How to ‘Bee’ in the VLC

Girl engaging in distance education

How can schools create a sense of community, belonging and fun when delivering a distance education model?

The biggest concern of many parents embarking on a distance education pathway is often how learning from home will affect their child’s ability to create and maintain social connections. In the Virtual Learning Community, one of the  ways we have addressed this is by creating a virtual ‘physical’ space where students can learn and do life together.

Frame is a web-based platform that offers a range of digital spaces, including virtual museums, amphitheatres, classrooms, convention centres and more. Not only that, but the VLC teachers have been working this semester with educational consultant, Andrew Wright, to build bespoke worlds that will enhance our virtual learning platform. For students in Years 1 and 2, we have been designing a playground that has safe and unsafe elements, ready for students to explore. They will be able to identify actions they can take to keep themselves and others safe, before creating a safer alternative to showcase their learning. Our Year 5 and 6 students will be exploring the ecosystem of bees, and what better way to do this from inside a beehive?! Frame allows students to inquire into the workings of a beehive from the inside out, and make connections to the way they interact as part of their own ‘hive’. In a scene reminiscent of 80’s flick, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, Head of VLC, Danni Foster-Brown, recently had lots of fun buzzing around the hive on the back of a bee, seeing a variety of bees up close, researching threats to the bee population from within the hive, and even having a go at flying around like a bee herself. Students will be able to interact within each world using voice and chat functions, as well as a host of features aimed at keeping students focused on the learning outcome.

Learning should be fun, and virtual learning gives us endless opportunities to explore worlds that cannot be reached in the natural world. To find out how your child can be part of an online learning community that values community and connection in a virtual world, click here.

Author: Danni Foster-Brown

Head of Virtual Learning Community

Distance Education suited to your family and lifestyle

Hillcrest Christian College’s Virtual Learning Community (VLC) offers your family a truly flexible Distance Education learning experience, so your child can access an exceptional independent school education to suit your family’s lifestyle.

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