20 Mar Techtorium IT Institute sends learners home to learn
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Techtorium NZIIT has successfully delivered its first week of “Connect Days” to its entire full-time student cohort. As of Monday, all full time Techtorium students were advised to “learn from home” in a remote learning environment to ensure their safety, and the safety of the wider community.
Utilising the Zoom Platform, Techtorium NZIIT has been able to continue delivering its IT Diploma courses via “Connect Days”. The Zoom platform, with its secure video communication, enables Techtorium trainers to work in an online, hybrid classroom, while still maintaining quality in their delivery. The Zoom Video conferencing platform has seen an increased demand since the Coronavirus pandemic with its shares increasing by over 70% this year alone.
One of our trainers Lyall Johnson explains “We started doing Connect Days once a week in 2016 to alleviate travel costs for our students while still delivering our courses. By allowing us to easily have students and trainers interact during teaching hours, Zoom has helped to create a situation where running a digital class is not too different from running a class on campus. As the situation with COVID-19 has evolved we knew we needed to take decisive action. We had the means, so we took this step for the safety of our students, their whanau and their communities.”
Techtorium NZIIT, an NZQA Category 1 IT institute, employs close to 40 staff, and has over 215 fulltime students. The institute, focussed on training Cloud and Software Engineers, has been delivering some classes in a remote format for some time now. “Connect Days” are the new breed of teaching, a style that is being successfully delivered to all the Techtorium full time student base, and one that should be considered by all education providers in New Zealand. The decision to initiate the “Connect Days” was made by CEO Jan Hutchinson in response to the uncertainties around the COVID-19 spread. “We have been offering an innovative learning environment since 2015, Connect Days, being offered since 2016 are an integral part of this. Moving fully to Connect Days until things settle down with COVID-19 enables us to keep up the educational momentum with our students. To be honest the transition has been very smooth and all indicators tell us that attendance and engagement is still very high.”
Connect Days however are not just for students. As a Tech Company, Techtorium also uses Connect Days for staff, enabling them to work from anywhere on or off campus including their homes. Initially part of the disaster relief plan in the wake of the Christchurch Earthquakes, staff have been able to work remotely for a few years. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, immune compromised staff have already been working from home for a week and next week will see all staff working offsite for a day to ensure ‘business as usual’ in the event that this may be required in the future.
We will review the necessity for full Connect Days for their students late April.