What was the thought process behind the creation of My Online Schooling (MOS)?
Prior to establishing MOS, I was a teacher in New Zealand and responsible for embedding technology and digital literacy into the classrooms. I could see the power of technology with regard to creating an inclusive classroom, and to allow students to learn in a way and style that worked for them. I returned to the UK and was aware of the growing number of young people who found access to the traditional means of education challenging for a number of reasons.
We have been delivering the British curriculum online to primary and secondary pupils for over five years now. However, post-pandemic, families are considering different options for their children's education. Online learning is going to play a pivotal part in the future of education and My Online Schooling brings together a community of learners from all corners of the globe in one innovative and inclusive school.
Some of these reasons were mental or physical. It included health challenges, bullying in school, school refusal, lack of provision globally, or a solution for young elite athletes and actors who otherwise would not be able to attend school due to their busy schedules.
When classes went live in 2017, online education was often seen as a last resort for families who struggled to access mainstream. Post-pandemic, online education has been put on the world map. The power of an innovative and inclusive education has been widely discussed globally and online learning is now viewed as a direct alternative to brick and mortar education.
Over the last five years we have refined our online offering to create a curriculum that is specifically designed for online delivery. Students get a similar experience of traditional schooling with elements to the school such as assemblies, house meetings, tutor groups, after-school clubs, student common rooms and more. We have created a global community of learners who are able to thrive in their learning through a school that utilises some of the world-leading technology and creates a positive and safe learning environment where we prepare every student for learning in the 21st century.
What is the virtual education event hosted by My Online Schooling all about, why is it critical to hold such an event at this time?
The event is called Accessing British Education in the Gulf Region. We have been delivering the British curriculum online to primary and secondary pupils for over five years now. However, post-pandemic, families are considering different options for their children's education. Online learning is going to play a pivotal part in the future of education and MOS brings together a community of learners from all corners of the globe in one innovative and inclusive school. We have a thriving community of students from the Middle East, and we look forward to discussing the power of online learning in accessing British education from the region.
How big a market is the Middle East education sector for a UK-based online education portal such as MOS and why is it crucial for the brand to expand outreach in the region, especially here in the UAE?
MOS has over 1,500 learners globally and the Middle East is the fastest growing region for the school. Education in the Middle East is a huge market and access to British education is a major element of the market. MOS has grown its international student base post-pandemic and we want to ensure that all international students and their families have the support that they need during their learning journey with us. We are the only British online school with international bases, with a presence in Edinburgh in the UK and Perth, Australia. Plans are now in motion to set up base in Dubai.
The pandemic has disrupted brick and mortar education systems worldwide as online schooling took over. How ready was MOS for this change?
We have worked for a number of years to develop a learning model that allows for growth but that also retains our strong sense of community. Over the last 18 months, a great deal of investment has gone into state-of-the-art technology and professional learning for our teachers and professionals. When the pandemic started, we quickly prepared for a sudden demand for places in the school. We recruited a high number of teaching and non-teaching staff, and resourced the school to cope with the demand that we expected as schools across the globe began to close.
The market-leading technology that we use in the school can cope with thousands of students, and we now have a refined model that allows us to scale accordingly, although we will always ensure steady growth.
In your view, how does online schooling provide a 360-degree perspective to students in their efforts to become global citizens? With school clubs seen to play a major role here, how are My Online Schooling’s school clubs presenting helping push the narrative in this regard?
I believe that we are the world's most international school. We have pupils representing more than 90 nationalities, but who come together to present one global community. This international perspective would not be evident in any other school. Our students study the British curriculum, however they are empowered to be international learners through our global approach.
How important are support groups as part of the online schooling process?
Creating a sense of belonging and community is essential in any school and in some ways, more important in online education. Our small class sizes allow our students to build strong relationships with their peers and their teachers, and they can ask lots of questions both during live lessons and outside of lesson time. Just as brick and mortar schools do, we run weekly Assemblies as well as House Meetings. Our student common room is a great place for them to get to know one another, and our After School Clubs are a more informal setting for students to get involved in things that they are interested in.
We have a unique Wellbeing and SEN support network at the school with professionals on hand to support students that need it. We believe that parents and carers play a significant part in their child's education and therefore our Success Coordinator team is on hand to support our parent community throughout their journey at MOS.
The pandemic is on the wane, but will the trend for online schooling continue to grow? Is online schooling the new normal that sector analysts are claiming it to be?
Post-pandemic, we have seen a huge rise in demand for places at MOS. The pandemic has created change in a number of industries, and we believe that digital innovation will power the future of education. Whilst pre-pandemic, online schooling was seen as a last resort for pupils who were unable to access the mainstream, these schools are now seen as a direct alternative and have allowed choice for families.
Technology continues to advance and, in that respect, so do the opportunities in the world of education. Since we began teaching back in 2017, we have seen huge levels of engagement in education, a new love for learning and outstanding academic results (88 per cent pass rate at International GCSE and 100 per cent pass rate at A-Level). I believe that we will not only see a rise in online schools but also a rise in the number of brick and mortar schools offering a blended learning model of in-person learning and online learning.
At MOS, we strongly believe that digital schools go a long way in preparing students for learning beyond school and empowering them for life in the 21st century.
Join us at our virtual event, Accessing British Education in the Gulf Region, on November 11, at 6pm, Dubai time to learn more about the changing model of education. Visit https://myonlineschoolingevent.com/