This article by Leland Anderson was originally published on EdSurge on Mar 20, 2020. It is part of the guide Navigating Uncertain Times: How Schools Can Cope With Coronavirus.
As students left our boarding school in Shenzhen on January 17 for the long-awaited Chinese New Year vacation, none of them expected that an epidemic brewing in Wuhan would spread rapidly across the nation, preventing them from seeing their teachers and friends at school for the foreseeable future.
Some students didn’t even take their books home.
Now, 415 students and scores of teachers are in self-quarantine and haven’t seen each other face-to-face in over 60 days—but, gratefully, they are still interacting and school is progressing.
How did this happen? Simply put, the new coronavirus outbreak caught us unaware.
In fact, approximately 180 million Chinese students are currently engaged in distance education. With varying success, Chinese educators are continuing their teaching through distance education methods and tools.