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Covid-19: Useful links, fact checking, home-working advice 

Covid-19: Useful links, fact checking, home-working advice

Posted on 20th March 2020 at 10:24am

During these trying times your own situational awareness matters a great deal. Unfortunately, owing to the very nature of this pandemic, there’s no one-size-fits-all common operating picture. However, we suggest starting from macro and working to micro in terms of your own information – here, CRJ Advisory Panel Member Rob Fagan outlines some useful links; our contacts at Helpful Digital provide information on fact-checking; and our in-house teaching expert Claire Sanders provides advice on adults and children working from home.

Useful links from Rob Fagan, USA

One great global resource remains the World Health Organisation (WHO). This site includes rolling updates on multiple topics and training.

For quick individual and organisational updates and/or briefing support I highly recommend the United States’ John Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. This site will give you quick and detailed graphics to check the status of almost every location in the world. Useful data include number of cases, mortality rates, and recovery data.

While listing multiple country indexes would be too numerous here, I will share with you that in the United States one of our important ‘go to’ resources is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Updated almost hourly, this very useful website is applicable to everyone in terms of knowing what to do for prevention lists and guidelines for travel, work, school, etc.

Rooting out misinformation

CRJ’s contacts at Helpful Digital have some really useful resources on how to sort fact from fiction, us all to stay calm and collected in these unprecedented times. Here is a link to a blog on eight things you can do to combat misinformation online - from private messages to mainstream social channels.

Adults and children working from home

As schools are closing left, right and centre, more and more children will be at home during term time for the foreseeable future. It’s important to consider what this means for our children. Their emotions will be running high, they will have dozens of questions and they will probably surprise themselves at how much they miss school. Most schools are working tirelessly to organise work that can be done at home, either through virtual learning environments (VLEs) and/or using exercise and textbooks. Claire Sanders offers her and her teaching colleagues’ advice for parents who will be working at home alongside their children.

If work has been set by your child’s school to do at home, call it ‘schoolwork’ rather than ‘homework’ to distinguish between the two and encourage them to stick to any deadlines given
Establish a daily routine as quickly as possible – it’s often surprising how many children rely on having some rules in place to give a sense of structure, normality and calmness to their day. This also allows you to let children know your plans for the day, whether you have an important call to make or an online meeting to take part in where you need quiet around you
Give children ownership to either stick to their current timetable or create a new one together, building in break times, lunch time, time to be creative and time for exercise
Each morning ask children what subjects they are going to study that day – this allows for resources to be allocated; if there is only one computer in the house with internet access, have other paper materials on standby as alternatives to avoid arguments
Allow time for answering questions – they will have a lot about why they are at home, when they can go back to school, about exams and so on. Be as honest as you can in your answers
Set up a workspace for each child in your house and encourage them to place things around it that remind them of school – they could still use their school bag for instance, just as they would during lessons
If they ask you for help, try to establish the methods that they have learned at school – turn them into the teacher and ask them to teach you
Be patient – there may well be teething problems at the very beginning with technology and access to resources. Teachers will be on hand to help, but give it time before emailing them and try to find an alternative for the meantime until any glitches can be smoothed out

Online resources that can help include the BBC bitesize website which is full of excellent resources across all subjects for all ages. The Horrible Histories and Horrible Science series are also available to watch online.

Contact us using this link if you have any questions that you’d like answering – we have a community of trusted professionals who are willing to help where they can. Alternatively, click the same link if you have advice or resources that you are happy to offer. 

Claire Sanders, 01/01/2016
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