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Online Schooling: Are you using it as a substitute or is it transforming your teaching and learning?

With the impact of the global pandemic, schools and governments have hurried to put online learning in place. They have started a momentous journey to up-skill teachers, and prioritise the development of their technology infrastructure, and all at an incredible pace.

It was all eventually going to happen, and those of us who were in Apple schools a decade ago, and embraced Google Classrooms, always knew it was the way to transform education for the 21st century; the current pandemic has been a huge catalyst and has moved the strategic focus onto edtech at least five years earlier than it would have been.

The question for many schools, until now, has been whether to operate a synchronous online schooling experience, with live lessons sent into homes via video through Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, or an asynchronous approach, favouring home study without the live streaming of classes, but with resources available for self study or adult supported study for students.

The really smart schools however, should now be questioning whether they will grab the proverbial bull by the horns, and use the current opportunities and impetus, to pull away from the pack.

Brave new online schooling will use a pedagogy that focuses on harnessing technology to develop skills and attitudes that will prepare students for the 21st century. Brave new schools will deliver transformative online schooling rather than just substitutional online schooling, and will be at the forefront of changing education forever.

Their pedagogy will embrace digital skills, collaborative online working, research and presentation skills and will focus on a flipped classroom, to foster independent learning, meaningful experiential learning and creative problem solving.

These schools will nurture the students who will be the success stories of the future - with their critical thinking skills, high digital proficiency, creative problem solving and ability to collaborate online to create joint projects and undertake joint research. Confident students set up for success in an uncertain world - what more could parents want?

Angela Fairs

CEO, Full Circle Educational Consultancy

Angela is currently working with schools to develop their online strategic development plans and is focused on future proofing schools for success in the 21st century.

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