How Learnlife moved all learning online overnight

Last week on Tuesday, March 10th, Learnlife made the decision to shift from face-to-face learning to remote learning by moving all learning experiences online. The decision came 3 days before the Generalitat declared that all schools in Catalunya be closed until March 27th. This changeover was discussed, designed and executed within less than 24 hours, an incredible achievement and testimony to the commitment, hard work and capacity of our Barcelona learning team.   

Below is the iterative process used to move all of our learning programmes online. This week, we have been constantly updating and improving them using feedback we receive from our community as well as observations from the learning team as to what works and what doesn’t.  

Step 1. Online schedule creation 

For week 1, our goal was to produce a seamless transition to online learning by creating a schedule that closely resembled that of a normal week. 

Step 2. Coordination with parents

The parents were rightfully concerned about what this transition might mean for their families. Therefore, we met with them both virtually and face to face to discuss what they could expect, how they could support us, and how they could support their own learners.

Step 3. Adapted schedule 

After receiving much useful feedback, we were able to adjust and create a new schedule for week 2 that was better adapted to the online environment. This included less screen time and more guidance on fun offline learning activities to do at home.

Step 4. Special learning needs

Our deep-learning specialist, Chrissy Bruce, reminded us that those with special learning needs who normally have trouble engaging in the physical space would naturally have amplified difficulties in the online realm. Therefore, we created extra action and engagement steps for them to ensure that all learners have equal opportunity to succeed in this online process.

Step 5. Video creation 

We have been making an ongoing series of videos with guidelines for learners and parents on how to stay healthy and maintain safe habits online.

Step 6. Review, rethink, retweak 

We will continue reviewing, rethinking and retweaking the online programme on a daily and weekly basis to adapt to learners' needs.

Interestingly, many of our learners have reported working more efficiently remotely than in the physical space. As we look to the weeks ahead and approach the end of the second cycle, we are rethinking the 360 presentations in which learners showcase what they have been focusing on all cycle. As Zoom.us is offering its services free to schools in Covid-19 affected areas around the world, we plan to use this platform to gather our community virtually, and possibly beyond, in order to celebrate our learners’ accomplishments. 

We still believe that the online environment should support learning and not become its main driving force. We can’t forget that the role of the learning team remains crucial to building community and driving learning success. 

We want to hear about your personal experiences with online learning. If you have a few minutes, we would appreciate it if you could please fill out our short survey.