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Webinar Shares Virtual Best Practices in East and Southeast Asia

Posted 30 November 2020 in EMpower News, Grantee Partner News   |   Share

In October, EMpower’s East and South East Asia Programs team organized a two-webinar series ‘Bring Programs Online’ with 10 grantee partners throughout the region. These webinars provided a space for partners to share their online tools, best practices, and learnings from shifting to virtual programming. This webinar provided the partners with an important time to exchange challenges and lessons from navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, there were many great solutions that partners found when navigating virtual programs. Key takeaways from the webinar highlight the resiliency and innovation of our partners. Learn more about the solutions grantee partners have identified to address the digital classroom below!

Partners are creative in dealing with young people’s limited or complete lack of access to internet, data plans and devices.

  • Solutions our partners have found include buying phones for selected young people and/or data plans as well as more laptops for young people to access at grantee partners’ offices. Some partners also lend laptops to young people, Many partners also noticed that young people are more likely to have access to a phone than to a computer, so they have developed programs that can be used on a telephone.
  • In remote and rural areas, with very low connectivity partners often rely on peer groups and/or ask older young people to mentor younger ones. They also intentionally engage a peer group around one or two phones: not only to help young people with no phones and/or data access online programming but also to simultaneously re-create a sense of belonging as in-person sessions are hard to replace and many young people feel lost without face-to-face interactions.

Partners rely on a variety of methods to make their online programming innovative and effective.

  • Solutions our partners have found include using video calls and live sessions as much as possible and strive to make them as interactive as possible with polls, chat (Q&A) and screen sharing functions.

Partners have come up with a variety of strategies to keep students motivated and engaged with their new online programming.

  • Solutions our partners have found include regular check-ins and needs assessments with young people to be able to react appropriately to the quickly changing needs of young people in these hard times.

Partners adopted various techniques to make online learning as engaging and fun as in-person learning, and also use methods that could be considered “old school” in this virtual COVID-19 world but that prove to be effective.

  • Solutions our partners have found include incorporating activities like icebreakers, games creation, yoga and meditation into the online program and limiting the overall virtual group size so that sufficient time and attention can still be given to each participant.

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