IT teams in education have played a heroic role across the country during this global health crisis. Schools that moved to remote learning scrambled to switch from in-person education to a virtual environment. Here are some ways that school districts (in partnership with their IT providers) have helped ease the burdens educators, students, and their families experienced with the sudden change.
Many schools and universities already offered Office 365 or G Suite to students and teachers, which are great baseline tools. However, other cloud-based tools, like Zoom, have also been introduced into the workflow. Everyone’s skill level for each tool is different. For that reason, training teachers to get used to different programs, best practices, and setting up the toolkits to better cater to their classes was essential to ensure successful online learning outcomes.
Creating actionable documents
In addition to training sessions, documentation has proven to be essential. These assets guide instructors through the different settings within each tool used for remote learning. Imagine 20 students in a zoom meeting all talking at once, while notifications from every program litter an inbox. The distractions would cause chaos and ruin productivity. For this reason, action items like these help teachers to take control of each of their tools:
- Mute students until they’ve raised their hands to speak
- Cut video so student’s faces aren’t compromised
- Record conversations and lectures so students can refer back to them
- Learn how to turn off notifications on documents so it’s easier to sort through an influx of digital communication
Change for the future
The changes enacted to digitize schools are already proving to have a practical use for future events. For example, districts are also seeing the new wave of technology as an opportunity to continue learning when schools need to be closed for other reasons, such as weather-related events. However, issues such as security and connectivity remain critical to the success of remote learning.
This vast switch to the hyper-digital world is still new in the education sector. For that reason, security is even more critical for both students and teachers. Here are some tips:
- Never share login information, especially in chat sessions
- All communication in chat should be done through private logins
- Regularly check the content of messages to ensure the technology is being used correctly and safely
- Never stay logged into programs when you’re not using them
- Learn how to properly identify phishing emails
Connectivity for students
Not all homes are set up for digital communication. To ensure all students and teachers have fair access to education while at home, some schools loaned computers and tablets along with Wi-Fi hotspot devices to anyone who needed one. Whether it’s training, documentation, security, or connectivity, we look forward to working with you on moving more holistically into the digital space.