At this point, everyone knows what distance learning looks like from home. Now parents in South Florida will have a choice to continue that process or send their kids back to public schools.
“And I think a lot of parents that I speak to have no idea what to expect when schools reopen, when I talk to them they’re thinking that everything’s gonna be back to how it was,” said Lindsay Poveromo-Joly, mother of two Broward Public Schools students.
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“What the classroom will look like is not what was on March 13th, but it’s also not just what they’ve been experiencing so far this year,” explained Dan Gohl, chief academic officer for Broward Schools.
They’re calling this “E-learning Phase Two.”
Gohl said Broward teachers will be instructing from their classrooms, but the students in those classrooms will have their laptops and they will still be using the Canvas distance learning platform. This way the academic playing field is as level as possible for the kids who opt to learn from home.
“Teachers will have the opportunity to utilize the tools they have but they must ensure that the learning for the students at home is the same for the students in the classroom, this is very important to us, that we not compromise the learning,” Gohl said. “Students will need to have their devices because that’s how they will be turning in their homework, there will be no worksheets or shared materials because touching is a form of contagion, and we need to make sure all the children are safe.”
Some parents hear that and think their kids might as well stay home.
“We are just looking at E-learning, the teachers are going to be supervising, they’re not going to be live teaching, and there are a lot of parents that when they know that will opt to keep their kids home,” Poveromo-Joly said.
Gohl said that assertion is simply not true. He said teachers will be teaching the students in front of them and the kids at home simultaneously. The teachers will also have access to new cameras which can show them walking around their room, demonstrating concepts, or doing experiments, but there’s still magic, Gohl said, in being there in person.
“Being physically present in the same room with people adds all kinds of advantages, on the social emotional as well as the academic understanding, being able to see the whole person,” Gohl said. “One of the big costs of the pandemic has been our interpersonal relationships, we are hoping that this next step is a partial restoration of the joy we get by being together.”