Five Building Blocks of a Long-Term Online Education Program.
Online learning took on new forms during the pandemic, depending on what districts had available at the time. Because many people realized that the learning that was taking place in many situations did not follow the best practices in online learning and that not all students were properly equipped to learn online, the transition from in-person to online learning during that time was referred to as pandemic learning or emergency remote learning.
The benefit of pandemic learning was that teachers all over the world saw how well some students did in online learning. This has prompted districts to start online programs to keep helping those students.
Be that as it may, pandemic learning programs and online projects are unique. The majority of programs established during the pandemic could not be sustained by teachers or students. Because they were established in response to an emergency, modifications must be made to transform the existing system into something that is suitable for the long term.
When compared to starting a program from scratch, changing behavior and policies after they have already been established can be more challenging. To ensure that educators and students are supported during their online learning experience, here are some suggestions for creating a more sustainable program.
Components TO CONSIDER While Arranging YOUR PROGRAM.
1. Branding: Marketing is frequently associated with branding, which may appear to be outside of education. Branding, on the other hand, is crucial in this setting because it makes the new sustainable best practices program stand out from the previous pandemic learning program.
For instance, branding your online elementary program as “homeschooling support” conveys to parents that the new program does not adhere to practices that are unsustainable and instead requires parental support for elementary students to be successful. If your pandemic learning model entailed educators instructing students synchronously on the computer for six hours per day, this would be an example.
2. Staffing: Staffing is a basic part of addressing understudy needs in the web-based program. Of course, classroom teachers are always on the minds of districts. However, it is essential to take into account staffing requirements for specialist teachers, mentors or guidance counselors (or both), administration, support for special education (occupational therapy, speech therapy), and additional special services. Anyone involved in virtual programming must have access to appropriate professional learning opportunities to prepare for working with online students.
3. Onboarding and enrollment: Like branding, enrollment and onboarding are crucial in determining how students will learn in the program, particularly if this is different from previous practices. The following are some of the choices to be made:
– Is rolling enrollment allowed by the district?
– Will secondary students be able to take classes in the traditional school on a hybrid schedule? What will be the conditions under which this will be permitted?
– Would it be possible for secondary school students to control how quickly they complete their classes, allowing them to graduate earlier?
Since it should teach students how to use the learning management system, clearly communicate class policies and procedures, and include one or more digital citizenship and leadership modules that give students direction while working online, onboarding sets up students and parents for success. The more exertion that is placed into onboarding understudies and guardians before all else, the more outlandish that difficulties will emerge that hamper understudy progress in learning.
4. Truancy and attendance: Since most schools were experiencing a learning pandemic, the requirements for attendance and truancy have probably changed. Several states have taken the time to revise their expectations because many districts wanted to keep using online learning after the pandemic. For instance, in a states the prerequisite to submit participation became adaptable during the pandemic; However, districts now have policies in place to calculate online student attendance.
When students may not be working or learning during regular school hours, focusing on what attendance and truancy look like can feel like a confusing task. Consider what makes sense for determining attendance for your online program by examining your district’s truancy policy. Rather than making a delinquency strategy that goes against the locale approach, develop the remote learning project’s strategy to help the region rules as intently as could really be expected.
5. Management of devices: During the pandemic, the speed with which devices were distributed to students depended a lot on some districts. It’s possible that districts didn’t have enough time to come up with a well-thought-out plan for distribution, how the devices would be fixed if they broke, or whether they needed tech support after this emergency response. Because device failures can cause anxiety for students and their families, it is essential to devise a strategy for how technology will be supported at home.
I worked with a company to set up a K–12 virtual charter school. For a fee, the company offered virtual students 24/7 helpdesk and in-person support, including assistance with state tests. If a district doesn’t already offer that kind of support, it might be worth considering.
When developing your tech support response, take into consideration the following questions:
– Is it possible for the district to provide families with the level of assistance they require, or is there an opportunity for community collaboration or private sector assistance?
– What is the procedure in the event that a device fails or that you require assistance after hours or on the weekend?
– How might a fringe gadget, similar to a printer, be upheld on the off chance that it’s not provided by the region?
If students are required to print materials, will printers be provided?
– How does the student’s attendance change if they don’t have access to assistance round-the-clock?
– If a family does not have access to a vehicle, does the technology department have to visit the students’ homes to pick up their devices? Supporting a virtual program in addition to on-campus classes has what effect on the bandwidth of the technology department.
Whether the devices that were initially selected for a particular grade level are suitable and effective for the level of work that will be performed is another important consideration. For instance, will a Chromebook fully support an online graphic design course? By proactively participating in these inquiries and themes, a region can start transforming its pandemic program into a completely utilitarian web-based program for understudies who have made progress in virtual learning.