Districts trying to navigate virtual learning

Local News

SEARCY, Ark. — We’ve all had technology fail us one way or another, but what happens when it’s the only connection a student has to the classroom.

Almost halfway through week two of school, districts are still trying to navigate virtual learning.

With new technology comes questions and concerns from parents and teachers. We talked with those in charge of answering those questions to see how parents and students can keep their devices up and running.

Whether it’s in the classroom or at home, this school year students have to stay connected to get their lesson plans.

“I always say in the Library that you guys were born in a digital world and they know how to use it, but we have to make sure they are using it correctly,” said Brooke Higgs the Media Specialist.

Higgs is tasked with helping students, parents and teachers when that connection drops.

“Sometimes you have to remind them ‘hey refresh that page and they are good. They understand,” said Higgs.

For the most part, it’s as simple as that, but other times the questions have to be passed on.

“It has been an adventure, it’s came with some challenges,” said Patti Kitts.

Kitts is the District’s Instructional Technology Facilitator and says in the first two weeks they’ve tackled problems from forgotten passwords to lessons not loading.

“That’s something we ran into even this week somebody said ‘hey I can’t watch this’ or ‘Do this’ and once we had them update their browser, things ran perfectly,” said Kitts.

Kitts says keeping browsers up to date and using specific browsers solves a lot of issues.

“If we’re using Google Drive, Google Classroom make sure you’re using that Chrome Browser,” said Kitts.

Her biggest piece of advice for parents…

“Let the students be the ones doing it. Try and be a little more hands off,” said Kitts.

She says if students can troubleshoot themselves that will help in the long run.

“So that when or if we have to pivot to offsite our students are prepared and no one is thrown for a loop like we were last spring,” said Kitts.

Kitts also says it’s important if parents can’t troubleshoot at home, they contact their teacher that way they know there is an issue.

Then if they can’t answer the question they can refer them to someone who can.

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