As a coordinator of elementary schools and instructional technology at Talladega County Schools in Alabama, I play an interesting dual role for the district. My two-part purpose has provided a firsthand look at traditional learning methods merging with newer technology. From this unique perspective, I’ve recognized that both print and online learning materials have significant benefits to students. Even though instructional technology can make learning more engaging to students with all the enticing bells and whistles, I’ve witnessed a real need for print resources in everyday teaching.
Print has been important in our blended schedule since COVID-19 began. Essentially, the pandemic forced us to adjust our methods of delivering instruction. Our blended model provides two days of learning at home and two days at school. The addition of print resources as take-home assignments has turned out to be a great success.
Print for parents
When operations shut down in the COVID spring, we immediately noticed that parents were struggling with the technology side of the equation. Print materials came to the rescue, making it easy for them to support their kids with packets and booklets. From the equity side, both print and technology are offered to ensure that all situations remain equal regardless of the home’s economic setup. All students and parents are better positioned for an optimal learning environment by providing online and print options.
For some parents, there is a built-in reluctance to technology that takes time to dissipate. I remember personally taking some time to move over to the Kindle, for instance. I missed holding and bookmarking a book, which gave me a sense of accomplishment. Now, I read both hard copies and digital and carry over this same approach for students. Options are useful when it comes to education.