Maryland International School (MDIS) in Elkridge has moved school learning for students online during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. I had the opportunity to discuss this move to online learning with Rebekah Ghosh who is the Head of School & Executive Director and Emily Seppa, Primary Years Program Coordinator, and Nikki Tanner, Middle years Program & Diploma Program Coordinator. Here is that interview via a Zoom call:
On the MDIS website here is some additional information:
In light of COVID-19, the Maryland International School (MDIS) campus has temporarily closed and shifted to online learning. After several weeks of preparation, hard work and dedication from our teachers and staff, MDIS went live with remote learning on March 18, 2020.
MDIS has always been STEM and technology-focused. Students have experience using Chromebooks on a daily basis which allowed for a smoother transition to online learning. However, with our shift from face-to-face to online education, our new remote learning avatar, CyberEd, is helping prepare students as they adjust to their new online learning schedule.
After day one, parents were pleased that MDIS was able to quickly shift to online education, preventing a learning gap in their children’s education. Given our required social distancing, students are able to continue their education and maintain a sense of routine, while at home.
Beyond our goal of extending to education online, we seek to keep our MDIS family connected; providing structure, support, and continuity in this trying time. We will continue to live out our mission by bringing our community together in new ways.
Research shows that kids thrive academically when provided a structured schedule. Our teachers and administrators are working to provide students with a consistent schedule. This will help relieve some anxieties the students may be feeling, as well as make the transition back to face-to-face learning in school much easier when the time comes.
Day to day, each student will login to their classes virtually via Google Classroom. Lessons are a combination of pre-recorded lessons, live streams, where students and teachers can interact in real-time, assignments that provide direct interaction between classmates, and a combination of screen time and unplugged activities.
Our Lower School students (Grades 1-5) have pre-recorded lessons from their teachers. This allows the students to hear and see the lessons taught in a familiar format by their teachers, work at their own pace, and re-watch lessons when they need to. The teachers then follow-up to see how the students are progressing. Our Upper School (Grades 6-12) students have real-time teleconferences with their teachers. This holds the students accountable for their learning and ensures continuity of education.
Students are still participating in their enrichment activities beyond their typical classroom instruction. Enrichment teachers are posting weekly assignments related to health, language, art, and music. Enrichment activities allow students to continue staying active, exploring their creativity, and developing new skills.
Thank you to our students, parents, faculty, and staff for making the MDIS transition to online education successful!
It is great to see that this school planned in advance and has what looks like a successful rollout of online learning for their students.
I love how they are keeping school spirit going during online learning:
I hope to do a follow up article and interview in the future to see how things are going down the line with this program.
Hopefully some other schools or school systems can learn from the experiences of this school as they look to implement online learning to students.