Preparing for and offering adult basic skills online during the pandemic
Submitted by David J. Rosen on March 9, 2020 - 3:35pm
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In several parts of the world, including the U.S., because of COVID-19, the current novel coronavirus pandemic, universities and schools have shut their classroom doors and are providing instruction only online. Stanford University on the west coast, and Hofstra university on the east coast are two recent examples. Near Boston, where I live, elementary schools have had to close. I am not aware of any adult basic skills programs that have closed their classroom doors yet, but there may be some. Are you aware of any?
It might be useful to discuss here how to prepare for providing classes only online. Blended and distance learning programs may already be prepared to do this, but might not be prepared for large numbers of adult learners who may want to get into their online classes or use their instructional apps. Traditional face-to-face classroom teachers and administrators may need immediate online training on how to "onboard" learners to apps and how to teach online classes -- remotely by telephone or through webinars that are accessible by smartphone and home computers. There may be a great demand for professional developers who can help teachers quickly learn how to teach online. Some programs may turn to the 14-state IDEAL Consortium with state members that have expertise in delivering distance education and online blended learning. Some schools and programs may need to invest in online curricula, but which curricula or courses will best meet their needs? In some states -- California, Illinois, Texas and Massachusetts come to mind -- there are state-or charitable foundation-sponsored technology professional development organizations and projects that may be able to help. Perhaps this LINCS Community of Practice may be able to help with advice on some of these issues.
Should your program or school be preparing now? Are you already prepared? If you have some thoughts about how to prepare, please share them here. If you have only questions, share those too, and let us as a community try to offer solutions. For example, I have mentioned some potential challenges here, but no doubt there are many more challenges. What are they?
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating technology and Program management groups