MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — School will look different for many students this year. Virtual learning and the internet are taking on much more importance for education across the country.
Holly Resmondo is heading into her third year as principal of Baldwin County’s Virtual School. This year her job will likely become one of the most important in the school system as thousands of students have already signed up for virtual classes.
“Certified teachers teach the classes online,” she says. They are reading based, so it’s sort of like an interactive powerpoint presentation.”
There are different forms of virtual classes. Baldwin County Public Schools use the state’s Access Distance Learning Program administered by Troy University. Students with guidance from teachers and parents set their own pace.
“We work with them to create a schedule that they’re going to work for 45 minutes or so and then take a break,” says Resmondo. “Maybe even set timers on their cell phones so they know when they can take a break. And then set their lunchtime for the same time every day.”
It takes a lot of self-discipline for both students and parents. In-person tutoring sties have been set up in four places around Baldwin County if students need extra help.
But students in more rural areas may also have the added difficulty of simply logging on. Governor Kay Ivey is spending $100m of CARES Act money to help ensure students who have no option but to learn from home, don’t fall through the cracks.
Many students in the Mobile County Public School System will have no choice as the schools will only have virtual or remote classes. But Superintendent Chresal Threadgill hopes they are overcoming connectivity issues.
“We gave ordered several thousand Chromebooks–several thousand wifis,” said Threadgill.
It is hoped that equipment, along with the Governor’s investment in technology will help keep kids connected to their educations.
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