How to implement remote learning – with speed
Brett Butler, Sales Engineering Director – Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Avaya
As a few news commentators have recently observed, it looks like the coronavirus pandemic is going to get a little worse before it gets better. We’ve been doing all we can to help the amazing efforts being taken by governments, healthcare organisations and businesses to address the challenges associated with COVID-19, but there’s no doubting that we’re in this for at least the medium term.
What’s incredible about this fact is just how quickly we’ve gotten to where we are. Just six weeks ago, there was concern, of course, but now travel bans and business closures are the norm. Equally incredible, however, is the ability of people and organisations to quickly react to the situation.
Take Charter College International High School, a leading independent school in Johannesburg, as an example. A couple of weeks ago, they took the decision to move classrooms online with Avaya Spaces, the cloud-based collaboration solution. This followed a directive from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who ordered schools across the country to be closed until after Easter weekend, and is intended to enable continued learning for students.
As school principal Alison Dodge said, the first priority is the safety of students, and the second is ensuring students continue receiving a top education. Avaya Spaces helps Charter College address both of those priorities.
As things stand, South African schools may be closed for a while longer than the Easter weekend, but this school will be prepared. Teachers are building digital classrooms, setting up virtual learning ‘spaces’ for each class they teach, delivering video-based lessons while also setting assignments for and following up with individual students.
The app also provides an easy way for parents to keep in touch with school administrators and teachers on the progress of their children’s education.
What’s most impressive, however, is not the fact that Charter College has moved to remote learning – it joins a growing list of education institutions worldwide that have made this move – but the speed with which remote learning was rolled out. I spent one morning with teachers showing them the ins and outs of Avaya Spaces, and they were off like a rocket. Of course, the app is super-easy to use, but Charter College succeeded because they also had a great clarity of vision about what they wanted to achieve with it. Avaya was simply there to show them the ropes.
We’re all hoping for as quick and painless an end to the COVID-19 pandemic as possible. In the meantime, though, we’ll help organisations however we can – with speed if necessary.