Excerpted from the Emergency Virtual Discussion tour of virtual events:
“Our parents immediately became teachers in this. We were pleasantly surprised to find we were as ready for this as we are. There have even been overtures (by teachers) saying let’s a have a digital day once a week going forward in the future.
“However, I found our teachers were spending eight hours a day with students on screen, or video conferencing, so my immediate question was, how many hours a day are they spending engaged in this? Are they spending 12, 14 hours a day? Are they taking care of their own needs? Are they taking care of their family needs?
“And this one thing is required. We ask, did you make a daily contact with a colleague? Everybody has a team or a partner that they’re assigned to in our school district (buddy system).
“We first told the teachers that if they’re expecting to do everything they did during the day, to instead just cut that in half to start with and get down to the essential learning that they wanted to accomplish.’”
– David Long,
Superintendent, Beaver County SD, UT
“We offered low challenge work upfront, learning the tools and slowly ramping up to try and return to a more rigor, but we are also not making any effort whatsoever to keep the schedule that was in place before this. We have certain times of the day that teachers and students are expected to do new lessons. Other times, it’s more like office hours. Teachers have to respect one another’s office hours. We’ve kind of outlawed the idea of days from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM that students need to be in here watching a live lesson. Teachers are allowed to do live lessons with the understanding that nobody is expected to attend them live, that everything will be recorded for when students can access that as they have the ability.
“We tend to not take the approach that, when a technology offering says schools or districts can act essentially as a parent surrogate and giving permission, our lawyers say, no, that’s not the case. YouTube a couple days ago said their terms of service changed, so if you’re not 13, you shouldn’t be using it. That’s thrown us for a whole new loop. We are scrambling to figure out how to get the YouTube videos that were in our curriculum out to students under 13 without them going to YouTube.”
– Matthew Nickerson,
Instructional Technology Specialist
Anne Arundel County Public Schools, MD