Informal uses of digital media played an important role in boosting students, teachers and parents with a bit of human contact, and additional motivation to connect and learn during the pandemic.
Classes in some countries have been run through WhatsApp, primarily because this was one platform most students and families had access to, and were used to using in their everyday lives.
Elsewhere, teachers have set up virtual BitMoji classrooms featuring colourful backdrops and cartoon avatars of themselves. These spaces act as a friendly online version of their familiar classroom space for students to check in and find out what they should be learning, access resources and temporarily feel they were back at school.
Some teachers have worked out creative ways of Zoom-based teaching. These stretch beyond the streamed lecture format and include live demonstrations, experiments, and live music and pottery workshops.