As the novel coronavirus pandemic turned people’s lives upside down, the field of education was not spared. On the next day the emergency was declared, Ayb School launched distance learning platform. The fate of our favorite Aybapatum project was unclear. Visiting remote villages for two days and hosting the rural school students at Ayb that provided a wonderful opportunity for communication became impossible. Hence, a decision was made to continue the project online.
We paid an online visit to the schools of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur and Nerkin Tsaghkavan, during which I acted as an “online teacher” to share my own experience with my peers and listen to their opinions and impressions because we have been waiting for this Aybapatum meeting for a year.
Lesson 1. Fascist Germany. Adolf Hitler
12th grade students Ofelia Smbatyan and Satenik Harutyunyan have prepared a world history course entitled “Fascist Germany. Adolf Hitler” which involved the students of Nerkin Karmiraghbyur and Nerkin Tsaghkavan community schools.
“We thought that it will be hard to attract attention of the students online, the more so because we had some technical issues. However, we did it thanks to the video materials and games,” Satenik Harutyunyan says.
Nerkin Karmiraghbyur school student Anush Arakelyan adds, “The lesson was very interesting. We learned new facts about Hitler and understood that we should not put all the blame on him. I was surprised to know that he liked painting. It was a nice Aybapatum experience, although we didn’t communicate in person.”
Lesson 2. Conversation vocabulary
During the Armenian language online tutorial, the students improved their conversation vocabulary and acquired new skills. The lesson was conducted by Ayb School 11th grade student Nonna Gulkanyan. After presenting the topic, she tried to sum up the material in the form of game. The students showed sincere interest in the topic and were ready to learn more and correct their mistakes. Excited with the results, they said it was a very interesting experience.
Online Aybapatum with Nerkin Karmiraghbyur and Nerkin Tsaghkavan schools
Does it sound strange? We do learn this subject at Ayb School and now Ella Avagyan and Milena Mkrtchyan decided to present as part of Aybapatum project. Choosing “Four ears” topic, we talked about four various perceptions and explanations any phenomenon may have. This subject was completely new for the students and they engaged in discussion with great interest. We were asked a lot of questions and got positive feedback.
“Although we heard about such a subject for the first time, the material was quite understandable while the test given in conclusion helped us discover ourselves,” Liana, one of the students, said.
During the past years, we always danced Armenian national dances together to make the program complete. Unfortunately, it was impossible this time. Instead, we exchanged thoughts about the lessons. The feedback we received will help us make our future lessons more interesting and productive. Online Aybapatum was a challenge for us and we believe we did it with credit. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that after the pandemic ends, we will have an opportunity to visit the villages as graduates and, why not, dance together.
Ella Avagyan, 11th grade
Arevik Melikyan, 10th grade
Ofelia Smbatyan, 10th grade