Project: Virtual Learning Framework
When the COVID-19 crisis hit Italy hard in the spring of 2020, I was the Director of Digital Learning at the International School of Florence in Florence, Italy. The country went into lockdown and our K-12 school went into a full remote instructional model for the first time in its history.
I immediately drafted a Virtual Learning Framework for the school to use as a set of guiding protocols and practices in remote learning that the Leadership team built upon and iterated as the situation developed. Our Virtual Learning Framework was based on Virtual Learning Guides and best practices from over 20 international schools across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
I also created a web site (See: VL@ISF) to serve as a one stop hub for the community to find health and wellness information, at-home learning resources and remote teaching materials. I curated, created and organized video tutorials, documentation, and instructional resources for teachers. I hosted live video 1:1 coaching sessions and launched a Google Group community and a Google Chat tech support group to provide ongoing remote support to staff. As the crisis developed, we selected and implemented additional productivity and digital curriculum solutions to add to our Virtual Learning Framework.
“The web site you created is a fantastic aggregate of documents and resources, a 1-stop place for your school’s community covering all the important areas of concern, not just academic. It’s truly a global effort to collaborate for the benefit of our individual school communities.”
– Jeremy Schwartz, Director of MAIS Virtual Schools Group, March 10, 2020
Transitioning to and improving remote instruction during the COVID-19 crisis was truly a worldwide collaborative effort.
I drew from the generosity of resources and learnings not only from members of our own school community – our instructional technology specialists, teachers, and school leaders – but from the administrators and educators around the world who were also living and working through the COVID-19 crisis at that time. I specifically would like to acknowledge the examples set by The International School of Kuala Lumpur and the Yokohama International School, as well as the many resources and tips that were shared by members of the International Schools Information Technology Leaders Facebook Group and the MAIS Virtual Schools Group.