Spring 2020 was a real learning period for schools that had never used remote learning before. Call it a baptism by fire, if you will, but seemingly overnight, nearly every institution nationwide had to make a quick shift to online instruction.
The approaches varied by geography and by the schools themselves. Some districts missed their own deadlines for getting everyone enabled and connected in the spring, while others didn’t even have phone numbers for their parents.
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Other schools were more prepared, with most of them already having 1:1 and blended learning in place prior to COVID. Students, parents, and teachers were already familiar with the online programs and all of the connectivity issues were solved in advance. This made the transition easier for these schools and allowed them to more immediately focus on instructional needs of their students.
Easing the transition
To help ease schools’ transition to online learning, many companies began offering free, unlimited access to current customers or to all teachers and students. Many of these districts and schools literally went “lights out” one afternoon in March, thinking they’d be back in the classroom in a few weeks.