This week Furlong is thrilled to be exhibiting at the COBIS Annual Conference, attended by more than 250 school leaders representing over 100 schools from a minimum of 60 countries worldwide, the event has been a great opportunity to meet with, and learn from, schools located around the world. 

We particularly enjoyed our roundtable discussion which saw our Sales and Marketing Manager Jack Broome sit down with a panel of teachers and academic professionals to discuss “The Digital Shift: Key findings from our schools learning to combat the mental and physical challenges of online teaching”.

Online learning and the way it has changed education, especially this last year, is an important subject to us. Fully understanding the true impact of this year on schools means that we can deliver the best service possible to our school clients, as well as informing the development of new products and services that can be adapted to an ever-changing learning environment. 

Our roundtable event was a great opportunity to talk to several schools about their experience over the last year. The discussion that came from this was fascinating and covered a variety of topics. One of the most emotive challenges that was discussed was maintaining a sense of community and encouraging everyone at the school from pupils to teachers to stay motivated and engage in discussions.

The schools in attendance had a variety of ways to combat this, from setting up break out rooms for pupils to learn one on one or in smaller groups, to creating chat groups for staff that gave teachers the opportunity to discuss topics that weren’t related to academic life, creating a sense of togetherness even though people weren’t physically in the same space. Activities like these are a great way to focus on specific people and show that the schools cares about pupils and teachers as individuals, something that was listed as a top priority for the schools present.

Schools being able to lean on suppliers and turn to their MIS provider for help was also highlighted during the conversation. Jack made the point that regardless of what system schools are using, the chances are it has functions that could enhance online learning without staff being aware of it. A good example that was discussed was using registration features to increase the speed in which a register is taken, meaning teachers can get to the heart of the lesson quicker and capture the pupil’s attention even in a digital environment. There are plenty of opportunities to expand systems and schools should always consider reaching out to their supplier to find out more about the new features available.

Everyone present for the roundtable felt that online learning in some form, was here to stay, most likely in a blended learning format that combined virtual lessons and physical teaching. The conversation quickly turned to how exciting this could be, how it gave teachers an opportunity to expand what and how they taught and really showcase expertise in their subject. One school has elected a “digital champion” to generate excitement and motivate the teams to come up with new ways to embrace technology and the online environment.

Would you say you share this excitement for online learning? Does your MIS give you the opportunity to fully embrace this new world? If you want to book a demo to discuss your specific challenges and how Furlong and SchoolBase might be able to support you, click here to arrange a time to talk.

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