Remote Learning at MKA
Following Spring Break, on March 31 MKA moved to remote learning which will continue until further notice. Remote teaching and learning happen in partnership with families and in good faith that everyone is doing their best in a complex, evolving situation. Our teachers are drawing on the relationships they have built with their students as well as the existing architecture of their classes to guide decisions about how best to continue teaching remotely. Faculty may not cover all of the content and skills they normally teach. They will decide what’s most important among their instructional goals and let those priorities guide their teaching.
Connection and collaboration are essential elements of remote learning, and given MKA's well established commitment to Social and Emotional Learning, we are well equipped to deliver on both fronts. Given the heightened anxiety and uncertainty we are all experiencing at this moment as a result of COVID-19, it is important that we approach each other with compassion, generosity, and well-being in mind.
A couple of terms are important to understand the structures of remote learning:
Asynchronous learning: A group of students are engaged in learning, but participation is not required to take place at the same time. The student can follow a teacher-recommended schedule or adjust timing of participation as desired.
- Synchronous learning: A class or group of students are engaged in learning at the same time. For face-to-face, synchronous learning, students will join Google Meet video conferences set up by their teachers. The teacher will frame the lesson for the students, who will watch and participate through the Google Meet video conference. Other types of synchronous learning might include, for example, students’ simultaneous involvement in the generation of a Google Doc or participation in an assigned group chat.
It can be tempting to try to replicate students’ in-class experience by primarily utilizing digital platforms that require teachers and students to be online together at the same time. However, research has shown that blended approaches that include a combination of online, real-time sessions (synchronous participation), self-paced engagement (asynchronous participation), and offline work (e.g., reading, sketching ideas, writing notes, or composing/calculating by hand) can often be a more effective way to involve students in meaningful learning and growth. Perhaps equally important, personal, offline pursuits and “passion projects” (e.g., pleasure reading, discussions with a family member or friend remotely, playing an instrument, listening to or writing music, journal writing, photography and/or video production, coding for fun, designing a robot) can provide important learning opportunities and balance for students in a remote learning environment.
As with any school day, we expect students to actively engage in all learning that their teachers have planned for them. The first two days of remote learning (Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1) were essentially planned as asynchronous learning days for all MKA students. Thereafter, grades 6-12 moved to following their typical, MKA school-day schedule as they participate in both synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences during their class periods. Grades Pre-K–5 have provided families with example schedules for students to follow or modify as needed, punctuated by opportunities for real-time interactions and learning with teachers and peers. (Please see the campus tabs below for more information about what teaching and learning will look like during this period of remote learning.)