4Cs that shape
them as Ignatian students: to be Competent, of Conscience, Committed
and Compassionate. Add a little bit of Christian Optimism and
After all, “if
winter comes, can spring be far behind?”4
Literature Teacher and Responsible for Global Citizenship Education
at Istituto M. Massimo, Rome – Italy)
W. Shakespeare, Hamlet
In Italy we call “Compito di Realtà”
– Reality Task – a practical feasible work, a complex task student
have to face in order to be tested on many abilities at the same
M. T. Cicerone. Translation: ‘Bad times are upon us, but the worst
is yet to come’.
4 P. B. Shelley, Ode to the West Wind