What we did:
Due to Covid-19, 7 Gaelic Language Classes, a Clarsach and a Fiddle class were all delivered on the mainland in North Ayrshire through Zoom.
Teachers and learners were approached to ask if they were interested in participating in Zoom Gaelic classes. With some encouragement and support from Kirsty at the Hope project, all tutors delivered Zoom classes beginning in April, which was new to a lot of them and stressful at times.
Tutors worked through this and are now all able to hold Zoom classes. Most learners participated in the classes with support again from Kirsty.
Who we involved:
Zoom classes were delivered by North Ayrshire Gaelic and Music Tutors, with ongoing support from Kirsty from the HOPE and CLASPS project.
The difference it made:
Learners enjoyed the Zoom classes and tutors managed to tutor very well using this medium considering it was new to us all. With encouragement and support from CLASPS in accessing and understanding zoom. It was good for learners and tutors to be motivated and it kept learners and teachers in touch during lockdown, especially those who had not been able to leave their house, including some of our tutors who were also isolating. This gave them a focus and something to do weekly. Tutors and Learners over all enjoyed the experience and were appreciative of the Zoom classes during lockdown. This gave them some structure and face to face contact albeit through zoom, which also gave some normality during a stressful period.
What we will do differently in the future:
Zoom has been a useful tool in supporting learners and tutors in the epidemic and has given some normality. Although most learners and tutors are involved in the experience, there is some who would be happy return to classroom learning if possible. With possibly some zoom learning where appropriate or required, especially in the winter months.
It has changed my view to online learning and it has a place in our journey in learning, although I would consider blended learning would be the way forward.