American School of Milan: Online Learning in Times of Crisis

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We meet the director of the American School of Milan, Wayne Rutherford, who tells us how the lessons are going on in these difficult days.

Wayne D Rutherford American Shool of Milan

The American School of Milan, located in Noverasco di Opera is home to over 900 students from 3-18 years of age and represents over 50 nationalities from around the world. Our mission at ASM is to “ensure a modern and rigorous education for international students to excel in the changing world of tomorrow”.

The changing world of tomorrow is today as we face a global epidemic that has reached the gates of Milan (porte di Milano). The recent developments of Covid19 and closure of schools in the Lombardy region has prompted the American School of Milan to implement what is referred to as a Distance Learning or a Virtual Learning School where technology facilitates real-time teaching throughout the school day for each and every student.

As of Tuesday, February 25th, The American School of Milan shifted to this innovative model, providing a digital learning platform for 900+ students who are engaged in learning from 9:00-3:40 every day through online interactions with their instructors and peers. Younger students work from a dedicated website which directs them to weekly and daily tasks, including videos from their teachers and a full range of activities from reading, writing, science and the arts. Each teacher contributes content and students move from class to class as they would normally within the span of a school day.

Digital tools such as Google Classroom, Vooks, Brain Pop, Edmentum and our vast ASM online library, to name a few, allow for students to access a wide range of interesting, relevant and varied tasks. We commend our technology department and our highly committed and qualified educators who have demonstrated that “the most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning” John Dewey. This is reflected in the speed and efficiency with which they were able respond in both developing and implementing this innovative and successful model.

Over the past three days we have consistently communicated with students, teachers and parents, ensuring that the platform is running smoothly and that it is easy to navigate for both students and parents. Our feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the climate and support of our community, despite this challenging moment, has been a confirmation  that the American School of Milan is truly a unique environment where innovation and collaboration lead the way in preparing our students for the world of tomorrow.

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