Coronavirus: So how will lessons be organized remotely?


Coronavirus: So how will lesson be organized remotely?

Following the announcement that all schools are to be closed from Monday in France, Riviera Radio looks at measures announced to allow students to continue their studies and how the will system work.

Firstly, National education in France under the Cned (National Distance Education Center), will make available the “My Class at Home” online platform. The second tool available is called ENT: a computer sharing network specific to each establishment.

For the past week, "establishments have already resorted to more intensive use of their shared digital spaces, and have made dematerialized lesson materials available to students,"

"My class at home"

"My class at home" has two sections - The first offers, from the “Grande section” (last year of nursery school) to the “Terminale” (last year of secondary school), exercises which relate to lessons of the first and second trimesters.

Each day, for a few hours, divided into several sessions, the student can revise the topics already taught. A questionnaire is available making it possible to adapt the exercises to each person's level.

The second part is a "virtual class", where the teacher can teach his or her students by videoconference. Connections are possible by computer, tablet or telephone.

According to the Ministry of Education, the "My classroom at home" platform can now support 15 million simultaneous connections. It has already been used by around 2,000 students from French high schools in Asia (mainly in China) for several weeks.

Digital workspaces

The other tool available is called ENT (Digital Workspaces), a computer sharing network specific to each establishment. Students and teachers can exchange lessons, exercises and messages.

While the above covers students from the last year of nursery to the last year of secondary the education minister has added that “they are currently working on a system to meet the needs of younger pupils for the “petite section” and “moyen section” (first and second year of nursery school).

The education minister concluded that "Each teacher decides on the tools he or she uses" and how they arranges them, the idea being to alternate work in autonomy (exercises) and supported work (virtual class)”.

Meanwhile Frédéric Marchand, general secretary of the Unsa-Education union pointed out that "There will be many sections where the student will be independent" or, for the youngest, with their parents. The system is obviously based on the goodwill of students and parents, as teachers cannot force them to do the exercises or attend the "virtual class".

In addition, the exercises "only allow to revise", according to Francette Popineau, co-secretary general and spokesperson for the SNUipp-FSU union (primary). "To tackle new concepts, we need educational support that cannot be asked of families. They do not have the skill, patience or availability" she adds, warning of a risk "of increasing Social inequalities".

“Teachers must be trained in software, and either way, nothing can replace the physical presence of a teacher in the classroom”, continues Francette Popineau: "It is the support, the interactions with friends, the life of a class that makes us learn."

These devices can therefore only be temporary. "It should not last too long, especially for classes that have exams at the end of the year," explains Frédérique Rolet, co-secretary general of Snes-FSU (secondary).

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