Smartphones are not adequate substitutes for laptops and wired desktop devices, according to research from Michigan State University’s Quello Center for the study of public policy. Students who rely on cell phones for learning fare the same or worse on assessments than those with no connectivity, the research finds.
School leaders should start developing a plan for building resource equity because equity issues will worsen as a result of the online learning shift, experts say. Superintendents will need to look at providing tutoring and extended learning time, lengthening or adding school days, and carefully grouping students to help those who need to catch up while letting others continue to move ahead, says consultant Jonathan Travers of Education Resource Strategies.
Virtual recruiting provides obvious benefits such as not having to travel, and it also allows one-on-one interviews that give a better picture of a candidate's personality and in which school they would best fit, says Jolie Hardin of Henry County Schools in Georgia. Donna Glassman-Sommer of the California Center on Teaching Careers, says virtual interviews also allow school leaders to gauge a candidate's comfort with online learning.
Teachers nationwide have made a rapid shift to remote instruction and this blog post offers a listing of free tools and resources to help with the transition. The list includes tools to support virtual lessons in math and English, as well as resources for students with special needs and more.
The sudden shift to remote learning across the country has many school districts looking to purchase devices to help students learn at home. Now, analysts say, there is a shortage of the popular Chromebook, as well as laptops and tablets, with smaller school districts at a disadvantage against larger districts when purchasing.
To bring prospective students on campus virtually, the University of Illinois Urbana—Champaign is replacing traditional campus tours with video ones in a new YouTube series called Touring Time. Potential students can visit campus landmarks, hear stories from current students and take part in online informational sessions.
The transition to remote learning has been challenging for the roughly 7 million students in the US who receive special education services. Some schools have resisted moving special education online, while others are adopting video conferencing and working with small groups for services or training parents to offer support.
The sudden shift to online instruction has many teachers using digital platforms to read aloud to students, but is the practice legal? In most cases, it is allowed under fair-use statutes, but there are a few instances when teachers should consider potential copyright complications, such as establishing a free YouTube channel for reading aloud when that reading is not directly related to instruction.
The coronavirus public health emergency has forced many school districts to rapidly deploy remote learning and chief technology officers can help support the transition, writes Eujon Anderson, technology director for Troy City Schools in Troy, Ala. He offers suggestions such as creating a website for e-learning and communication, using collaborative tools and using video conferencing.
An elementary school in Illinois has improved math achievement since shifting its approach to help students understand their mathematical thinking, writes Steven Etheridge, principal at Bicentennial Elementary School. In this blog post, he shares three strategies that improved outcomes, including de-emphasizing language in math instruction and embracing failure.
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