Technology impacting education in tragic time

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Screenshot by Rachel Steil

The Stillwater Pony Express editors-in-chief meet over Google Hangouts, a new way of meeting after Governor Tim Walz cancelled school and advised against meeting in groups for the time being.

Ella Gag, Social Media Editor

In this time of tragedy and despair technology will impact it all. Coronavirus has rapidly spread throughout the world as a pandemic. Measures have been taken to prevent the virus from growing. One being cancelling schools until a further notice.

“We know that with viruses that children certainly are often vectors of those transmission. And they do, in fact, tend to spread partly because they tend to get in each other’s space a little bit more, partly because they tend to share things more frequently than we may as adults. And so what we know is that we wanted to make sure that we created opportunities to reduce the transmission,” Dr. Nathaniel Beers, president of the HSC Health Care System said according to wbur.com

Coronavirus has pushed schools into remote learning until a time of recovery. Schools are turning to education technology companies for guidance and tools for distance learning. These companies are giving away teacher helplines to help integrate technology into learning in such short notice. As well, providing different tools and devices for teachers.

We still see classroom technology tools being purchased, but a huge rise into mobile devices immediately.   Also, in many of the rural schools they are looking for devices that have 4G or WiFi Hotspots for connectivity.  I think this is going to be a huge push moving forward. If you are doing remote learning everyone must have the same access,” CEO of Tierney Education Robert Gag added.

From this virus, teachers will have to transform normal day to day routines of teaching to implement this new style of education. Online learning works in different ways for everybody and may be a challenge in the beginning days. A day was taken out prior to practice E-learning for snow days that matches up with the criteria that will be coming ahead.

Online learning could never replace the relationships students share with each other and their teachers in the classroom.”

— Kirsten Carter

“Stillwater teachers are very prepared. Our district already planned for potential closures due to snow days. We had no idea that we would need it for a virus, but teachers and students have already had a trial run that will serve us well now,” Spanish 4 teacher Kirsten Carter explained.

Each day, teachers will post assignments and activities on schoology. Also, they will provide google hangout sessions for interactions between the students and teachers. They are planning to be online most of the day for any guidance as well. Having the schoology access within the day will benefit the students during this education change.

“I think students will be all set for the remote learning plan being that most students use and are comfortable with Schoology. Just like teachers working from home, it will probably take some adjusting for students as they create new routines for getting things done,” history teacher Kevin Klancher added.

Education is a right everybody deserves and a tragic event like the coronavirus affects the chance of an education. Teachers desire the best opportunities for students and are taking hours out of their days for efficient online learning that can benefit most students.

“Our district and other teachers around the state and nation are sharing resources so that we could all work together to make this the best experience possible,” Carter explained

“Online learning could never replace the relationships students share with each other and their teachers in the classroom. However, we are counting on those connections built between us to make distance learning work now,” Carter said.