At Vienna International School, Digital Learning has been a priority for many years now, since we harness learning and teaching technologies to support inquiring, inspired and involved lifelong learners.
Due to the COVID-19 context, Vienna International School, like many other schools all around the world, was quickly faced with the challenge of moving the teaching and learning online for an undetermined period of time.
The School had already tested the Distance Learning Programme in early March and on 16 March, VIS officially moved from on site learning to the Distance Learning programme, designed to keep learning and student support services going during the time of lockdown. Teachers have worked quickly and collaboratively to gather resources - both physical and digital - to share as colleagues and with their students. Regular communication with the community was essential and highly valued, staff members and families alike received regular updates from the Crisis Team.
We recognised that the transition to Distance Learning may have been challenging for our families. From this perspective, we thank the parents for being open to think differently about how to support their children, creating routines that support the children’s learning. During the Distance Learning time, the School made sure to offer many guidelines and tips to families and students, addressing organizational, health, social and emotional farewell topics.
Even though the learning experiences teachers design when school is in regular session cannot be simply recreated through Distance Learning, VIS embraced the new opportunities offered by the switching to a new way of learning and will consider the key learnings of this experience and aspects of the Distance Learning programme that the School could continue to apply, for a meaningful learning experience.
VIS sends a deep message of appreciation to its staff members for showing professionalism and support in testing the distance learning systems, to the students for showing responsibility in attending the virtual classes and proving to be independent learners, and to the community of parents/ guardians for showing support in the face of this challenging situation.