Remote Teaching and Learning at The English College in Prague during the State of Emergency

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“Conventional classes will return, however, the impact of the online switch will endure. Students and teachers will have experienced a new benchmark of contemporary education: a more interactive, real-time and innovation-oriented learning experience.” Times Higher Education

The English College in Prague is heartened by our community’s extraordinary response to the current COVID-19 situation. In the face of an abrupt school closure mandate, our students and teachers were back in class, learning virtually, in under 48 hours. We held one day of staff training and produced remote teaching and learning guidance for ECP teachers and students, which continues to evolve based on our work with @GoogleForEdu and community feedback. In order to minimise disruption to our curriculum, classes follow their normal timetable, although in Lower School we have reduced lessons by 20% in order to curtail screen time and provide wellbeing programming.  

We have made video and audio connectivity through Google Hangouts and Meet a priority as students have relayed that they appreciate the personal contact with their teachers. Tutors are regularly checking in with their tutor groups, and we get in touch with families if a student is not in their online lessons; pastoral care remains a prerogative. Our teachers are working fastidiously to provide engaging and robust learning experiences that involve student collaboration, real-world application, screencast presentations, etc. We have been speaking to school leaders in Asia and the UK, and we have shared our resources on e-learning and wellbeing on social media in the hopes that they will be of help to others in our global community. 

Both parents and students, via email and a recent survey, have given positive and supportive feedback on our e-learning programme. Some of the anonymous comments are as follows:

What are students of The English College in Prague saying about their current e-learning?

“Teachers giving us as much help as possible.”

“I think the teachers are very understanding and I wanted to mostly thank everyone for doing such a good job at trying to make us feel comfortable during lesson time and out of lesson time.”

“The materials provided by the teachers are easily accessible. Also we can ask a question even if the class is not in progress.”

“Overall, I really like the scheduling that we still have the subjects and we do work. Also the calls are working very well if the microphones are off and only the teacher is talking.”

“Every teacher is open to suggestions how to make things work better and also everyone including students have been trying very hard so far to make things work, so honestly if it continues going at this rate I will not feel that we’ve missed much content.”
Source: Student E-Learning Survey results 18/3/2020

e-Learning Experiences – Expressions of Appreciation from Parents:

“Thank you. Thumbs up for on-line teaching setup! Best regards We keep our fingers crossed.”

“Thank you very much for handling the situation with such a high level of professionalism and human attitude. With deep respect and thanks”

“I was present during a few of the lessons and I was very pleasantly surprised how not just my daughter, but also other students work nicely and responsibly. Let’s cross fingers so that everything returns back to normal as soon as possible. Wishing you good nerves and a lot of strength to all teachers and everyone who forms the wonderful support in the background.”