We can say, this is really a blessing in disguise for ExtraOrdinary Horizons!
Since the Singapore Circuit Breaker (CB) – Phase 1 started on 7 April 2020, the short-term future for ExtraOrdinary Horizons was bleak. This set uncertainty for the gig economy. I was part of it.
Everyone had to comply with the face mask rule, so we live in this masked world. Therefore, I turned to online learning technology, such as Edmodo, Kahoot, Nearpod, ZOOM, so on…
To understand ExtraOrdinary Horizons better, here its profile is below:
“Founded in 2011, ExtraOrdinary Horizons is solely run by Deaf as a niche business, to support employment & entrepreneurship, as well as Deaf Art & Music. At this moment, it is by one-person operation. Our main source of income comes from the public; mostly who learnt Sign Language from us. Since 2011, we’ve brought the social impact to 55,800+ people by promoting deaf awareness to them. Approximately 650 students managed to complete their VGC & Basic Communication Level 1 (in Singapore Sign Language); 230+ students at Level 2, and 34 students at Level 3 (till 2019).”
The challenge I faced is the mask rule that made teaching Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) (when students wear face masks) impossible. The face masks have obstructed most of the learning tasks that revolve around facial expressions in the application of SL syntax.
Initially, I had not tried online learning technology before. I decided to try the (basic) ZOOM tool to conduct my ten-plus free lessons for the public. In the meantime, this helped me better understand the strengths and pitfalls of using ZOOM for my lessons in Singapore Sign Language. Now, I’m really grateful to my student-friends for giving me their utmost faith & support in me.
Then, I decided to pay the one-year licence to use the ZOOM technology for my classes. I opened classes from June to mid-November. Also, I received several requests for private lessons. Yeah, my business became better this time, compared to the previous years.
However, I need to consider my self-care period. I also need to revise and improvise my lesson/content delivery because of the COVID-19 period, and partly thanks to the ACLP program that I applied for this year. I hope to complete this program before CNY 2021.
Now, I hope you can continue giving me your support all the way.
DISCLAIMER: The author of the above article is the director and founder of ExtraOrdinary Horizons. All opinions expressed herein are thus the personal views of contributing individual authors. They are not indicative of any endorsement, political or otherwise, or lack thereof, either on the part of the organisation.