We are moving to a “distance learning” model not an “online learning” format. Distance learning takes the same pedagogical approaches as normal classroom learning and moves them to an online platform. Distance learning involves some level of live, synchronous learning experiences, while online learning does not necessarily include a cohort of peers or follow a school-like schedule. Clearly a distance learning approach best approximates our normal learning experience, although a mix of the two is our aim. We will use synchronous as well as asynchronous teaching and learning strategies.
Synchronous Teaching and Learning
Synchronous teaching and learning requires students to be simultaneously logged into the virtual classroom at the same time as their teacher and classmates. Synchronous sessions are also referred to as live meetings. During these meetings, students will need to have internet access and an internet-enabled device with a camera and microphone. Earbuds or headsets are recommended. The live meeting app for remote learning will be Microsoft Live in the Upper School, and the Lower School will use a combination of Live and Zoom. When students log in to a live class, they are expected to be on camera and able to participate through audio for the duration of the class meeting. Students can unmute and mute themselves throughout class to make contributions according to the teacher’s expectations. If students are unable to participate in a live meeting, the teacher will post the recording for future viewing.
Asynchronous Teaching and Learning
Asynchronous is the term used for course materials that teachers have prepared for students ahead of time. Students engage with class materials and complete work at their own pace, typically within a given timeframe, often using discussion boards to drive peer-to-peer engagement.
Students will spend the majority of their time with the asynchronous course content to prepare for and supplement their time in live sessions. Since students have access to this content 24/7, they can view and complete the material when it fits their schedule. Students will need internet access and should use their school computer. Course material will be designed to be flexible and can be accessed through mobile devices when appropriate.
We will calibrate this balance of synchronous, live meetings between teacher and classes with asynchronous, self-paced assignments as we get feedback from all constituents. We will have formal opportunities to hear from teachers, students, and parents to identify adjustments quickly to ensure the best mode of delivering our curriculum, ensuring healthy social interactions, and with sensitivity to the efforts of our parent-partners.