Upper School Remote Learning
We are writing to share both our thinking and our concrete plans for remote learning in Upper School courses. Thank you all for your continued care, consideration, and partnership in this challenging time.
Marnie Sadlowsky, Associate Head of School for Program, Head of Upper School
Ted Parker, Associate Head of Upper School, Academic Dean
Aside from our physical distance from one another, another shift to how King teachers and students will teach and learn remotely will be to how we all use time.
The use of time by any class may be described along a spectrum between synchronous and asynchronous.
In fully synchronous learning, “participants interact at the same time and in the same space” — that space may be real, as in a classroom on campus, or virtual, as in a videoconference. Fully synchronous learning might be thought of as “live,” in the same sense as a live broadcast.
In fully asynchronous learning, participants interact in elapsed time, as we do with email, online discussion forums, blogs, podcasts, etc. Learners are not together with each other or participating in the same activities all at the same moment.1
1Definitions derive from The Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL: the International Association for K-12 Online Learning): http://www.aurora-institute.org/wp-content/uploads/iNACOL_DefinitionsProject.pdf
King is home versus King On Campus
King’s model of learning when we can be on campus is mostly synchronous: students attend synchronous classes and then complete mostly asynchronous homework assignments. Our KingIsHome model online will be mostly asynchronous.
Why the Shift to Mostly Asynchronous?
Two of our reasons are very practical and derive from this extraordinary moment in history:
- First, King does not assume that we can control people’s time at home as tightly as our daily schedule does at school.
- Second, as so many people shift to working and learning remotely, we expect the unprecedented traffic will strain Web infrastructure from people’s homes all the way to the servers of major service providers. Synchronous video conferencing, which contributes heavily to that load, may not be a reliable default mode.
Our third reason comes from King’s deeply student-centered philosophy and our concern that videoconference technology — at least by default — generally translates to teacher-centered delivery. While we will use synchronous videoconferencing to keep students feeling connected to one another and their teachers (which is also deeply important to King’s philosophy), we will shift to assigning more asynchronous work — that still involves expectations to meet common deadlines, and often still involves collaboration with classmates — and leveraging the immense power of feedback on that work to drive each student’s learning forward.
For the duration of the campus closure, we will adopt an alternating two-day schedule by which:
Advisory groups will require a synchronous session each morning from 9:30-9:45 a.m.;
“Major” courses will require at least one but no more than three synchronous sessions weekly, and may set deadlines every-other-weekday at 10:00 a.m.; and
“Minor” courses may require one synchronous session and assign work for one deadline weekly.
Students are required to attend scheduled synchronous sessions, but we are also recommending that teachers record them in case a student must miss one.
In addition, we understand that remote learning in some specialized contexts like Music courses, Mask Making, and Clay will create a very different experience for our students. Nevertheless, teachers of those courses will reach out to their classes to provide “touchpoints” and to offer as many creative and flexible opportunities as they can to experience the content of the class.
For our schedule of assignment due-dates and class meeting times, please consult our infographic below. (Or click here for a pop-out version).
- How will academic work be conducted?
- How will students be supported?
- What is a typical day with the KingIsHome remote learning program in US?
- How will College Counseling support be managed?
- What is the program for Athletics, health, wellness, and remote training?
- What can families do?
- What technology is needed for remote learning?
- Who do I contact with questions?