Distance learning. It’s something educators around the state are adjusting to. Finding ways to engage and educate students while schools are closed.
Like some schools around the state, Middletown’s Xavier High School has turned to technology, using an online learning process.
Xavier teacher Paul Kieda has embraced the situation. He’s motivating his students using social media. He recently posted a humorous video, appearing to be on a Hawaiian island while instructing his students to do his assigned lesson.
“I borrowed some equipment from my media classroom,” explained Kieda. “I’ve been doing (videos) with a green screen and lights and microphones and tripods and stuff.”
It’s that type of creativity that has kept students engaged and interested while being outside the classroom.
“It has changed a lot,” said Xavier student, Luke Solomon. “There’s a lot more e-mail interaction and a lot less of seeing your peers and your teachers face to face.”
Solomon says he logs on to a school run system where lessons are posted. There you can find everything from videos to Powerpoint explanations. If he has a question he doesn’t have to raise his hand.
“There are discussion boards for each class and the teachers check every half an hour or so to make sure each student has their questions answered,” he said.
Luke’s mother, Andrea Solomon, says she’s confident her son is continuing to get a solid education.
“(Teachers) have hardly missed a beat in my opinion,” she said. “It was pretty intense the first week but I think this week’s a little bit better.”
On Monday Gov. Ned Lamont said schools will be closed until at least April 20. During a radio show Tuesday morning, Lamont hinted at the possibility being closed longer. On New York’s WCBS Lamont did not confirm but suggested they could be closed until fall. During the governor’s afternoon briefing Tuesday Connecticut’s education commissioner said the state is preparing for that possibility but no decision has been made.
Being closed until dall is a situation at least one parent would like to avoid.
“That’s gonna be tough. Hopefully that won’t happen,” Andrea Solomon said.
A day after announcing the acquisition of 60,000 laptops for Connecticut Students, Lamont announced another technology advancement. Tuesday the governor announced an online partnership with education content provider, Scholastic.
Technology is being provided as parents and students continue to adjust to a new educational landscape.