In March 2020 we had a call from a Head who was thinking ahead to longer term provision of learning for their children during the Covid-19 virus outbreak. She knew that much beyond Easter things would get less rewarding for learners & teachers alike unless the school acted. The question was:
“Can you create us a virtual school?”
The answer, after a day & late night of reflection, thinking & creating was “Yes”.
The 10 things we knew we wanted/didn’t want
- Massive support needs and time-consuming training programs could not determine the success of this
- Huge budgets are not available anymore so costs have to be keen, optional & even non-renewable where possible
- Skills need to be transferable for this to work. We use Google tools to weave vschool together
- Teachers and teaching staff should have a sense of familiarity where possible with the tools they are being asked to use
- It should not be a three page long feature rich platform where in reality people use half a dozen things with confidence and regularity
- Teacher should be able to start with baby steps yet still make big leaps
- The big needs at primary level are to do with re-establishing relationships and putting a face back on the school
- Support would need to be spot on with resources available at the point of need.
- Nothing should be fixed in stone.
- In the short to medium term children should not need logins and passwords to take part.
Like most projects, this one got its own nickname & just to be cool the first letter got itself italicised. Blippit vschool was born! Take a look on the new website sometime if you’re feeling ‘vschool ready’ at vschoolready.com . The paint is barely dry, but our official mission at Blippit is to help as many schools as possible address the challenge on the horizon of keeping learners & teachers engaged with each other. We want the face of learning not to be that of a stressed mum, dad or carer trying to make head or tails of some resources plopped on the school website. We want the face of learning to be the professional, familiar, caring and happy face of every class teacher who knows each child as an individual & how they tick.