Faced with the coronavirus, National Education is preparing. After the confinement of several students and teachers returning from stays in contaminated areas, the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer spoke on Wednesday, in the case of the spread of the epidemic in France, courses in distance for students.
"If it were to take on greater proportions, we would be able to trigger massive distance education," he guaranteed to France Inter's microphone. The ministry is currently working on a system to be implemented if necessary. Contacted by the Parisian for more details, he had not yet been able to answer our questions Thursday afternoon.
. @ jmblanquer on #restrictions related to #coronavirus in # schools in France: "Around forty students and three adults stay at home now, these are natural precautionary measures" # le79Inter # tweetcorrégé pic.twitter .com / KGzCjzonQv- France Inter (@franceinter) February 26, 2020
According to Jean-Michel Blanquer, these courses would be piloted by the National Center for Distance Education (Cned). They would go through online platforms, with "timetables, per week" and "a set of services to allow continuity of service and education during the time of the crisis", details Michel Reverchon-Billot, director general of Cned , in Les Echos.
Autonomous exercises and virtual classes
Ideally, this system would be based on two ways of teaching at a distance. On the one hand, there would be “a platform on which students connect to go and see the activities that they are asked to do and where they have to do work,” explains Parisian Bruno Devauchelle, former professor at the University de Poitiers, specialist in Information and Communication Techniques in Education (TICE). On the other hand, they could have access to "virtual classes", "which allow 10, 20, 40 or 50 people to connect to a videoconference and use class tools", he continues.
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The teachers are responsible for designing the sessions and learning sequences, while being responsible for showing students how to use these platforms. At the Cned, three types of platforms exist according to the levels of the students: one for those of the big section until CM2, one for the middle school students, and one for the high schools.
But the mixture of independent exercises and distance learning only really works for middle and high school students, says Bruno Duvauchelle. "In primary school, the teaching content and forms imply much more interaction, manual activity," he describes. “We have to consider that families are involved in such a process. In all cases, they must also have computers and reliable Internet connections at home, which is not necessarily a guarantee.
The Cned "not sufficiently armed"
Since February 4, platforms are already open for students from French high schools in China and Vietnam, ensures Cned. "About 2,000 students are affected," said the operator. They have free access to course sequences and exercises in the main disciplines ”.
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These distance learning courses are scheduled for only four weeks. "It can be a palliative, but a lasting response over two, three months ... It is not possible", develops Bruno Devauchelle. “The Cned is not sufficiently armed to meet this demand if it is massive. They can support a scaling up, yes. This would require a very significant reconfiguration of their personnel, ”he adds.
For him, in the long term, a good strategy would be to coordinate the work between establishments, academies, Cned and publishers who have educational resources.
At the local level, distance education is already being organized. In the Hauts-de-Seine, at the Albert-Camus high school in Bois-Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine), four students who left for Italy during the holidays are confined to their homes. "Two of them are in Terminal and the principal promised that the lessons would be scanned and transmitted," said Valérie Marty, local representative of the federation of parents Peep. A less formal way of ensuring educational follow-up.