In Bulgaria the training activities with students and parents were organized online in March and April 2020. The trainers prepared the presentations and resources carefully as the meetings were online and we had to work out all aspects – links, materials, videos, interactive methods and approaches to involve the participants beyond the webinars. Therefore, we also included online held quiz in Kahoot and storytelling techniques during the meetings. Furthermore, after each session we sent a list of links to useful articles, videos (in Bulgarian and English) as well as other materials relevant to the topic.
We decided to use MS Teams for interaction sessions with teens as they got used to the software during the distance learning. For the sessions with parents and mixed sessions we used Zoom. It was an easy and friendly way to involve more people online. Both tools allow screen sharing, sharing of a presentation as well as video connection for the Q&A sessions and discussions.
For training materials we also used a few examples of fake news connected to the topic of Covid-19 which was accepted very well and proved as a useful way to build participants resilience to disinformation during the Covid pandemic.
Despite the changes we had to introduce last minute due to COVID-19 our experience with the training activities was very positive. Our assessment is that we reached planned learning outcomes for participants. Not everything went smoothly. Our first meeting on Zoom was challenging as some of the people used the platform for the first time. To be honest, all of us had to get used to meet, interact and discuss online. The good thing was that the webinars allowed us to include people from various places as during the lockdown some of the families went to the countryside.
There were interesting discussions during each session sparked by the curiosity of both the teens and the parents. The families’ projects presented at the end of the training were creative and competitive so it was really difficult to decide the winner.
All participants were satisfied to be able to participate in such a useful and up to date training. The feedback of the young people and their parents in the post-training survey was positive and really important for us. We are happy to share some of their comments:
“Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this project. Now I realized that we all have to check the information flow and use the social media with care. Working on the project with my son was a great experience! Keep up the good work!”
“Taking part in this online training was the most enjoyable and meaningful way to spend my spring holiday during the lockdown. Thanks a lot! And I scored over my mum in the Kahoot game!”
Text and photo: Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation (GLBF)