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Coronavirus: Barking and Dagenham College lecturers embrace tech to keep teaching

PUBLISHED: 17:00 31 March 2020

Food studies lecturer Drew Chipps. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College

Food studies lecturer Drew Chipps. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College

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A college’s staff have turned tech to carry on teaching after the coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut.

Plumbing lecturer Matthew Smith. Picture: Barking and Dagenham CollegePlumbing lecturer Matthew Smith. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College

Teachers at Barking and Dagenham College have stepped up to the challenge of instructing students from a distance by creating their own videos from home.

Andy Duffy, head of digital learning, said: “The lecturers have truly embraced using technology to ensure that students continue learning.

“We’ve seen massively creative ways of teaching students from their own houses, particularly with some of the trades and other vocational, hands-on subjects. The way it’s working is quite simple.”

It involves lecturers continuing to follow their timetables, so if they were meant to be teaching a particular class at 10am they will still go ahead, only virtually.

Plumbing lecturer Matthew Smith. Picture: Barking and Dagenham CollegePlumbing lecturer Matthew Smith. Picture: Barking and Dagenham College

Most of the teachers do this is by using a video conferencing service such as Zoom or Skype. The teachers deliver the lessons via a live video link as usual at the timetabled time.

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Some teachers have chosen to upload work to the class and then follow up with one-to-one video calls after the students have submitted their work to discuss their answers and any questions they may have.

Lecturers who teach vocational subjects, such as catering and plumbing, have also got creative about finding ways to teach their classes remotely.

Plumbing lecturer Matthew Smith has used his own house as a plumbing workshop, filming himself doing tasks around his own home.

And food studies lecturer Drew Chipps has been making recipes from what he’s found in his own kitchen cupboards.

Drew even enlisted the help of his eight-year-old daughter Emily to record a video of how to make a basic pasta sauce on the first day after all schools and colleges closed on Friday, March 20.

As the time has progressed, he’s been perfecting his videoing technique and recording more complex recipes.

Long before the coronavirus, the college was already set up for online learning.

For many years staff and students have had a virtual learning environment and, for all their courses, they do what is called “blended learning” which is a combination of traditional face-to-face and remote learning using Google Classroom.


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