Good practice dissemination event “Distance education: challenges, experiences, solutions

2021 m. May 7 d., 12:02

Kaunas Teacher Qualification Centre and Kaunas Alexander Pushkin Gymnasium organised a good practice dissemination event “Distance education: challenges, experiences, solutions”.

A team of teachers and vice-principals from the Aleksandras Pushkin Gymnasium in Kaunas shared good practices with the Lithuanian educational community. The participants were welcomed by the Director of Kaunas Aleksandras Pushkinas Gymnasium Erikas Griškevičius, who said that Kaunas Aleksandras Pushkinas Gymnasium educates children of different nationalities (children are educated according to the general programmes of pre-school, elementary, primary and secondary education) – both those who have come back from emigration, and those who have come to live in Lithuania from other countries. “During the COVIDpandemic, we started organising education and providing essential childcare for the children of medics and policemen. Distance education has been a challenge for teachers, with a lot to learn, agreements to remind the administration, timely decisions to make, and at the same time to keep going to ensure that the needs of pupils, the expectations of parents, and the development of teachers’ competences are not interrupted.”

In her presentation “Opportunities and Challenges of Distance Education in Foreign Language Classes”, Julija Mažrimienė, Senior Teacher of English at the Gymnasium, shared her thoughts on what effective distance education consists of, and assured the audience that the right platform is essential. He devoted a lot of attention to individual platforms:,, etc. J. Mažrimienė stressed that students need to be introduced to, consult, communicate and collaborate with the resources, tools and platforms the teacher plans to use. If problems arise, they need to be dealt with here and now, by controlling pupils’ behaviour in class, by encouraging pupils: positivity and praise are essential, by listening to pupils, by negotiating with pupils, and by choosing the right forms of communication, both for pupils and for parents. One way is to personalise the content by adding a at the beginning or end of the lesson. It takes a few minutes to create, but the pupils really notice them.

Primary school teachers Rasma Raudonienė and Daiva Degutienė gave a presentation on “Challenges of project-based activities in distance education” and shared their rays and the achievements of primary school pupils during distance education. The quarantine imposed by the Covid -19 pandemic led to a reorientation of the entire education system in a short period of time, with the process of educating pupils shifting from face-to-face to distance education. The aim was to turn these educational challenges into opportunities for the educational process and its participants (children, parents, educators), for the physical and mental health, safety and learning success of students. I am glad that the primary school teachers managed to organise the events “STEAM I Create for Lithuania”, “In the Light of the Christmas Tree:”, “Užgavėnės” “Lithuania. Lithuania. Lithuania” and bring together the whole primary school community. Pupils actively participated in various competitions and became laureates and winners. Participants had the opportunity to hear the “Lithuania. Lithuania. Lithuania” winners and delighted the participants with their beautiful performances. Teachers and pupils participated in distance learning activities: the Children’s Book of the Year election, the School Economics lesson, the play “Labas, Lape”, and “Learning from Cinema”. The pupils also met children’s writers Jolita Zykute, Evelina Daciute, Tomas Dirgėla and folk artist Egle Vindašienė.

Dr. Edita Vainienė, Deputy Director for Education and Senior Teacher of English, gave a presentation on “The Realities of Distance Education in Projects and REFLECTUS”. Aleksandras Pushkin Gymnasium in Kaunas is currently involved in the following projects:
Erasmus+ KA2 No. 2018-1-TR01-KA229-058411_4 “Bir Resim Yap, Adi Baris Olsun/ Draw a Picture, Call it Peace”; Erasmus+ KA2 No. 2018-1-SK01-KA229-046401_2 “Learning and teaching without limits”; Erasmus+ No. 2020-1-SK01-KA229-078237_4 “My your Smart School”; Erasmus+ Nr. 2020-1-IT02-KA229-079132_3 “Let’s Explore our Cultural Heritage”; Erasmus+ No. 2020-1LT01-KA101-077629 project “Developing Intercultural Competence of Teachers and Pupils in a Multicultural Gymnasium”. Publicity is therefore one of the main focuses of projects. This is important because it raises the profile of the Gymnasium and the project, improves its image, raises the profile of the EU Erasmus+ programme itself, and opens up opportunities to find new partners and carry out new projects. She highlighted the dissemination of the project and identified the eTwinning platform as one of the most attractive and, in distance education, one of the most effective digital platforms, which opens up a huge number of opportunities for carrying out projects, taking part in projects developed by others or simply finding like-minded people for both short-term and joint, integrated activities. The community of Aleksandras Pushkin Gymnasium in Kaunas is learning to reflect using the online reflection system Reflectus. It is designed to make it easier for both students and teachers to discuss the feelings that arise in a lesson, to explore goals and objectives, and to make data-driven decisions when analysing data.

Deputy Director Marija Daunorienė pointed out that the personal progress of a student is very important in education. “Our aim is to help the student to know himself, to observe, reflect on and manage his learning, to understand his strengths and weaknesses, and to set learning goals.” Ms Daunorienė has a classroom and therefore practically demonstrated what forms are filled in and when the pupil and teachers have to fill in the information about the pupil. By filling in the progress chart, the pupil not only sees how he/she evaluates himself/herself, but also how the teachers evaluate him/her, as well as the change after each month.

We are happy that although distance education has been and is currently full of challenges, our gymnasium teachers are working successfully, helping each other, solving various problems, finding solutions and being able to implement the content of education despite the fact that they have to work in a mixed mode.

Dr. Edita Vainienė, Deputy Director of Kaunas Aleksandras Pushkinas Gymnasium