Online learning tools implemented in local schools during the pandemic have continued to remain in place. Zoom and other technologies are now an everyday tool for teachers and students.
The pandemic has even taught educators to be more innovative. WINK News spoke with the superintendent of Glades County schools Doctor Beth Barfield and she says if there’s something good that came out of the lockdown during COVID-19, it is the role technology now plays in the education of students.
Tools like Google Meets, Google Classroom and Zoom made sure that the learning never stopped during the pandemic.
Lee Virtual and Charlotte Virtual programs have been around for a while but the number of students enrolled in these programs is now more than ever.
Barfield says this showed teachers that there are a lot of different ways to educate kids. “It helped push us where we went outside the box. And we started utilizing these different learning platforms, virtually, that enabled our students to have the connectivity to their teachers, and that their education just because school wasn’t a session school continued to progress.”
The virtual programs school districts in Southwest Florida are using are helping both students and teachers, and giving students the opportunity to connect with teachers and even get extra help with their assignments via Zoom.
Glades County schools Superintendent Barfield says a lot of teachers weren’t familiar with these programs at first, but now they are key to student education.
“We’ve learned and we’ve stepped outside of our comfort zone. And educators have a wonderful way of always doing what’s best for kids are that we want to always do what’s best for kids. And we in glades county did not want our students to stop,” said Barfield.
Barfield also said that the virtual learning programs have been helpful during the teacher shortage Glades County schools have experienced.
Glades County schools will soon launch a program similar to Lee Connect where students can get help with homework assignments via zoom.