As a school already well established in online learning and technology, OneSchool Global (OSG) was in a strong position to adapt and change when the pandemic hit.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has flipped the 2020 school year on its head – in classrooms in Australia and around the world.
Our primary goal was to minimise disruption to education and to – most importantly – ensure our kids were able to continue their learning at home in a safe environment.
Across the globe in most campuses, OSG was fortunate to be able to transition to remote learning without losing a day of teaching.
At OSG, we make no secret of the fact that technology in our schools is a major enabler of learning, and we take a very proactive approach to providing opportunities for using it.
For a long time now, OSG teachers have been facilitating learning through Zoom and Canvas across multiple campuses and geographic boundaries.
We have found embracing these innovative tools deliver the best possible learning outcomes for our students.
That technology is underpinned with OSG’s self-directed learning framework, through which students take ownership of their learning.
Together, the technology and learning approach meant OSG teachers were well-equipped to guide students through the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Now of course that does not mean the COVID-transition to remote learning was completely without challenge.
However, beyond the curriculum, students and teachers alike learned a great deal during the remote learning period, with some valuable ‘takeaways’ from the experience.
The first learnings as a school community was the need for preparedness and the rapid development of time management skills.
For teachers it was about understanding the diverse needs of students.
While some students thrived in an online, remote learning environment, others found it more challenging.
The task for OSG and our teachers was to balance the needs of each child so that educators could continue to provide a quality education to students collectively and individually.
A student from OSG WA reflected on their online learning experience, saying, “One thing I have enjoyed from the remote learning experience is the fact that it is much easier to work.”
“I could use time that I would normally be commuting to apply to my schoolwork to begin with.
“I also found there to be much less distractions throughout the day, with less people to talk to or laugh with at times where I needed to focus.
“Personally, I think it has really brought out the self-directed learning skills that I have been developing since primary school.
“Although I miss seeing my friends, I am sure that when we get back we will appreciate the company of everyone in a new way,” they said.
Paul Maher, Regional Principal for WA and SA at OneSchool Global said that the COVID-19 experience has really taught students about self-belief and resilience.
“The whole OSG community has showed that we can manage and adapt to difficult and changing circumstances,” he said.
“For us it was about maintaining our learning continuity and providing a level of normality for students, during a time where various other aspects of life were far from normal.
“I felt our students were really well-prepared and I am very proud of their resilience and ability for self-direction in a remote learning setting.
“Having said that, I have been really happy to be back connecting with colleagues on campuses and we have seen students really develop their self-directed learning skills during their time at home,”
Overall, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, it was great to see our community – students, teachers and parents working together to ensure that everyone felt supported and challenged to learn new things and continue to work to meet their potential.