by Paul Romani (M.Ed.)

We’re Prepared for Distance Learning

by Paul Romani (M.Ed.)

Learning is a social process. This means that people learn better with other people.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has forced governments to close elementary and high schools, impacting learning and final terms for hundreds of thousands of young people.

Fortunately, the Pear Tree School community is more prepared than most to transition to distance learning.

Firstly, the meaningful integration of technology is part of Pear Tree’s learning philosophy and approach.

Technology is viewed as an extension of more traditional methods that use pen and paper, arts and crafts, and so on.

It isn’t a replacement for them.

Distance learning

Everything is about balance. When technology is beneficial, you use it. When other methods are better, you likely don’t use technology – or it will place a lesser role.

Schools, teachers, and education systems that outright reject the use of technology are probably regretting this rigid and outdated mentality right now.

In contrast with most schools, Pear Tree Elementary’s students are taught to use technology meaningfully as productivity and creativity tools.

First and forement, Pear Tree students are producers. Creators.

While there is a time and place for videos and games in learning, the emphasis is on using technology in the same way as adults do at work – to get things done.

Using iPads and laptops regularly means that students are able to continue their learning at home. They know their accounts and passwords. They know how to use specific software and apps.

Of course, it goes without saying that Pear Tree’s master’s-qualified educators embrace the use of technology. With our combined areas of expertise, including educational technology / distance learning, we have quickly been able to establish an effective distance learning program for each of our combined-grade communities (K-1, 2-4, and 5-7).

Supplementing this is the provision of iPads (incl. keyboards, Apple Pencils), classroom resources, and materials to ensure that Pear Tree’s families have the tools and resources they need to support their children.

While no form of distance learning can replace in-class learning or make up for the loss of the amazing school programs we offer, we are confident that what we’re offering this term is about the best it can be. This is thanks to our amazing teaching team, students, and parent community.