Monte Vista Christian School Video-Enables Classrooms for Remote Learning with Zoom, DTEN
A school that’s been open as long as Monte Vista Christian School (MVC) has seen some things over the years. The day and boarding school in Watsonville, California, was founded in 1926 and has found a way to continue educating students through the Great Depression, numerous wars, and various bouts of social unrest. And now, a global pandemic is once again testing its resilience.
MVC’s Head of School Mitchell Salerno remembers the feeling in early 2020 as COVID-19 shuttered schools all over the world and a challenging new reality began to sink in.
“In February, we started to notice that something wasn’t right,” Salerno said. “We went to our faculty about three weeks before anyone else was thinking about shutting down. We just said to the faculty, ‘we need to be ready.’ And so we introduced them to Zoom.”
Since then, faculty at MVC have been using Zoom Rooms and DTEN video boards to teach from the school, with some students in the classroom and some learning from home. Salerno and a few MVC students and teachers shared their experience using Zoom for core classes as well as for theater, music, and physical education.
Some things they love about their Zoom-enabled classrooms:
- The ease of use: “Teachers don’t have a lot of patience for things that are difficult, and students don’t have a lot of patience for things that are difficult. Zoom was just intuitive.”
- The hardware: “The DTEN board, for me, has been life-changing in all of this.”
- The features: “Breakout Rooms is an amazing feature … because it helps with group projects, just to talk with peers about an assignment and then going back to discuss it with the teacher.”
But the most beneficial aspects of a technology like Zoom, Salerno said, are the vast possibilities for designing new, impactful learning experiences.
“Two or three months ago, to go to a faculty member and say, you need to teach kids 100% remote, synchronously, in a way that’s engaging, in a way that connects them, would have seemed not just foreign but it would have seemed impossible,” he said.
See how Monte Vista Christian School made the impossible possible with Zoom: