How was lock down?

What a crazy crazy time!

Things happened so fast didn't it? One minute we were figuring out if we would still be able to have sports tournaments or our School Fiafia, and then in a blink of an eye we were in all in full level 4 lock down.

I never ever imagined myself designing a distance learning programme (at least beyond a Holiday blogging challenge or something alike). However before we knew it we were right in the thick of it.

Bringing the holidays forward was a blessing. It gave us time to get ready, reflect and plan ahead of time what our content might look like. However, we actually managed to squeeze in 3 days of "live distance teaching" with our kids in that first week of lock down. This was quite crucial in hindsight because it allowed us to connect with our kids (and for them to connect with us on the site) before they too settled in to this new Lock down environment. It also gave us a dummy run for what distance teaching was going to be like.

During that "holiday break" we provided a Blogging challenge for our learners. These challenges were not designed to be a full day of learning, more a like a fun activity for bored and eager kids. The idea was to also keep them practiced at coming to the site, and using their blogs. If we made the challenges interesting and less "school like" we figured we could keep them coming back, and coming back they did.

Imagine my guilt when I received this email:

However, once we entered "Term 2" it was all on. 

  • 4 Live Google Meets a day 9am, 10.30, 12pm & 2pm
  • A full days worth of learning content*
  • Remote assistance through the Google Apps and email 
*Wow. Were we in for a surprise with how much work they wanted to do. These kids were smashing what we would often give them in a week in just one day.

My Lock down "Classroom" 

We figured a few things out and I have to say, I have really been enjoying being able to focus on planning and content over this lock down period. I have been more creative and engaged in my planning than I have been for years. It's been awfully fun! My team has been killing it too, really cool stuff going on in their planning. Kids-wise we've got a good core of about 50-60% of our kids who are fully active every day, then another 20-30% who phase in and out of our Meets, and chop and choose which work they do. Only a small percentage of the team has been mostly inactive which is amazing. I didn't expect such a good turn out to be honest.

I've noticed quite a bit of traffic on our site too through Google Analytics, we are hitting a weekly average of 250+ unique users, and have had almost 700 unique users in the past 28 days. Which is pretty crazy! Have had a few nice emails from teachers around the place - mostly Manaiakalani connected.

I've planned to show some of our learning and content design next. But thought this was worth sharing.


  1. Hey Matt, thanks for sharing your lockdown teaching experience. Mine has been pretty similar actually - same group of 1/2 the class who are there all day everyday, another group who come some days and not others. They have been so engaged! I too have enjoyed the challenge in what/how I am planning lessons, and trying to get creative. Hope the return to school next Monday goes well for you guys :)


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