If there’s one lesson to be gleaned in education from recent events, it’s that all school systems need to create a virtual learning backup plan moving forward. The fact remains that no one can predict when or why schools will shut down next or even if they’ll remain in person but unable to meet educational needs in the traditional fashion. Preparation is the key to success in education and establishing a comprehensive virtual learning backup plan is certainly a wise decision to be made.
The Covid-19 pandemic is at the forefront of most people’s minds and for good reason. But even before the pandemic forced schools to shut down unexpectedly in 2020, other important factors came into play.
Many school districts across the country have shut down for extended periods of time in recent years from the polar vortex, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and the flu virus. And let us not forget about temporary school closures due to structural issues that are common across the country. Many buildings have been shut down due to electrical, heating and cooling, ventilation, and plumbing issues.
Furthermore, with a looming teacher and substitute shortage, many schools are struggling to staff an adult in each room let alone to have one who is prepared to deliver a quality lesson. The problem is made worse when teachers themselves fall ill or injured and are scrambling to make detailed lesson plans from home to cover their absence. Even with an emergency folder in each classroom, sub plans do not coordinate with what has been taught in the last days and weeks of class.
And teachers aren’t the only ones to get injured or sick unexpectedly. Students also face these challenges and get further behind with each passing day they remain at home.
Fortunately, all of these challenges can be dealt with quickly by having a virtual learning backup plan in place. A comprehensive plan includes steps to make sure every student has a computer with internet access while also making sure that every teacher is given the proper time and training to create virtual lesson plans that can also be accessed by subs when necessary.
When school systems have backup plans in place, it helps teachers pivot to virtual learning quickly and easily, it helps students stay on track without interruption in their learning, and it eliminates the need for makeup days at the end of the year. So a virtual learning backup plan is a must for all school systems moving forward.