It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic brought unimaginable challenges to education. Technical schools were especially impacted given the strong in-person component of workshops, plus the hands-on approach to technology and equipment.
Like most schools around the world, Tenaris’s Roberto Rocca Technical School in Campana, Argentina, was forced rethink and implement new processes in order to continue the academic year, which had just started when the pandemic hit in March 2020 and its 430 students were forced to study from home. Today, they are excited to go back to their regular in-person schedule and want to capitalize on all that they've learned during the last two years.
"If we thought sitting down in front of a blackboard for eight hours was bad, listening to an ever-lasting Zoom lesson was even worse. We had to come up with new solutions."
Ludovico Grillo, Headmaster of Roberto Rocca Technical School in Campana
Since its opening in 2013, one of the goals of the Roberto Rocca Technical School has been to explore new ways of teaching and learning. “We’ve worked to abandon that old model where students passively listen to a lesson, and we had to understand how to continue to do this when online learning was the only option. If we thought sitting down in front of a blackboard for eight hours was bad, listening to an ever-lasting Zoom lesson was even worse. We had to come up with new solutions,” says Ludovico Grillo, Headmaster of Roberto Rocca Technical School in Campana.
During the pandemic, the school staff came together to develop new ways to connect, teach and learn, and to lend a helping hand to those in need. “The pandemic truly tested us. It made us reconnect with our mission in a whole new way. We designed a schedule that mixed live online classes and asynchronous spaces, plus online clubs, so that the kids could keep learning and stay connected. Now that we are adopting this new normal, we don’t want to leave all those lessons behind; we want to take them to the text level,” explains Grillo.
A perfect example of this innovative approach is the recently launched project to redesign the classrooms into different theme nodes, “We will have a node about nature and sustainability, another one about technology, another about social responsibilities and so on. In this way, students will interact with the different subjects in those nodes and there will come a time when kids will not even have a fixed schedule, but they will work on flexible projects instead, alternating moments of concentration and studying, with moments of social exchange with their partners and moments of feedback with professors. It will completely change the school logic we know today,” describes Grillo, and highlights thet the goal of this new layout is to foster teamwork and experimental learning. “We are always encouraging project-based learning and hands-on experiences. This way, the kids remain active throughout the learning process: they try new things, sketch, build, and dismantle. It’s a completely different approach to the classic classroom,” explains Grillo.
Learn more about the Roberto Rocca Technical Schools network.