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Construction teacher holds online classes for students by renovating his bungalow

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 June 2020

Havering Colleges construction teacher Alan Burgess is giving his students live, interactive online lessons by renovating his bungalow. Picture: Alan Burgess

Havering Colleges construction teacher Alan Burgess is giving his students live, interactive online lessons by renovating his bungalow. Picture: Alan Burgess

Alan Burgess

Havering Colleges construction teacher Alan Burgess is giving his students live, interactive online lessons by renovating his bungalow.

Havering College Alan BurgessHavering College Alan Burgess

Alan has turned his home into a construction site as he undertakes structural, flooring, roofing and plumbing work while students on the construction & the built environment course have been watching, answering questions and offering solutions to him via laptop video links.

The course is normally carried out at the Rainham campus.

Alan, senior curriculum manager for construction, said: “I was going to refurbish our home anyway, but I have brought it all forward so that I could give the students the chance to see work in progress while they can’t get into college. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss!

“I have been removing walls, the odd structural support and ceilings, as well as carrying out electrical and plumbing work, and the students have been able to see it all from their homes.”

He added: “They have been able to learn about real-life unexpected problems and we are able to talk through as a class how these issues can be solved.

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“They risk-assess the work due to take place and then come back online the following day to see the work happening according to their instructions.

“I have had excellent attendance from the students and they are really engaging with the sessions.

“With the improvements in mobile and online technology, students can be remote but at the same time up close and connected with each other and the tutor.

“We have to think of the positives in situations like this and thankfully I have a very understanding partner who was happy for me to knock down walls in our home during the lockdown!”

Student Dominykas Gzimaila said: “This online learning has kept us all focused and Alan offers support whenever we need it.

“It’s crazy what he has done to his house for us, but it’s only what we would expect from him.

“The examples we are getting are ‘real’ and it shows us what is possible.

“Before lockdown we had never had distanced online teaching and learning, but it was all set up so quickly and now it has become normal. We are able to ask questions and chat with each other and in some ways we are becoming better listeners.” 


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