Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.
At Stonehill, a shift towards distance learning begins with a consideration of how we can intentionally align learning engagements with our school, mission, vision and guiding statements.
Increasingly, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting more and more places around the world -- Italy, India and Brazil most recently closing its doors and moving into alternative learning spaces. The WHO Director General just this week declaring it as a pandemic. If your school is likely to close but hasn’t yet, make good use of your time with your school community to make sure that everybody is ready. As we are all learning and seeing, school directives can happen without very much notice.
Deliberately using the term remote and distance learning rather than technology-specific labels such as “virtual learning days,” “e-learning,” or “online classes” is a choice that reflects our Stonehill values and principles -- learning can occur at a distance without solely relying on digital devices and being tied to a screen.
Speaking of technology. Now, while we might not use technology-specific labels, it has been a key player in our approach to distance learning. We can leverage digital and experiential learning in ways that bring the curriculum to life -- even when we are off-campus. Earlier this week, I was with staff and faculty from both divisions of our school. With our Language B teachers, we explored alternatives [Zoom and Google Meet] to conducting Lang B orals in case of a coronavirus emergency. In addition, to Zoom and Google Meet/Chat, our Primary faculty explored Seesaw and Google Classroom.
I'll drop a Tech Tools blog post later in the week. Stay tuned.
Look after yourself and each other.
As we moved remotely, the message to staff and faculty was clear -- find ways to keep the day as normal as possible:
As always, stay in touch. Share your ideas in the comments.