With schools closed and millions of children home during the COVID-19 outbreak, communities everywhere are faced with the challenge of ensuring that their children can continue learning. Yandex has over thirty educational programs spanning from early education to graduate-level courses. We are excited to apply our thirteen years of expertise in this field to help families navigate the challenges of homeschooling. Together with the Center for Pedagogical Excellence in Moscow, we created a free online education platform, Yandex.School, to help students, teachers, and parents follow the school curriculum from their desktops and smartphones at home.
Yandex.School provides free access to online lessons for grades 5-11 and tools for recording and sharing classes for first through fourth graders. Yandex.School is available in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. Our online school is in session during regular school hours and adheres to the state curriculum, providing a sense of normalcy during the pandemic.
We invited educators from some of the most respected schools in Moscow to help us create and deliver online lessons. Many of the teachers have authored textbooks and are seen as the foremost experts in their field. We are very grateful to the more than one hundred of them for their quick response, collaboration, and commitment to ensuring that learning remains a priority during the pandemic.
“Even in these difficult times, it is important for children to have an opportunity to learn,” says Elena Bunina, General Director of Yandex in Russia. “Even if they can’t attend school in person, they should still be able to learn at home. In order to bring a complete learning environment home for millions of children, we created the Yandex.School. Thanks to our cooperation with the Center for Pedagogical Excellence (CPE) in Moscow, we managed to launch our online school in record time. Yandex provided the necessary infrastructure and educational services to our partners at CPE to create the first lessons. While there’s currently a great demand for services like Yandex.School, we also look forward to supporting traditional education with this platform once the children can to go back to school.”
During the first month of Yandex.School, we were thrilled to see that students viewed our lessons over three million times and that peak usage was over 40,000 students participating simultaneously in online lessons. In addition, over 20,000 new teachers joined our education platform in the first week since the shelter-in-place order was issued. We look forward to welcoming even more students and teachers in the months to come!
Learning at Home for Grades 5-11 with Yandex.School
We designed Yandex.School to provide continuity for millions of Russian students now learning from home. During the regular school hours of 9:00 am-2:00 pm across all of Russia’s eleven time zones, we stream live lessons on more than a dozen different subjects. The lessons follow the national school curriculum and range from algebra and geometry to social studies and physics. Beyond the regular curriculum, we also designed state exam prep lessons for 9th and 11th graders.
Our video lessons are organized by grade so that the students can follow the same material that they would be learning in school. At the end of every school day, lessons are uploaded to Yandex.School. If students miss a live lesson or want to revisit a class, they can access all the video courses on-demand. For students who wish to prepare for the week ahead, we upload weekly lesson plans just before the school week starts.
The flexibility of Yandex.School allows teachers to use the program in whatever way best suits the progress of their students. Teachers can use Yandex.School as a single resource or incorporate it into other remote learning programs. Schools and teachers conducting remote lessons using other platforms can selectively add certain Yandex.School lessons into their lesson plan or utilise the interactive homework assignments. Yandex.School can also serve as a temporary remote learning platform while schools move their classes online.
Yandex Resources for Teaching Younger Students in Grades 1-4
For primary school-age children, we introduced broadcasting tools on Yandex.School. The tools allow teachers of grades 1-4 to plan and record their lessons, which children can then watch online. Teachers can use these tools to continue teaching their curriculum by moving their lesson plans onto our platform. Yandex.School also offers live, interactive text chats to allow teachers to engage with students in real-time. Students and teachers can share images and videos via the chat function to supplement the lessons with additional visuals and explanations. Yandex.School also offers over 50,000 entertaining and informative assignments that students can work on remotely. Parents also can use these activities separately from the teachers.
Supporting Families in the Months to Come
Yandex.School is a great tool to help students and teachers adapt, while also aiming to give families a sense of normalcy during these challenging times. In addition to assisting children in sticking to a routine, this platform provides easy and intuitive ways for parents to monitor and manage their children’s studies.
We are very appreciative of our academic partners and the teachers who helped create Yandex.School. We wish all of our students and teachers happy and fruitful learning in their new online classrooms!
Check out Yandex.School (in Russian) to learn more.