Was Lockdown a Fast-Track Towards Universal Digitisation?

Keynote
26 August 2020
14:00 - 15:00 hrs (GMT+7)
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On March 19th 2020, as British schools went into lockdown, we took our last train down to London, abruptly ending a 2-year world tour. We frantically up-skilled ourselves through MOOCs, invested in new technologies and embraced new ways of reaching out to our students from challenging backgrounds. 


During the following four months, our lives took place within a single square mile, as we delivered 114 online workshops to 1,074 students across England. For eight years we had relentlessly pushed schools towards a digital revolution, which had now disrupted all processes, overnight. In this presentation, we share and explain our experiences, enriched by the feedback of our stakeholders, as we hectically reinvented our business model. With the usual routes to market blocked, we found new ways to reach out to our students, leveraging their parents’ newly found free time and even involving them as educators. 


We also describe how we converted our frontal teaching workshops into successful online experiences, connecting remote areas of the English countryside, to artists in South-East Asia. We will reflect upon how the lockdown broke down geographical limitations, but also raised unsurmountable barriers to access for the digital illiterates, as well as those economically challenged. We set out to share our failures and successes in the form of a toolkit of best practices, for others to build upon.