Learning in Lockdown

How the ETE Team has gone online so our community can keep learning! 

As a result of the COVID19 pandemic and lockdown, our ETE Team quickly realized that they had to move the Wai Yin’s courses online so that our students could continue to learn during lockdown. The team and the tutors all worked together to redesign courses so that they could be delivered through various online platforms, and used emails, texts, telephone and social media to stay connected to the learners and ensure that the team understood what learners needed to continue learning. The team and the tutors used this information to create a new online timetable and to reshape many of their existing projects. 

One of the biggest challenges for learners that the ETE Team identified during this period was the difficulties that many students had with accessing online learning. Many of them lacked the digital knowledge required to get online, others lacked appropriate devices and a large number had very little access to wifi, having previously relied on free public access. Wai Yin has always worked closely with the Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading digital inclusion charity, as an online centre, and this partnership allowed the ETE Team to link up with schemes such as #DevicesDotNow to deliver tablets to our most vulnerable clients. These devices were supplied with three months wifi, apps already downloaded and personal telephone support to get the recipients started. Existing and new funding bids were also adapted to ensure that Wai Yin had devices which learners will be able to borrow to access online learning during the upcoming autumn term.  

To support our learners, the ETE Team ran two online digital skills courses; one for Android devices and one for Apple devices. This separation ensured that learners got the best out of their existing device to help them to navigate the new digital environment. This emphasis on developing digital skills will continue with new courses being offered during the coming autumn term to build learner confidence and skills.  

To make accessing learning simple, and to ensure that learners were matched to the appropriate course, the ETE Team designed a simple online registration process using Microsoft Forms. They advertised courses through social media, including WeChat and Facebook to ensure that existing and new learners were aware of all the available courses. They also used Twitter and email to inform partners and other organisations who might have had potential learners.  

Nearly 150 people registered for Wai Yin online learning during the lockdown period. The ETE Team have decided to continue delivering courses online until Christmas 2020 and are in the process of designing an exciting autumn timetable which includes ESOL, digital skills, health and wellbeing, money management and employment skills. Our Women Together project continues to help BAME women through confidence workshops, art, sewing and gardening courses, and to prepare for work or volunteering through befriending training. People Together will support BAME men and women who have been affected by the COVID19 lockdown to learn the new skills required to get back into work or volunteering.  

Keep a look out for our new autumn term timetable and get signed up to continue your learning journey with Wai Yin’s exciting range of online courses!