When Washington School for Girls closed our doors in March 2020 and began distance-learning, our main focus was to “fill the gaps” when it comes to technology at home for our students. Prior to closing our doors, various surveys were sent to the WSG families to gain an understanding of the types of technological resources that they may need in the event of a shutdown. As a result of these surveys, WSG was prepared to provide students and families with devices, internet hotspots, and in some cases, noise-cancelling headphones.
Our main priority was to make sure that the learning could continue seamlessly through a virtual platform. As we finished the 2019-2020 year at home knowing that we would likely continue distance-learning into the next academic year, our priorities of ensuring seamless learning remained. COVID-19 certainly demonstrated the importance of access to virtual learning.
Because we were able to equip all of our students to fully participate in distance learning, our creative and flexible teachers were able to design a year of learning that not only developed students’ academic skills, but also their comfort with a variety of technology tools. Students became adept users of collaborative platforms, creative multimedia tools, and learning portals. This experience has led to an increased interest in STEM clubs, with students participating in coding, digital music, and graphic design clubs this semester.
Moving forward, WSG will continue to provide the necessary technical support to students, knowing that we have all plans in place should we need to revert to distance-learning.
10 internet hotspots were provided to families to ensure stable internet connection at home
WSG has applied for a grant from the Emergency Connectivity Fund which would provide funding for ~30 LTE enabled Chromebooks (laptops). With LTE, students will be able to use their devices wherever cell phone service is available.