Distance Learning Adventure of the European School
Focused on meeting students’ needs in unprecedented reality, the European School managed to build a strong Distance Learning Program in a very short period of time. The European School team managed to proactively mediate challenges, estimate possible difficulties ahead, to create clear plans and make correct decisions helped the transition process to run smoothly.
The European School teachers who use every opportunity to innovate and integrate new technological capacities in teaching, approached online teaching with the spirit of a learners and adventurers who are open to do things differently. Although distance learning is different and takes time to master well, teachers’ enthusiasm, continuous professional development sessions offered by the school and lesson observations focused on refining the online teaching made it possible to retain a sustainable high quality of teaching. Teachers use multiple learning resources provided by IB organization, the CIS and other reputable educational organizations. They share resources, experience and practices with colleagues to make online learning even more engaging and interesting.
During the preparatory week, a vital first step was to define what our distance learning program will look like. The ES team decided to hold synchronous classes that would mainly correspond to a normal school day. The school selected several highly effective software solutions to meet the needs of different academic programs. Microsoft learning platforms, Google Hangouts and other effective mechanisms were applied to host a real-time distance classes.
From the beginning, the ES determined the policies and procedures by which the school was planning to run its distance learning program. The school put the emphasis on security risk management, developed security instruments and new tools of security management and mitigation which guarantee the availability of services and processes with higher quality.
To troubleshoot technical issues the ES formed Technical Support Team. The team of high professionals provides learners, teachers, and parents with instant technical support. Their assistance allow us to learn and teach without any technical barriers. The other school services are also available online. The psychologists provide our students to promote well-being and needed support in these exceptional times. They are having scheduled and unscheduled sessions with students and teachers to reduce stress and manage effectively difficulties associated with online learning; The ES library equips students with its online learning resources: JSTOR, Britannica, Learning A-Z and etc. Students who fall behind in learning are offered additional online classes provided by the Student Support Centre.
The ES started Innovation Days recently. Within the framework of the “Innovation Days”, students attend the workshops of innovative startups; they are involved in exciting team activities, where they work on real challenges in the world. The school is planning to offer other interesting extracurricular activities to its students in the coming months.
As the Distance Learning Program is quite new, the school actively seeks feedback from stakeholders. The ES parents receive surveys and share their opinion and suggestions about online classes. They have an opportunity to attend parents meetings online, receive important information and give feedback.
The ES shares its resources and practices with the broader community. Very popular video-lessons in literacy and reading hours provided by our school are available for other learners as well.
The ES makes a great effort to make the Online Learning Program stronger and attractive for learners.
The ES makes a great effort to trigger the Online Learning Program stronger and attractive for the learners. In the nearest future, to improve the quality of distance learning and further develop online teaching methodology, it is planned to introduce several virtual classrooms, laboratories equipped with the latest technologies adjusted to online education.
The ES with its strategies, practices, classrooms and educational systems connected to online learning proved to be a leader in educational innovation and improvement.
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