Online Education

how are other countries juggling these two systems in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic?

He decided. Jean-Michel Blanquer announced in an interview published in Sunday newspaper (article reserved for subscribers), Sunday, August 22, that level 2 of the school protocol will be used in all operations in France and Corsica beginning of September.

In particular, these rules stipulate a seven-day isolation for unvaccinated middle and high school students who will be identified as contact cases. However, gray areas remain when it comes to the system applied in both distance and face-to-face learning during these few days. It will be “either systems [qui] they allow you to have a remote student see the class, or it’s simply homework and follow-up activities provided by the teacher through digital workspaces“, answered Jean-Michel Blanquer, who has been asking about this topic since August 19.Each facility is a specific case and has its own education continuity plan.added the minister.

Moreover, while primary school classes will be closed as soon as the first case of Covid-19 is identified, alternating face-to-face and distance education remains a challenge. Other countries have faced such equations since the beginning of the health crisis, and sometimes before. From China to the United States, via Quebec, franceinfo will take a short world tour of the answers provided.

Estonia started the digital transition even before the outbreak of the pandemic. In the capital city of Tallinn, schools have had many digital tools and platforms available for several years, especially to ensure the connection between teachers, parents and students who find themselves at a distance.

Before the health crisis, young people were sometimes required to be taught from home. When they were absent due to illness, all they had to do was connect to eKool, an electronic learning platform set up to ensure continuity of teaching, where students can get feedback on their work.

These tools were not used systematically, but very quickly became “essentials“Regarding the pandemic, Laura Limperk-Kütaru, who heads the department of international relations at the Estonian Ministry of Education, told franceinfo. In general, apart from education, the transition to digital technologies in schools is going well. minds and morals:More than 90% of public services are online in Estonia, so today people are used to doing everything online“, Explain Laura Limperk-Kütaru.

“For several years we have been training teachers in the use of digital tools and helping them create online teaching materials.”

Laura Limperk-Kütaru, Director of the Department of International Relations of the Estonian Ministry of Education

on franceinfo

In China, pass face to face distance was not new even for young people. “Pandemic or not, teachers are accustomed to recording their lessons to make them available to students on the platforms“, says franceinfo Yiqing Qi, a journalist in France who spent his entire education in China. The country has a national platform dedicated to educational resources and public service. So everything was ready when around 200 million primary and secondary school students started their online lessons on February 9, 2020, the UNESCO study explains.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in Quebec, hybrid education was chosen as a solution during the pandemic. In certain “red” areas, where the circulation of the virus was strongest, second- and first-year students had to go to school every other day, as explained by Radio-Canada in October 2020. The facility resembles one set up in France. , when an alternation of face-to-face and home courses (with half groups) appeared during the second birth to avoid the complete closure of the facilities.

In Quebec, however, the reflection began even before the health crisis. In 2018, the Ministry of Education launched a digital action plan for the fundamental transformation of the education system. A total of 33 measures were taken to help implement hybrid and online teaching and to purchase the necessary digital equipment.

“The plan provides a number of free online training courses for teachers to support them in this digital transition.”

France Gravelle, professor-researcher in educational management at the University of Quebec in Montreal

on franceinfo

Among these trainings, we can find a webinar in particular, during which the teacher evokes the virtual class she experienced. For the course, which is 100% distance learning, she says she works with three screens: a computer that allows her to communicate with students and send them documents, an interactive whiteboard that allows her to project the course, and a screen in front of her where she sees reactions young people.

Across the Canadian border, in the United States, school closures initiated in mid-March 2020 kept millions of students out of classrooms for months at a time. The situation varied greatly from state to state, sometimes even from region to region. However, seeing millions of children no longer attending school has sparked debate about the accumulated academic delays and psychological consequences of distance education.

To compensate for this lessonthe whole distance“In suppressing the progression of the epidemic, some cities have tried to compromise since the beginning of the 2020 school year, such as in New York, as he said New York Times*. In New Jersey, local station ABC* reported in August 2020, the school board considered hybrid teaching, but had to back off due to the recall of hundreds of teachers who did not want to return to the classroom for fear of the pandemic. Teaching both distance learning and physics, which operates according to half-day, weekly or every other day rotations, is a subject of debate and remains in an experimental phase in the country.

Local initiatives also flourished elsewhere in the country. When they had the means, many American parents tried to bypass public education and bet on learning “learning modules” (educational modules) as an alternative to virtual classrooms. The concept? Bring together children from the same neighborhood in one neighborhood or the other to work with a teacher who could be at a distance.

In the four corners of the planet, the impossibility of providing face-to-face courses in any case has prompted countries to imagine different solutions. Thus, Peru has developed a national distance education program called “Aprendo in casa” (“I learn at home”) designed for kindergartens, elementary and high schools. The aim of this program was to help students across the digital divide through the dissemination of lessons and educational content on public television and radio. However, access to virtual classrooms has not been optimal: many regions located in very remote areas have struggled to get a telephone or internet network, as reported by Amanda Chaparro, a correspondent for Radio France in Peru.

Peruvian students climb a hill trying to catch a signal to access virtual classrooms set up by the government in Manazo district, Peru, July 24, 2020. (CARLOS MAMANI / AFP)

In several African countries, the same approach is preferred, according to a World Bank study. In Kenya, after schools closed in March 2020, a distance learning plan using radio and television was launched. A similar program was strengthened in Sierra Leone after it was implemented during the 2014 Ebola epidemic.

This boom in online education is now allowing some states to consider hybrid education. RThe question is whether this trend will persist even after the health crisis, to take hold in the long term. In early June, Quebec bet on a comeback “100% normal”although the Delta variant could change things, he warns Press.

* These links refer to articles in English.

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