While our fast world spins seemingly slower now with news of the coronavirus spreading, change exists in every moment. iLearn Schools, where innovation is at the very heart of education, sees adverse circumstances and new challenges as opportunities to learn and grow for the future. Always striving to stay a step ahead and prepared for any hurdles thrown its way, iLearn Schools began developing and implementing its iContinue Learning Plan in the span of just a few short days in response to COVID-19. This detailed plan for distance learning was made possible through the incredible efforts and close collaboration among iLearn Schools’ executive team, academic team, school administration, school security and operations, and the entire team of school leaders and teachers across all schools.
With the COVID-19 pandemic evolving rapidly, iLearn Schools had already established advanced instructional technology practices and diverse digital learning platforms that would help the organization to meet such an obstacle head on. For instance, at the elementary school level, ClassDojo, Seesaw, and live read alouds help students stay connected from home while actively participating in lessons and developing reading skills. At the middle and high school levels, students complete and submit assignments through the Learning Management System (LMS) Schoology as well as through Google Classroom. Special Education students submit assignments into a separate folder inside their LMS class webpage where their Special Education teacher can score their work and provide individualized feedback on the assignments. All teachers also offer office hours for students, and many of our students take full advantage of this service to receive one-on- one support. In addition, Schoology Conferencing enables students to video chat with teachers and virtually participate in live lessons. YouTube Live is another innovative feature that allows our teachers to record lectures that students can replay and revisit at any time. Along these same lines, EDpuzzle allows our teachers to pose questions to students throughout these pre-recorded lectures and videos, adding yet another interactive element to virtual learning. In fact, the multiple means of communication that exist from email and Schoology discussion boards to Schoology Conferencing appeal to students’ diverse learning styles and how each student learns and communicates best. In terms of attendance, students must complete a Do Now assignment for each day that class is in session in order to be marked present. iLearn Schools’ goal through iContinue Learning is to essentially see that no matter the circumstances or setting, students can still actively participate in an engaging and academically demanding digital learning environment.
In any challenging situation, remaining composed, optimistic, and a part of a larger mission and vision is critical to a person’s ongoing success. Across all grade levels, morning announcement videos help build senses of routine, structure, and normalcy even through distance learning. Zoom video conferencing allows all students and staff to stay socially connected in working together as a tight-knit team, too. PLCs, departmental meetings, grade level meetings, and mentoring meetings, along with executive, academic, and special education meetings are all run virtually through Zoom. At iLearn Schools, we believe that no matter the challenge in front of us, we can conquer it together through our caring and continued commitment to learning in the face of adversity. iContinue Learning provides students, staff, and families across all iLearn Schools with the technological learning tools and social platforms needed to stay connected while taking continuous strides forward together. iLearn Schools’ iContinue Learning program sees that the entire iLearn community always remains together in learning from either near or far.
Nihat Guvercin CEO,