A new, advantageous learning platform: Distance Learning Program (DLP) 


Due to the school closure from the COVID-19 outbreak, from 18 March, Frankfurt International School implemented a new distance learning program to continue students’ learning progress. 

The new online learning system gave students much more responsibility and independence, but because this was a new experience for most of the students, many of them found it challenging and difficult to cope with. 

Even with the distance learning program, school started at the same time as usual, at 8:32 am, but most students were happy because they didn’t have to get up early to catch the bus. Some students were even more satisfied than usual because they simply needed to get up and sit in front of the camera to get prepared for class. Then until 3:10 pm, which is when school normally ends, the schedule will follow through exactly the same way as it would normally, except for the fact that students meet their teachers in different online rooms. 

To be honest, at the start of the distance learning program, I was very excited because I saw it as an opportunity to become independent by managing my time personally, but after a few days, I realized that it wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be. For most of the time, at home, I felt too comfortable and got easily distracted. Because face-to-face contacts with teachers were unavailable, it was sometimes difficult to communicate with them and much more time-consuming because it could only be done via online platforms such as emails or in Zoom meetings. 

But above all of these minor hardships, the most difficult challenge was sitting down in front of my Macbook for almost half of the day. Even with the online learning platform, I had lots of workload and to finish these, I had to be seated for almost the whole day, which hurt my eyes, legs and back. To reduce this pain, I had to constantly remind myself to get out from my seat and walk around the house. 

However, despite all these small challenges, I believe that DLP is much more valuable than inconvenient because it allows students to become independent learners. Most of the learning process is done almost the same way as usual, but this experience gives students more of an opportunity to work at their own pace and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to create individual specific study schedules. 

Many students feel very lonely and bored while at home, but the DLP program, Zoom, has also helped us with social skills at this time of quarantine. During break and lunch times, I would call my friends in a Zoom meeting room and we would socialize just like we usually do at school break times. 

Considering all these benefits, I think students must aim to meet several aspects of the IB learner profile, especially at such a time when they must be physically and mentally “balanced”, efficient “communicators”, “reflective” about their own learning strategy and “knowledgeable” about our communities’ situation.

Not only students, but teachers at Frankfurt International School are also working hard to make the DLP learning as similar to normal class experience as possible, and I think that students should really appreciate and thank all this effort that is being made for them. 

Personally, the DLP has been an opportunity for me which I sometimes found really difficult to cope with, but it has been a much more valuable experience for me because I was given the responsibility of managing my own time. During this time, I was able to focus much more on subjects I needed to catch up with, which I didn’t have enough time during normal school days. Although this is a totally new and valuable experience, I am hoping for the situation to alleviate so we can be together again with our friends and teachers in our normal classrooms.