Now that schools across the world have successfully evolved into blended learning environments – a necessity after a year of lockdowns – they have unwittingly opened up a treasure chest of potential that transcends the simple delivery of online learning to their own pupils.
The technology itself has been used and tested; and the power of digital learning has become clear. For International Schools, some exciting avenues for exploration have emerged, as they work intelligently to maximise reach and revenue.
It is increasingly recognised that remote learning could feature heavily in future teaching and learning practise. Here are a few tips for International Schools to tap into this trend and benefit from it, while remaining regional bastions of high-quality education.
1 | EXPAND YOUR REACH
Given that you are already delivering quality education programmes, why not think about making these available more widely, to students who are unable to attend your school? Monetising this can provide a useful revenue for the school, while the reach of your educational mission can be extended, even providing golden opportunities for the poor and underprivileged. Eton College has already demonstrated the viability of this, with its EtonX online teaching programme. Many education brand-names are following suit. There is yet to emerge a global leader.
2 | HAVE A WORLDWIDE PRESENCE
Have you thought about using online learning to make your school more accessible to students, wherever they are in the world? A blended learning approach is a great way of ensuring that students can continue to learn anytime, anywhere, and that the school, students, teachers and parents all benefit. But how about a blended school approach, where students do not necessarily have to be on campus to be active learners and members of the school community? COBIS member: The British School of Paris has played with this idea on a small scale – but given its reach, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and impact on price brackets, this model is certain to become an increasing part of the schools landscape.
3 | BECOME A VIRTUAL SCHOOL
Over the past year, many schools have learned not only how to deliver teaching and learning online – but how to deliver the whole of school life, including pastoral, cross curricular and wellbeing functions. Once you are doing this, you are in a great place to use your virtual school as a way to market your brand and give parents and students powerful insights into school life even before they join. It is a key way to attract students (and can even be monetised as an additional service, once students have left the school) and maximise your reach.
4 | PROMOTE YOUR BEST ASSETS
What are your strengths as a school? All schools have pockets of exceptional output, be that academic or beyond and the flexibility and reach of online delivery means that you can make your most exceptional offerings available to students and teachers across the world. This has immense value in an increasingly digital world. Who wouldn’t want to benefit from Einstein’s brilliance, even if he was cossetted away in a hidden classroom somewhere in a corner of the world? Not only can you benefit in direct revenue from sharing such expertise, but it will increase the global value of your brand. Every school has a niche offering – make sure you exploit it!
5 | CREATE A HEALTHY CULTURE
Be a leader in the global schools community. We all know that International schools exist in an increasingly competitive landscape. You can close your doors against this – or you can own it. By leading the way in facilitating global cross-school student collaboration, sharing materials and putting your school at the forefront of the conversation, you will create a school culture that is the envy of the community. It will raise the bar for your staff, create a unique energy, improve the experiences of students and be a useful tool in attracting the best staff to your school.