A great storm, called COVID, swept away everything in its path, turning calm seas into uncontrollable tides; creating unprecedented crises in social and cultural spheres around the world.
The educational sphere was one of its biggest victims, since no one was prepared to face such a situation, the sudden closure of activities caused drastic changes, forcing educational institutions to put aside traditional education and venture into virtual education.
In quick response to this situation, institutions and teachers are chosing digital platforms to remotely complement their teaching methodology, managing to overcome the challenges of the storm.
These are some experiences that teachers shared with us, who managed to overcome the challenges of their journeys, demonstrating that educational tools such as CloudLabs STEM are the rudder that guides and gives direction to ships to navigate through strong tides.
“Very close to Chinchaycocha Lake in Junín-Peru, due to its altitude (4,100 meters above sea level) considered the highest lake in the world, my students’ learning was oriented towards being in the classroom, some days in the Laboratory and others on field trips. But one day, the pandemic began and a microscopic virus, “SARS-CoV-2”, limited us to staying at home and adapting to virtual teaching and learning that became boring and stressful, until one day we discovered a fun virtual way of learning, as we entered into the wonderful world of CloudLabs STEM Laboratories, where there are various labs and science simulators; for example, in the chemistry simulator there were laboratory instruments and reagents, and when we carried out the virtual practice, we observed the magical way that the lighter was lit and the color of the substances changed, this observation was as if we were in a school laboratory.
In the physics simulator, there were lights that lit up if you did the procedure properly and lights that burned out if you were wrong, the students understood that making mistakes is a new way of learning and accessing knowledge; in the mathematical simulator there are rulers that measure and calculators that helped to obtain the values of the answer. I can conclude that with the advancement of CloudLabs STEM labs and technology, there are always fun ways to learn.”
Professor Alejandra Francisca Gamarra, Perú
“My ship was in Guayaquil… at a time of great uncertainty and when the storm raged most at every home in my city, I wondered how we would handle virtual education in an environment where the majority always bet on the traditional and anything else makes us step out of our comfort zone. It was time to start virtual classes and we had to reinvent ourselves as teachers amd look for the most appropriate digital resources to carry our teaching-learning processes successfully, and it is here where, once again, CloudLabs reached out to me in times of pandemic, it gave me free access to the Physics simulators to incorporate into Moodle and for all my students to have access to the resource, which leads me to the reflection that the worst of storms can be perceived as a drizzle if you associate with the right people; those that see education as learning and collaboration networks, regardless of their geographical location, for the simple pleasure of educating and so that everyone can access education without any kind of distinction.
For both teachers and students, this storm represented a challenge, full of difficulties, learning experiences and the constant reinvention of practices. CloudLabs STEM was a lifesaver in the storm and a great tool for remote learning, as well as being the solution to today’s problem.”
Professor Alfonso Gutiérrez, Ecuador
“For teachers of Natural Sciences, it is essential to accompany our theoretical classes with the use of laboratory activities, in order to develop skills that allow us to understand the use of laboratory materials and carry out experiences to verify laws or to contrast hypotheses. With the arrival of the pandemic, this activity was strongly postponed.
Based on this need, I began to look for virtual laboratories that would allow me to work on the contents that are normally developed in a school laboratory.
After a conscious search, I chose CloudLabs since it has a pleasant and intuitive work environment. I use it to enrich my theoretical classes, whether recorded or through videoconferences.
With my students from the Physics and Chemistry faculty, we analyzed the activities proposed by CloudLabs and we agreed that it is a very good tool to develop procedural skills when entering a laboratory.
On the other hand, I believe that we must generate a drastic change in teaching, as it was conceived before the pandemic, and think that CloudLabs will allow us to continue enriching our classes, even in person.
The variety of proposed experiences is diverse and raises experimental activities that are necessary to develop in any Physics and Chemistry course, at the intermediate level in my country.
The CloudLabs images have very good definition and the tools, such as calculator, the explanation of the content, formulas to be used and the graphs with the experimental data are an extra bonus when choosing a virtual laboratory.
One drawback that other laboratories have is that they do not have a Spanish version. CloudLabs has clear and concise explanations and I always had a prompt response to the concerns raised to the advisory team at my disposal.
Each one of the students work at their oun learning speed and have the possibility of repeating the experiences as many times as they wish.
Thanks to CloudLabs I recovered in my virtual classes what I like the most about science … Teaching how to learn by experimenting.”
Professor Pedro, Argentina
It is clear that this pandemic has completely disrupted the traditional educational system, and everything points to the future education model of face-to-face, while simultaneously enabling online work spaces, such as virtual laboratories.