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How a top Victorian college shifted into remote learning delivery with minimal disruption during lockdown

When Salesian College conducted a routine remote learning day last week, the last thing they expected was for the state to announce the (extended) snap lockdown. But despite the urgent shift to remote learning delivery on May 27th, the Victorian school was well prepared for the change, ensuring minimal disruption to the education of their students. Why is this important? Because failure to adequately prepare for further potential lockdowns can very well jeopardise and interrupt the ongoing growth of students and faculty.

 Look. Listen. Plan

As part of their curriculum, Salesian College has implemented remote learning days to ensure preparation for lockdowns such as the current one we’re experiencing in Victoria. These are conducted to:

·         Improve and hone remote teaching skills that were built up last year and avoid reverting to pre-covid delivery

·         Keep teaching staff up to date on technological trends and efficient remote learning delivery

·         Prepare for quick adjustment to differing methods of teaching

·         Continue to uphold the values and vision that Salesian College shares, encouraging continued growth in the face of adversity

To help in conducting these remote learning days, the tech experts at Step Fwd IT have been playing a key role in supporting the school and bridging the gap between IT teams and teaching teams. A big part of this work for Salesian College involves training and guiding teachers on improving how they interact with and educate their students through technology.  As an added benefit, the teaching staff can continue to provide the same level of expertise no matter the situation.

Step Fwd IT and Salesian College looked to strike a balance between preparing for a shift to remote learning and avoiding overwhelming students and teaching staff.

The key to preparing Salesian College while avoiding major disruption involved framing the exercise so everyone was aware of why they were doing it. By conducting a remote learning day, students better understand what is expected of them when their learning environment suddenly shifts. Additionally, teachers can comfortably shift between how material is prepared and become more confident with technology that enables the delivery of this material. For parents of students, they get the reassurance that remote learning is actually generating productive results, and are prepared to adjust for when their children shift to learning in a home setting.

You. Us. Together

These remote learning days continues to help Salesian College flourish online and grow their capabilities whilst preserving their core values. The values that Salesian College embodies so well – belonging, respect, joy, integrity, and dynamism – continue to be upheld and preserved even in the face of adversity. An “all in this together” mentality with remote learning helps students, teachers and parents alike feel like they truly belong at Salesian as one community.

Step Fwd IT continues to play a role in this delivery by sitting down with students and teaching staff to assess how they truly felt about their current learning capabilities. They also sat in with teachers to help them direct their curriculums and make changes to accommodate the shift. The Step Fwd IT team conducted surveys and interviews with teachers and students to locate any pain points that needed addressing to smooth the process moving forward. After all, online learning isn’t and shouldn’t be a one-size-fits all model.

Maintain. Monitor. Discover

Rhythmic exercises such as Salesian’s remote learning days will seem to some like extra work but the practice offers immense value to both the student, teaching staff, and parents.

For Salesian College, they are better positioned to continue undisrupted learning in the face of future lockdowns and other challenges. Other schools could stand to look at Salesian as an example of preparing adequately for hurdles. Students are now more accustomed to remote learning and able to retain productivity during this practice. Teachers now have contingency plans to alter their curriculum accordingly, and parents can rest easy knowing their children aren’t limited in their education if shifts in delivery arise.

By regularly testing remote learning capabilities, when situations like the Victorian snap lockdown arise, the school helps staff and students feel like they belong at Salesian regardless of how their education is delivered, and that their education is still respected as a number one priority. Salesian College’s remote learning days create a stronger sense of community within the school, aligning everyone with a unified goal of delivering learning outcomes no matter the challenge.

Whether you bring on board an IT partner or leverage your internal IT team, practicing remote learning days is key to being prepared in the face of snap lockdowns and other challenges. If you want to assess your current remote learning capabilities, give the team at Step Fwd IT a call for a no-obligation consultation.

If you’re looking for an improved IT service that can understand your school, support your staff and deliver proactive IT management and support, lets talk.