To limit the spread of  the COVID-19 epidemic, the French President announced a new national lockdown, which applied on Friday, October 30, 2020. Higher education schools must once again restrict access to their campuses. Here is how the ARTFX school is getting organized to ensure the continuity of teaching and guard against feelings of social isolation amongst  students.

Digital tools and remote access to workstations

During the first lockdown, decreed in March 2020, the students of the Montpellier ARTFX campus continued their learning remotely thanks to the mobilization of the teaching team and the provision of digital tools facilitating remote collaboration.

“Flipped classrooms”, a pedagogical methodology which has been in place at ARTFX for several years, has enabled a smooth transition from face-to-face teaching to remote learning, since this was already common practice. ARTFX students have access to a web platform that is regularly enriched by the teachers, through which  they can begin learning before putting it into practice in workshops. In short, confinement only accelerates the use of this pedagogy, which makes students actors of their learning.

Fifth-year students, working in teams on their final-year projects, could control  the school’s computers remotely – those machines are designed for the intensive calculations required to work with digital images. This allowed the films of the 2019 – 2020 graduating class to be  released on time and to be screened, as they have been every year, by a jury of professionals.

This remote learning system, which had been perfected over the last few months in anticipation of a new sanitary crisis, has just been reactivated. It benefits not only Montpellier students but also those from the Paris – Enghien-les-Bains and Lille – Plaine images campuses, which opened in October 2020.

What’s more, to combat the “digital divide”, this time the government has authorized schools to open their computer rooms to students who do not have the equipment or connections they need to continue their studies.

Finally, some software publishers are allowing ARTFX students to access their software from their personal computers during the time of confinement: amongst them are Toon Boom, The Foundry (Nuke) and SideFX (houdini). ARTFX thanks them and is continuing discussions with the other partners.

Online extracurricular activities

Finally, because confinement is also a personal challenge for ARTFX students, who find themselves isolated from family and friends, the school has set up online extra-curricular activities to allow them to stay in touch with them: board game nights, sculpt off, speed painting, draw in your style challenge…

“School is a place for learning, but also a place for living and socializing,” explained Carine Poussou, Educational Director at ARTFX. “Remote learning tools will no doubt be perpetuated, but they will never replace the exchanges and interactions that take place on campus. Continuing to maintain this connection during confinement is our challenge today!”

Constraints have always been used as a creative engine. The first confinement was no exception to the rule, as the magnificent trailer produced in March by Jules Rebuffat, one of the ARTFX students, can attest. To be sure, the second confinement will, also be a creative one.  

The show must go on… courage to all 💪

Confinement also forced ARTFX to review the format of its Open Days, which each year allow high school students to discover the school, its teaching methodologie and its campuses. The next Open Day will therefore take place online on November 28th.