I know some of you are unsure about remote learning and what this means for you and your family. We totally understand there is some uncertainty and some anxiety about this. However, I want to reassure you that we have been preparing for this situation for quite some time.
In fact, as we looked at the world last spring, we began to imagine what might happen if we couldn’t physically open VERSO in August? That’s why we partnered with a wonderful communications consultancy to find out from parents in Bangkok what was working well with online learning in other schools, and what wasn’t.
This research gave us some really valuable insights that we used to start designing VERSO’s own Remote Learning Model. We developed a few prototype ideas and tested these with some of our founding families. Their feedback really helped us to refine our thinking and improve the ideas we had. This became the foundation for our Remote Learning Model. As a design-driven school, this is what we do at VERSO.So, it’s important to recognize that VERSO’s Remote Learning Model has actually been designed with you in mind. Above all else, we want the experience of learning for you and your children to be a positive one - whether it’s at school or at home.
We are fully aware of the different challenges families face. We also believe that learning at home is completely different from learning at school. Unless we design remote learning differently, we will simply try to replicate the regular school day using a computer. This does not work. Indeed, many of the negative experiences students and parents talked about could be connected to this common misconception.
We are conscious of the need to avoid unnecessary screen time and not to ask parents to suddenly take on the role of a teacher. We believe strongly in children becoming independent and self-directed so our remote learning model is designed to support this.
Of course, we want to provide you with structure, and clear guidelines, and flexibility so that schoolwork becomes a positive part of our students’ lives away from campus.
Later today you will receive information from your Loop Leader and our Learning Design Team. We’re confident our Remote Learning Model will feel positive and supportive. We want to use this as an opportunity for our students to see that even when our regular routines are disrupted like this, we can remain positive and optimistic learners.
As learning designers, we’re keen to get your feedback so we can adjust our programs, if necessary. Again, we will be providing you with regular opportunities to do this.
We hope the situation improves sooner rather than later so that we can get everyone back to school safely. But in the meantime, let’s use this time to keep ‘learning’ a positive, healthy, and fulfilling part of our daily lives.
Take care. Stay safe. And we’ll see you soon.
Cameron Fox is the Founding Head of School @ VERSO International School