Rapid paradigm shifts can introduce issues for any sector, but they’re particularly challenging in the field of education. School districts across the country are attempting to answer the call of remote digital learning at an unprecedented speed and scale, but they are facing huge inequalities in students’ access to technology and the imbalance in resources needed for digitally-enabled student-citizens.
Those who have been able to adapt swiftly to the current environment were largely those schools and districts in highly connected, digitally-enabled communities. Where student households had ample access to high-speed internet and technology devices, budgets could be directed to building a robust digital infrastructure of well-trained teachers, well-tested software, learning management systems and IT support capabilities. Consequently, they were well positioned for the swift disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, Title 1 schools – named for the provisions for serving immigrant and lower-income students in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, and predominantly rural schools – are attempting to serve a student populace mostly without ample access to online learning technology at home. Unfortunately, they are struggling because they lack the foundation of that same digital infrastructure.
Given ongoing changes due to the pandemic, and because the specifics of district systems are difficult to derive, we cannot be sure if the Hawai‘i DOE may gave implemented some of the suggestions indicated here.
Communication – multiple one way channels– district and school websites, newsletters, emails, texts, phone, social media delivering policy, processes and changes are potentially confusing and obscure to teachers, students, and families.
Instructional Model – Face to Face, Virtual, or Blended learning– Synchronous, Asynchronous, define the chosen models.
Instructional Content – District-defined, teacher- created content, external core and supplemental content offer a wide range of opportunities for diverse student needs.
Learning Management System – A District level learning management system enables efficient delivery of learning and assessment, leverages content, delivers analysis. Classroom learning management offers teacher control but may not enable aggregated data or leveraging of resources.
Special Education System – Development of IEPs and learning tools to support special needs are supported in these systems.
Student Information System – District class scheduling, student demographics, cafeteria, bus, technology resource management are provided by the SIS.
Assessment Management – teacher-created, district, and external formative, interim, and summative tests may be managed in a separate system or a module of the SIS or LMS.
Click the image to read the full post. This is a good very specific article that gives teachers an idea of what students (grades 5-12) think works, but also gives parents and the public a view of what teachers are going through right now.
We cannot underestimate the pressure on our teachers now. We must do all we can to support our teachers.