Among local learning institutions, the reaction to Covid-19 ranges from simply closing the doors, to a seat-of-the-pants attempt to go online, all the way to a tech-savvy, energetic migration to the internet.
Vancouver Language Centre in Guadalajara is a school with a history of about two decades, a long-established method, a curriculum based on books, and class sizes of two to 10. Last week, about halfway into the one-month class period, teachers and staff met and decided to let teachers try to move their classes online, using whatever platform they were comfortable with.
“So far, I’ve had one private student go online,” said VLC teacher Brett Pugh, from Alabama. “We had an hour-long video-audio class using WhatsApp on our cell phones. I bought a stand for my phone – a ring you stick to the back of it – and used a small white erase board, markers, and the book. I set up the phone first and didn’t have to keep moving it. It went well,” he said, adding that he was not sure yet how payment from the student to the school or from the school to him would work. But the school’s administrator explained that a system is in place in both situations. Students pay by credit card or to the school’s bank account, either online or by walking in to the bank, she said.