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来源:美国威力塔斯学校北京校区 时间:2021-07-12 11:33:02

  Greetings! My name is Scott Markley, the Classics Department Head at Veritas Prep School.

  大家好!我是威力塔斯经典教育学部主任Scott Markley老师。

  It is a blessing to be able to communicate with you in these challenging times. I wanted to take a moment to express my thankfulness for your continued support in your child’s academic career and explain the methodology behind Veritas’ decision to embrace the asynchronous teaching model afforded to us by systems such as Blackboard. It is my hope that, with this knowledge, you can help us continue to effectively teach your children while we wait for the health situation in China to subside.


  You have been heard. The teachers at Veritas have heard the concerns you have with the online system. You are worried your child will not stay motivated to finish the classes without an instructor standing them up to answer one by one. You are worried that your child’s online education will be inferior to a classroom based one. You are worried that your child will fall behind in AP, SAT, or TOEFL skills and be unable to continue along the path they used to have. You are worried about how your child will learn, when your child will learn, and what your child will learn. Your worries are completely understandable and valid, and we as professional educators share all your concerns and take deep pride in finding solutions to all of these challenges.

  如您所了解, 美国威力塔斯学校北京校区 的每一位老师都在关注您对于网络教学系统的顾虑和问题。您会担忧在没有老师亲身监督的环境下,孩子们是否还能自觉的完成课程;您会担心在线教育效果不如课堂教育好;您会担心孩子们的标化考试的准备节奏会被打乱;您更会担心孩子们会如何学习、何时学习、他们能学到什么?您的担心是完全能够被理解、被重视的!因为,作为专业的教育工作者,我们也有着同样的担心与顾虑。为此,我们每位老师,都在孜孜不倦的寻求战胜这些困难的方法,并且以此为荣、尽心尽力。

  I wanted to begin with the reasoning behind the foreign teachers’ proposal for asynchronous teaching. “Asynchronous” classrooms are those classrooms where students access their education materials at their own time and pace without the need for teacher observation or presence(But we certainly will set aside office hours for live instruction and interaction with your child. And there are many uploaded lecture videos). At first thought it may be assumed this decision was made because of the time gap between teachers and students. With teachers in at least 4 different time zones, some as many as 13 hours apart, scheduling does become a bit of an issue. However, with competent and skilled administration, this scheduling is not the problem. Asynchronous teaching was chosen for three basic reasons that, I believe, make it superior to “synchronous” or live instruction.


  1.Technology. Believe it or not, Asynchronous classes provide an infrastructure which accounts for every student’s technological situation. If a student or teacher has slow or bad internet they cannot do a Synchronous class. A teacher cannot facilitate a student with a non-academic need while focusing on a video screen and presenting slides. Asynchronous teaching, and Blackboard especially, allow for students to access their information at any internet speed, at any time, and in an organized fashion. Students cannot lose or misplace a piece of information, as often happens in Wechat, and they cannot claim to have forgotten a due date because of the Blackboard reminder system. They can collaborate, discuss, and work effectively using Blackboard once they’ve learned it. Most importantly, having every student use a single online platform cuts down on the amount of unacademic learning they need to do. There is no switching between apps, switching between wechat message groups where things move quickly, or remembering multiple log ins. One platform makes it easier for your child to focus on what is important: their academics.


  2.Experience. Your child needs to learn how to succeed in asynchronous online classes if they wish to succeed in the American educational system. 75% of American Universities and 50% of American High Schools use Blackboard for online classes. 1/3 of all students in America take at least one online course in college, with this number growing every year. Using Blackboard, or any asynchronous teaching platform, will let your child learn how to use the program in a safe environment before having to do so during a high stakes course.


  1.“Education Giant Blackboard Buys MyEdu To Help Refresh Its Brand And Reanimate Its User Experience TechCrunch.” Accessed February 17, 2020.

  2.“New Data: Online Enrollments Grow, and Share of Overall Enrollment Grows Faster.” Accessed February 17, 2020.

  3.Differentiation. Asynchronous classes are best for Veritas’ at-risk and special needs students. Asynchronous classes allow gifted students to finish their work quickly and allows us to tailor harder assignments for them to do afterwards. These classes allow students with poor English to listen to and read items multiple times, at their own pace, and not have to worry about others pressuring them to move on. Asynchronous teaching, and Blackboard, allow us to tailor our lessons to your student individually. They let us talk in private to your child about their challenges and help them on their own time. Even now we are providing direct, detailed feedback to students that we wouldn’t be able to do in a synchronous classroom.


  It would be unwise, however, not to address two major concerns you have as parents.


  1.Motivation. While they are not being watched, how can a student be expected to do their work? This is a real issue, but not one that Synchronous teaching would be much better at overseeing. Yes, synchronous classes force your child to sit and focus on one subject, but as teachers we cannot see what is on their screen, we cannot see what they are holding, we cannot police what they are doing or thinking/learning. Self-motivation and self-discipline will be necessary whether we were doing live or asynchronous teaching. Blackboard does help with motivation as it gives the student specific, clear goals for the week. Once students know that they are done with class when they finish the assignments, not after a set time limit, many are encouraged to work. Also, in an asynchronous class you may access your child’s work. You may use their login to see their classes and see when things are due(It is definitely your legal right to ask and share the platform account with your child). Blackboard gives you another way in which to hold your child accountable. 


  2.Confusion. There are going to be times when your child is confused with an assignment. There are going to be times where they don’t understand what to do next. There are going to be times where the lesson is not clear enough and they hit a wall in their learning. How will they learn asynchronously if the teacher is not around to help? Asynchronous does not mean they are not in contact with their teachers. It means that they do the work on their own time. To assist your child in their studies, we teachers have all set aside office hours where your child may text, call, or webcam with us for live instruction. The school will be notifying you about teacher’s office hours in the coming days so that you can hold your child accountable for communicating with us during these times. We are here, with professionalism, and we won’t let your child be alone in these trying times.


  After the first day of online classes we have learned many of these problems and have dedicated ourselves to solving them. There will be a list of “pros” and “cons” for every educational method. There will be concerns about what is best for your child. Your concerns are our concerns. Your child’s success is our success as teachers, and we would never attempt to use a method or platform that was bad for their growth. We ask in this time that you understand that this is a learning process for everyone, that this is a challenging time for everyone, and that we are doing all we can to ensure a positive educational environment for your child. Blackboard and asynchronous teaching require your child to learn a new system, but once they have learned the basics it will open a whole new world of opportunities and experiences. And it will help prepare them to continue embracing American education. Encourage them to learn the system, and to push through challenges, as we keep trying to facilitate classes that are worth learning the system for.




  Scott Markley

  Classics Department Head