About the Initiative

This is a challenging time for schooling communities all over the world. Now more than ever, sharing information, experiences, and best practices is our best tool to finding solutions and overcoming these global disruptions.

Like many schools in their respective regions, Whittle School & Studios has been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. Our Shenzhen, China campus has been closed since early February and will remain closed until it is notified of a return date by local authorities. Our Washington, DC campus suspended classes this Friday until the end of Spring Break. As the world's first global school with a network of connections within our community, we are in a unique position to share information to those beyond our community who are preparing for, launching, and implementing remote learning programs as well as engaging with families. Central to our ethos is our global learning community of students, teachers, staff, and partners who we bring together under a global curriculum and common vision of creating a better future.

Over the past month, our faculty has conducted more than 1000 hours of online learning experiences for our Shenzhen students. These faculty members have effectively integrated conventional academic subjects such as language, math, art, and humanities, successfully blended kinetic activities in online music and sports lessons, and even highly engaged students in project-based experiences involving craft-making and animation. This was made possible with careful planning, thoughtful execution, and full collaboration between our faculty and technology teams in Shenzhen and at HQ. The overall satisfaction rate of our families who see these virtual learning experiences as positive is beyond 90%.

We’d like to take this opportunity to share our humble experiences with our colleagues at peer schools in countries where we have footprints and beyond. As part of a vibrant global community, how we act together to address complex, global issues like this one speaks volumes about our mission.

Read Our Full Letter Here
Workshop Program

Part 1: Online Learning: Getting Started

You’re in a situation where your school or your district has been forced to close for an uncertain period of time. Still, you don’t want to disrupt the education of your students. This short video will provide you with insights into what items you should plan and prepare for to be ready when a situation like this arises. Our Shenzhen, China campus was thrust into a situation like this one, and we were forced to adapt without any preparation. We will be sharing pointers and takeaways from our own experiences to better prepare you for the challenges that will face your teachers, students, and parents.

Part 2: Online Learning: Scaffolding the Launch

You’ve started online learning at your school or district. Teachers and students are now connected and online teaching and learning can begin. This video will provide the next set of items to think about and prepare for in order to make these online programs successful. We will discuss scheduling, models for support for teachers and students, just-in-time professional development for teachers, and other items. As we’re all aware, transitioning to this new medium is not as simple as moving what you are doing in a classroom to an online space.

Part 3: Online Learning: Executing

In this video, we will dive a bit deeper into the pedagogical aspects of online learning.  How can we make learning more engaging and meaningful in an online world? We will talk about how to make the home a successful classroom and how to develop effective instructional practices. We will also touch on disciplines that don’t easily transition into the online world.

Our Speakers

Anand Padmanabhan holds global responsibility for leading Whittle School & Studios’ technology organization and its technology portfolio ranging from digital strategies and learning technologies to infrastructure and technology platforms.

Anand was named a 2018 CIO 100 (US) award recipient for being an inspiring example of how IT leadership, business partnerships, and customer engagement can reshape the future. Prior to Whittle, Anand was the CIO/SVP for Parsons School of Design/The New School; Corporate CIO for HCL Corporation and Shiv Nadar Foundation in Delhi, India; CIO at Everonn Education in Chennai, India; CIO for NYU Stern School of Business; CIO at City University of New York - Hunter College; CIO for Tennessee State University; Executive Director of IT for Seton Hill University; and was an educational technologist at the NASA Center for Educational Technologies. He has an M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business, an M.S. in computer engineering from Louisiana State University, and a B.E. in electronics and telecom engineering from Madras University 

Richard Kuder joined Whittle School & Studios from Wyckoff, New Jersey where he had been Superintendent of Schools since 2010. At Wyckoff, he led and managed around 300 members of staff and over 2,000 pupils in public schools, some of which were recognized as schools of excellence. Previously, Rich was Principal of the Dwight D Eisenhower Middle School in New Jersey. Earlier in his career, he taught in both elementary and middle schools.

Rich is a graduate of Columbia where he received a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in education administration. He also gained a doctorate in educational and organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.