Students at West Island School, Hong KongSchools will use the Learning Platform to keep parents and students informed of news of anticipated closures and teachers will provide students with tasks and resources for students to complete. School life will continue as normal as possible, with students able to collaborate with each other and with their teachers from home using 21st century learning tools including blogs, forums and wikis within the Learning Platform.
The Hong Kong Schools ‘virtual learning’ plan has been developed in response to the Avian Flu (SARS) outbreak which has previously swept the region. In March 2008, Hong Kong Schools closed without notice in response to the Avian Flu scare. The English Schools Foundation (ESF) reacted quickly to the closures and set their Disaster Plans into action. The 16 ESF Schools used the UniServity Learning Platform to maintain effective communication with parents and students throughout the crisis whilst providing structured and supported work in all areas of the curriculum. Teacher’s notes on the Learning Platform offered parents and children an explanation to the tasks and a clear rubric to establish success criteria.
Phil Stubbs, Director of Education Development, UniServity, Hong Kong, commented “This is the second time in 18 months that Hong Kong schools have been affected by a health related crisis. I am confident that given the successful continuity seen during the Avian Flu scare in 2008, the schools in Hong Kong are even better equipped to deal with the possibility of closures due to Swine Flu. The fact that they are implementing contingency plans now demonstrates their confidence in the use of the cLc Learning Platform to continue teaching and learning. It really speaks highly of the professionalism of the teachers in the English Schools Foundation Schools.
UniServity is liaising closely with schools and educational authorities in the UK and USA to ensure virtual learning plans are in place if any of the 3,000 schools using the UniServity Learning Platform are forced to close.