In previous weeks my colleagues from other departments have described in an outstanding way the challenges and opportunities of teaching during the pandemic, as well as the different technologies that we have all been implementing. Just like them, we have been adjusting to working both in a synchronous and in an asynchronous way. You can find examples of the type of work that we have been doing here below. 

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As we are finishing this first half of the year, most of which took place in a virtual setting, the question that the teachers in the Business and Economics Department are asking ourselves is: how do we keep our students wanting to come to our online lessons? 

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We think that the answers can mainly be found at two different levels.

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The first level is that of social connection. Our students enjoy interacting with their classmates in a classroom-like situation, and this is where technology comes to our help. With the use of platforms such as Zoom, Kognity or Miro, they are able to have live debates, to compete in `knowledge battles` or simultaneously collaborate on a project. 

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The second level is the one related to interest. More than ever, we are articulating the topics from our different syllabi to issues that are relevant to them. 

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`Playtime! ` is the general topic chosen for the PBL in Y10 Entrepreneurial Economics. Although this topic was chosen some time before the covid-19 pandemic, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Since we are all struggling with a mandatory quarantine, it was quite easy for our students to think of a new good or service to keep people entertained. And because this year we are fortunate to work interdisciplinary with the ITGS department, our students can now not just design but also bring to life toys, board games and apps. 

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In IB Business  the covid-19 crisis gave us the opportunity to think about how companies innovate and lead in times of a crisis, using real-life examples –many times suggested by the same students- of companies reallocating their priorities: changing the product they offer, their target market, their distribution or some other processes.  Students have also been applying decision-making tools such as Lewin's Force Field Analysis to decisions close to their hearts, such as if secondary schools should offer at least part of their program in a virtual setting after the pandemic is over.

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In IB Economics some of our students were about to start their macroeconomics internal assessment when the crisis started, so they had the opportunity to analyze in detail the policies that different governments around the world have adopted to try to mitigate the negative consequences of the lockdown. And at the beginning of the pandemic they were also able to graphically analyze the increase in the price of some goods such as alcohol or surgical face masks, using the microeconomics concepts of demand and supply. 

All these examples lead us to believe that our students don’t just come to our lessons because they have to, but because they have the opportunity to analyze issues that they find relevant to them

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To be very honest, Laura, Martin, Alfonso, Francisco, Nicole, Diego and myself –the teachers in the Business and Economics Department- just like all the other teachers at St Andrew`s, miss our daily interaction with our students. So naturally we take every opportunity to transform our lessons into a very special encounter. Some of us are excellent at creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere, some others at using a sense of humor to spark positive emotions. Others are proficient in using new technology in a playful manner, and yet others excel at bringing new, real-life examples to class. 

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In short, we would like to think that our students are coming to our lessons not just to comply, but because they get to interact with their classmates and teachers, and because they have the chance to think about topics that are significant to them. 

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And also because despite it all, they keep being challenged to work to the best of their ability each and every day, so that they can become the best version of themselves. 

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Cristina Goutmann

Head of Business and Economics Department


Galeria