Things are tough for college
students right now. The COVID-19 crisis, which has disrupted life
everywhere, is “quite possibly the single most disruptive event
in American higher education in at least a half century,”
according to the Atlantic, one that has “left students scrambling
to wrangle flights home and pack up their dorm room.”
The last two weeks have certainly required flexibility,
innovation and problem-solving for educators not just in SREB
states but across the nation and the world. Those of us at SREB
who support teachers and district- and school-based coaches have
been flooded with emails, texts and phone calls asking for help.
In an effort to support all of you from afar, we offer some tips
and strategies for how you can navigate the road of e-learning.
We know that this is a challenging time for teachers across the
country. Many of you have been plunged into the world of virtual
learning without a lot of time to prepare. Following sudden
school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve had to
move quickly to shift your carefully planned lessons online so
your students can continue learning at home. And those of
you who are STEM and career and technical education teachers
in particular face unique challenges as you work to adapt
hands-on learning experiences to a virtual format.
Nearly 60 percent of U.S. school districts report cyberattacks
infrequently — every month or less, according to a recent
Consortium for School Networking report. But in November,
David Couch, K-12 Chief Information Officer at the Kentucky
Department of Education, made a startling announcement. Couch
told the SREB Legislative Advisory Council that he’d seen over 4
billion attempted cyber-attacks in one year in his
Educational technology, once the wave of the future, is now part
and parcel of modern education — it supports innovative teaching
methods, personalized learning models, and data systems that lead
education policy makers toward better real-time decisions.
A 21st-century education is almost unimaginable without
up-to-date technology, and states that address these issues now will send their best-prepared
students out into the digital world.
Congratulations to the Arkansas Department of Education for its
broadband connectivity accomplishments! Arkansas is now one of
only six states in the nation that have met the federal target
for high-speed broadband in every public school.