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.
An informal survey by college affordability advocacy group Rise found 75% of 521 students polled said they have more anxiety, depression and stress because of the coronavirus outbreak. About half had work hours reduced or were laid off, 20% reported lack of access to healthy meals and a mobile device or Wi-Fi, and 17% said they didn't have safe and reliable housing.
Joe Phillips, K-12 technology director at Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri, says positioning yourself as an educational leader, rather than a technology leader, helps in gaining the support of stakeholders and administrators. In this Q&A, he describes how he streamlined and updated technology to support the district's mission and goals.
Education leaders say they will need far more than the
$13.5 billion in relief aid for K-12 schools that is provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, passed this week by the US Senate. Due to the full shift in district operations, the need is even greater than in 2009 when schools received about $77 billion in relief from the Obama administration, says Chip Slaven, chief advocacy officer for the National School Boards Association.
The US Senate late Wednesday passed a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at preventing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes $13.5 billion for K-12 schools and provides Education Secretary Betsy DeVos greater authority to waive portions of federal education law.
When switching to online learning, school administrators must consider a myriad of things including device availability, technical support, cybersecurity and connectivity, according to guidance from the Consortium for School Networking. Administrators also need to address equity and access issues especially for students with disabilities and in rural areas, experts say.
Officials in various Massachusetts school districts are using 3D printers to produce protective masks for medical professionals to aid the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Engineering teachers at a career and technical education high school are using eight 3D printers to create face shields for medical personnel.
Tabitha Harper, an artist and art studio owner in Milford, Ohio, began offering free online classes for students after schools in the area closed because of the pandemic. Harper's virtual sessions, which offer instruction in painting, upcycling and sculpting, now have a following around the world.
The coronavirus outbreak has upended the traditional calendar for colleges and universities, with many adopting remote learning until the threat subsides. Susan Grajek, vice president for communities and research at Educause, says the rapid transition has flattened the learning curve for some faculty who otherwise may have been uncomfortable or unprepared to teach online.
Widespread and prolonged school closures during the coronavirus pandemic have more students worldwide learning at home, but a paper in the journal JAMA Pediatrics shows increasing screen time could harm children's language development. Sheri Madigan, lead researcher from the University of Calgary in Canada, says school leaders and educators can help parents develop plans to keep screen time in check.
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