It is incredible how technology is continuously evolving at an unimaginable pace, and how not only we, as adults are able to follow this evolution, but also our children. With this evolution, there are opportunities and risks which young people are not ready to deal with.
EARJ students use the internet and mobile technology to explore, connect, share, collaborate and learn every single day of our academic year. While this is something wonderful, using all this technology can create some ethical issues such as cyberbullying, misinformation, and health issues related to media balance and social-emotional wellbeing.
From February 8th-12th, EARJ celebrates the Digital Citizenship Week, where students will have a full week of activities with resources that teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, media balance, managing online relationships, and media literacy.
EARJ is committed to teaching our students how to be digital learners, leaders, and citizens, as we believe that digital citizenship skills have become essential for them, especially over the past year. We firmly believe that with the right support, our students can structure their digital lives, engage with real issues, and help change our community for better.
I would also like to take the time to congratulate our faculty and staff for making the Digital Citizenship Week possible, embracing it as an important part of their student’s education, and for preparing them on using technology safely and responsibly, providing them with lifelong habits to help our students succeed in a tech-driven world.
Carlos Eduardo Pinho
Director of Educational Technology
The start of a new semester is a perfect time to reflect on and review strategies for student success in hybrid learning. Whether your family has chosen to attend school online or on campus, one of the most important steps you can take is establishing consistent expectations and routines around school life.
At EARJ, we incorporate a daily asynchronous learning block into our hybrid model for Lower School students. This means that students complete learning activities outside of school, at their own pace, and with flexibility and choice.
This is a really important component of the full picture of planned learning. It helps students to develop key skills that complement classroom learning, whether in preparation, practice, or extension of their learning in the classroom.
Last week, our teachers reflected on feedback from parent and student surveys on asynchronous learning. We thought about how to balance screen time and technology-based learning with hands-on, interactive experiences that fit students’ interests and learning needs. We considered solutions to support parents with asynchronous learning that take into account family needs.
Here are some simple but important principles that we hope will help families with asynchronous learning at home:
1. Establish an agreed upon regular home routine
It may seem obvious but it is so important. Agree on expectations with your child and create a routine at home for completing each day’s learning that works for both of you. Setting up a special workspace and organizing a schedule with breaks (and snacks!) each day will support your child to be successful.
2. Motivate through opportunities for problem-solving & creativity
Even our youngest students can develop problem-solving skills and independence, but they need help. The younger the child, the more you need to support them. If you show enthusiasm for the activity your child will love it!
3. Time together is priceless!
Asynchronous learning can be challenging, but it is also a real opportunity. It is a chance for parents to gain insights about how your child learns and what content is being covered. This parent-child connection not only supports academics but also social-emotional well-being and overall success. We know that this is not always easy for working parents, but the benefits are amazing if you can find a time to do it.
4. Celebrate and praise
Children love feedback and praise – we all do! Try to showcase what your child does at home. When parents put their child’s drawings on the refrigerator door, or share photos of them doing school work at home on your family’s Facebook page, the message you are sending to your child is “We love that you’re learning!”.
5. Connect the dots
Kids can be incredibly perceptive. Ask them how what they are doing at home connects to what they are doing during synchronous lessons, be they online or on campus. When we connect the dots it helps us to reinforce our learning – and kids are awesome at this.
It has become increasingly clear that hybrid learning is here to stay… at least for a while. We understand that for busy families this means continuing to navigate to the various demands of students learning part-time at home: parental commitment, English language support, managing multiple children, and keeping student motivation high (just to name a few!). We are committed to continuing to work together to support students by creating solid partnerships with families. We thank every EARJ parent for their participation and feedback and encourage families to continue to reach out to teachers to ensure a successful semester of hybrid learning.
Resources for Parents:
Blended Learning in the Mix: The Informed Parent
8 Tips to Help Children Enjoy Hybrid or Virtual Learning
8 Tips to Help Your Child Focus and Stay Engaged During Distance Learning
Barra Lower School Principal
One of the things I really enjoy is to work with people younger than me. Not just 2 or 3 years younger, but from a different generation – I have great friends who were my interns or trainees in the past that have become amazing professionals. Apart from the fact that I loved to learn and to hear their fresh ideas, I found it rewarding to push them to take risks, to make them feel confident to discover their passions.
I believe passion is a game changer. When you feel good about someone (no matter if it’s a Lower School crush, a High School sweetheart, or the love of your life), you want to make a good impression, say the right words, make the right moves. If it’s a passion for what you do, time seems to fly. There’s this strange energy, this fuel that keeps you moving and gets nothing but the best out of you.
Passion is not something you bump into everyday, though. You need to feel inspired, to be open, to “practice new”. Practice builds confidence and also helps you learn that although you will not thrive everytime, it is worth taking the risk.
So a few days ago I received the cutest video from the Lower School team, with kids trying new things like doing pirouettes, surfing, skaterolling. They were taking risks, experimenting things they never did before, feeling the rush. It was part of their exploration of the PYP Learner Profile Attributes. At some point, they would explain why they considered themselves risk takers, feeling proud about themselves no matter if they went well or not. They were proud because they tried. They were feeling the grounds of a new activity that could lead or not to a new passion. Most importantly, they were developing their confidence.
At EARJ, students are inspired to take risks, to try new activities in sports, arts, social responsibility, leadership, and so many other things. They may or may not quickly connect with some of these activities, but what will echo in the future, either in their personal or their professional lives, is that they developed their confidence and were always inspired in trying something new.
Inspiration ignites passion. Passion leads to purpose. Purpose defines the path. It’s no surprise that at EARJ, we are passionate about our purpose to help our students find their path.
Director of Advancement