Technology at MB
Distance Learning 2.0
As Moses Brown School faces the challenges of a world suddenly changed, we find strength in reaffirming our commitment to Friends’ values as we shift our practices to become a new kind of learning community. Part of this undertaking includes a heavy reliance on technology, as we shift to new methods of learning and connection.
While undertaking distance learning, MB continues to prioritize relationships and care at this time; these are central values of a Moses Brown education, and necessary in order for students to maximize their learning.
Screen time is intentional and meaningful and should not necessarily have students in front of computers all day. Parents and students should continue to share feedback so that we can make adjustments as needed.
MB is communicating all assignments and expectations through means established by teachers and advisors, and will use these same platforms, within each class, consistently. Students will need to check their email daily (or parents will need to do so, for LS learners). The new schedules include clear expectations about the amount of synchronous experiences each class offers, while balancing the importance of limiting screen time.
We will continue to host regular parent coffees, and hope that families will continue to feel connected to the school through communication via email and social media, outreach from teachers and the stories students will share about their class day.
Synchronous learning refers to activities when students and teachers are engaged in the same activity at the same time, in real time. Asynchronous learning refers to activities that happen outside of a particular defined time.
As schools across the country have shifted to distance learning, differences in access to devices, reliable wifi and the necessity of sharing either or both, within the home and beyond, mean that access to synchronous experiences is variable. Please communicate with your child’s teacher, advisor, division head or Debbie Phipps about how best we can adjust the learning experience to respond to your particular circumstances.
Please ensure that your student has access to supplies for learning. For many students, this means access to a computer or tablet, as well as an internet connection. In families with multiple children of school age, this means sharing materials, and may require your intervention in how best to do so. Please contact your division head if you need help obtaining supplies or devices.
Online Behavior and Technology: Utilizing Technology Platforms for Distance Learning
We are thrilled with the beginning of Moses Brown’s remote learning and hope that your students are adapting well. In order to facilitate some of our remote learning, our school is utilizing various remote technology platforms.
For the most part we are utilizing tools within the Google Educational ecosystem. This platform has been vetted for FERPA requirements regarding privacy concerns. It is also generally used throughout the schoolhouse during our normal school environment.
Moses Brown may also utilize other platforms providing streaming video and school work online through other systems, such as Loom, Screencastify, Edpuzzle, Voicethread, etc.
Many of these products have the ability to capture video and sound within range of the camera and microphone within your home (or anyplace your child uses this technology). Such information may also be seen or heard by other students sharing the distance learning platform. Also, portions of classes may be recorded and maintained as an educational record (such as musical/theatrical performances), or for review for those students who were unable to attend the class at the specific time.
For this reason, we ask that you be mindful of your child’s use of these technologies and protect your family’s privacy while classes are in session.
Unless informed otherwise, the school assumes that a student’s logging onto and/or using these platforms is done with parental consent.
In addition, each summer, parents and students agree to the Empowered/Ethical Use Policy for the appropriate division, reviewing it with their children, agreeing to use all campus technology in accordance with the terms stated and/or implied. Parents should understand that if the rules set forth for campus technology are abused, it could result in disciplinary action.
If students need assistance with technology or devices, they should consult their peers, teacher or the tech specialist in each division.
Moses Brown’s Tech department is available 8:00am– 4:30pm. All requests for help should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the lower school, distance learning will help keep children engaged so they can learn and grow, while also providing them with meaningful opportunities for connection and community. All assignments for the day will be posted by 8:00pm the evening before unless a teacher has scheduled a synchronous meeting time later in the day to explain the assignment.
If you have questions about Technology in the lower school, please contact Erika McEnery. (email)
Middle school students should be prepared to navigate distance learning with minimal oversight from their parents. All middle school students have experience using Google Classroom as our learning management system.
Teachers will notify students via their Google Classroom sites about any mandatory synchronous meeting times. Students are expected to attend any synchronous learning times on time, enter the meeting sites on mute and remain focused on each meeting. Teachers will require each student to identify themselves visually at the start of the class and when they ask questions.
Middle School Student Responsibilities
-Students should read their MB emails regularly during the day to access any new messages.
-Students should maintain the same level of behavioral and community expectations on-line as they do in the schoolhouse.
-Students should be on time for each synchronous learning opportunity. They should join the meeting on “mute,” be present visually and be respectful in their participation and focus during those meetings.
-Students should maintain their connection to Google Classroom and other classroom resources and to communicate technical issues in a timely manner to the appropriate people.
-Without written permission from a teacher or Head of Middle School, students should never record, screenshot, share, re-post or otherwise capture digital content created or images of classmates during a video class.
If you have questions about MS Technology, please reach out to David Wasser.
The upper school schedule for distance learning was designed to create more predictability for students along with flexibility of instruction. The schedule also builds in necessary breaks to minimize screen time, as well as time for students to move around and get outside. Advisors will be taking attendance in MyMB for the remainder of our distance learning period.
Organization and Technology Support
Students who use the Outlook calendar function of their MB email find it easy to track the Google Hangout Meet synchronous learning experiences. Teachers will either send invites through the calendar feature of MyMB or invites through the Outlook calendar to help students track their synchronous class meetings.
For technology support, students should reach out to their teacher first, and then email the Technology Office
We will use Google Hangouts Meet for our synchronous classes and any small group or 1:1 meetings. 1:1 meetings will be recorded by the teacher who is hosting the meeting. Google Hangouts Meet allows students to call in (on the phone) if they are not able to join the video-conference portion of the class. Some students will not be able to join a class due to family obligations, device sharing or other reasons, and teachers understand this. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the teacher about the needs for missing a synchronous class.
• Google Hangouts Meet training and help page
Technology recommends two extensions to Google Meet:
• Grid Gallery View for Meet
• Nod (non-verbal reactions) for Meet
When Video Conferencing:
• Students may not screenshot or record a Google Hangouts Meet without the permission of the host/faculty member
• Headphones with microphone are recommended
• Wired headphones (not bluetooth/airpods) are preferred
• Keep a close frame around your face to minimize background (close video if you would prefer to only join with audio)
• Mute yourself when entering a meeting
• Remain muted unless you are planning to talk
• Attend meeting in an appropriate learning environment and dress
• Have the Chat window open during meetings
• Use “raise hand” feature
• Try to speak one at a time
-Students should check their MB email daily, before 9am.
-The MB guidelines for academic honesty are still in place. The consequences of an academic honesty violation are the same as they would be during building-based school (please see the Moses Brown School Handbook [link]). All school rules, as outlined in the Handbook, are in effect and students will be held accountable. Students and families should particularly refer to the Ethical Use Policy, our School Community Expectations and the expectations for Academic Integrity.
-Students should be on time for synchronous learning experiences, or communicate ahead of time with their teacher about their reason for being absent. When students join a synchronous meeting they will have “video on” and “sound off.” Student participation during all synchronous meetings must be respectful and follow the guidelines for our school community expectations
-Students should alert advisors and teachers of any technology issues in terms of device availability and internet connectivity.
If you have any questions regarding Technology at MB, now or at any time, please contact Grant R. Henderson III, email@example.com, Director of Technology.