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.
Many large urban public districts in the US began planning for the shift to online instruction in January when news emerged of a possible global pandemic, according to Mike Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. In this interview, Casserly shares his expectations as well as what districts in his organization are doing to support online learning, including one district that is providing professional development for teachers.
US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday said she would like Congress to fund microgrants to support teachers and students who are learning remotely amid prolonged school closures. A Department of Education spokesperson said later that eligible students would be from schools that are closed for more than 30 days, qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or an individualized education program.
A North Carolina school district is using a 3D printer and equipment used for career and technical education courses to manufacture face shields for an area hospital. The project is an example of how students can use their skills and creations to help the community, says Ashlyn Ozment, who teaches the CTE program's programming and robotics class.
Some teachers in Ohio are recording videos of themselves reading and teaching lessons for students who are learning from home during school closures. Agriculture education teacher and FFA adviser Nathan Sailor recorded a video of himself reading a book with dairy cows and posted the video on his district's YouTube channel, while another educator utilized puppets for a video about poetry.
The widespread, swift adoption of digital learning tools to aid teachers during prolonged school closures is raising some privacy concerns. Antonio Romayor Jr., chief technology officer for El Centro Elementary School District in California, says some educators are adopting free programs that may lack typical safeguards and are skipping traditional vetting of new technology resources and tools.
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