The disease called Covid-19, which first appeared in the city of Wuhan in China, has spread to all continents except Antarctica as of today.  We would like to share with you how we quickly moved to digital education following the closing of schools.

As you know, all schools in our country went on holiday on Friday evening, March 17. We spent our first week with adapting to this suddenly evolving situation and preparing for online training, which would start 1 week later. Our greatest chance was that our Keystone high school started an online education program last year. With the experience we gained during this process, we quickly adapted to the new world order. Giving online education to all our children and students between the ages of 3 and 18 is a very different and new process for administrators, teachers and students, but it has been a new development area for all of us. I would like to talk about the Dual program of our school, the foundation of this program was that it was built on the flexible and easy adaptation of the students, and it provided a serious advantage in terms of adaptation to both us and the students.

Students studying at Istanbul Keystone high school continue with the Canada – Keystone online high school program in order to obtain a double diploma. They take 2 courses in the 9th and 10th grades, and 4 courses in the 11th and 12th grades delivered by teachers in our Keystone Toronto high school. This program is followed by the teachers from our school in Istanbul. Every year, our high school students go to our high school in Toronto for 2 weeks, attend classes and various trips, and follow new innovations in the education world. As part of this program, I accompanied the students in January 2020. The Canadian government directed that all high school students had to take at least 2 courses online, and the students and I visited the offices of WE.org which was actually the precursor of the digital education system we see now.

Although we knew that the schooling system would change in the coming years, we could never have predicted that such rapid changes would be made. Especially for high school students, the school system has changed and will continue to change rapidly. Large chain schools will be replaced by small interstellar training centers in between neighborhoods. The student will be able to follow his / her online education under their own responsibility, and access the resources and support they want by going to these centers in his / her region in order to socialize or get support. With the opening of these centers, the student will assume his own responsibility, not only to school lessons, but also to spend more time on his hobbies, sports, painting, music, etc. So you will have the opportunity to develop in a more self-directed way. Instead of being in school all day, the student will be able to plan his/her own daily flow. In addition to this, they will experience this life experience while he/she is still in high school, by having the chance to work while doing volunteer studies, social responsibility projects, internships.

Every day we witness that today’s youth and future generations are already socializing through digital media. Even if young people sit at the same table, they prefer to socialize with the phones they have. Of course, this means that people become more individualized.  In culturally intertwined societies like ours, the close relationship will decrease and will be replaced by digital addiction. Although this change is inevitable, I believe that the difference will only be for individuals with high creativity and those who have the opportunity to live in harmony with nature.

Since we will not have the luxury of refusing to be in the new world order, we prefer to focus on how we can make a difference in this order as a school. As of September, all middle school students will follow at least 1 online course with our school teachers, like our school high school students. We will further support life skills in this digital age, where we enter and continue quickly.

We hope that all Keystone and Kilittasi families will be together again on healthy and pleasant days.

Sema Kızılkaya