As we emerge from the pandemic, some students—and some parents, for that matter—may have recognized the potential positives that remote or hybrid learning models have to offer during the course of the pandemic. Students with chronic health issues; children with social or emotional difficulties who may struggle with peer interaction but who otherwise prove academically capable; students with work or home responsibilities; students who for one reason or another cannot consistently match a personal schedule with a traditional school bell schedule—any of these could benefit significantly from districts choosing to continue with a hybrid or remote learning option. Adapting instructional delivery and timing to specific student needs is so much more easily accomplished through online delivery.
Students have become comfortable with the protocols of remote learning, so districts can easily expand course offerings to students with exceptional or accelerated curricular needs. Districts can now offer the courses they always wanted to offer but couldn’t because of the challenge of finding a qualified local teacher. Such expanded offerings could be accomplished in various ways, including subscribing to 3rd-party courses from local colleges and universities or hiring, at a state or regional level, a single certified teacher who could deliver online instruction to any number of students across buildings or even districts.
Districts should determine their own hybrid or remote learning needs and recognize that online delivery frameworks can generally be remarkably adaptable. In January 2020, no one would have anticipated the experience most students and educators have undergone in the ensuing months. And although few of us would want to go back, be cautious about throwing potential advantages and innovative learning approaches out with the bathwater.
Giving IT staff remote line of sight to both in-school and remote device and application usage will also be critical here. Systems such as Lightspeed Mobile Device Management™ can equip district IT leaders with a centralized tool for scalable device, application, and policy management. Such systems can help ensure safe and secure control of student learning resources with real-time visibility and reporting capabilities, and they can make app management flexible with remote configuration and deployment without physically handling devices.
If you found this information helpful, download our FREE e-book Returning to Normal: What “Back to School” Really Means for IT Teams” for more on returning back to campus and adjusting digital learning plans to an in-person environment.