In March of 2020, the burgeoning pandemic pushed City and Country School to move its 105-year-old program entirely online. As the summer approached and faculty and staff could look beyond the immediacy of the day-to-day, they thought carefully about how the School could offer a program in the fall that would be true to C&C’s pedagogy while adapting to the realities of the continuing pandemic.
It was clear that technology would play an integral role in any hybrid or remote program; the key was to find the right tools and build the in-house capacity to be able to create an authentic C&C learning experience, even when instruction was happening online. To assist in this, the School expanded its Technology team by two in July 2020, welcoming Saber Khan as Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Usman Ahmed as Technology Associate. Since joining the community, they have partnered with Director of Technology Reem Abu Amara, Technology Integrator and Support Ian Klapper, and external technology consultant Rob Taylor to identify and implement technological solutions to help C&C teachers translate their curricula to this new environment. At the center of this work has always been a simple guiding principle: Technology should support innovations in C&C’s program and the needs of our students and teachers, not be the driving force behind these changes. We invite all members of the C&C community to think out loud about the future of technology at the School, especially in ways that reaffirm our progressive values and pedagogical mission.
C&C Innovation Ambassadors
Throughout the 2020–2021 school year, teachers have been finding creative ways to maintain and build the progressive C&C learning experience across screens and distance. Led by Saber Khan, the Innovation Ambassadors program helps identify these pedagogical inventions so they can be spread beyond a single classroom to the community at large, gleaning lessons for post-pandemic times as well. Ambassadors join cohort meetings to discuss strategies for maintaining a strong progressive education in a disrupted environment. They also visit each other’s classrooms—both real and virtual—to learn tips and share feedback on practices. Read more about the Innovations Ambassadors program and their projects here.
New Technology Platforms
C&C is using multiple technology platforms to create a user-friendly learning experience for students, families, and teachers during hybrid and remote learning. This includes Zoom for video conferencing, Google Classroom and Seesaw for managing assignments, and Sora for the Library. Finally, C&C’s Remote Learning Hub houses important information from the School, including links to remote learning tools, divisional and school-wide communications, and support resources: cityandcountry.org/remote-learning.
Click here to read the full article, including images and interactive links, in Issue IV of our magazine, Works in Progress.