School Closures in Georgia Due to Coronavirus: Online Learning Options

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

As authorities in Georgia respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, school closures are a reality across the state. What are the options for online learning? Read on for helpful suggestions for you and your family.

Online Learning in Georgia

In Georgia, over 2,200 schools are spread over 181 school districts. This means more than 1.6 million students attend school in Georgia. Right now, many of these 1.6 million students are being asked to learn at home. Distance learning can feel like a monumental task, and schools didn't have much time to prepare elaborate plans. Fortunately, online resources are available to help schools, teachers, students, and parents make the best of this at-home learning time.

Learning at Home

For many students, spending an extended time participating in at-home learning will be a new experience. It is reasonable to expect the adjustment to take a little time. The following tips should help ease you into the home learning schedule.

  • Make a rough daily schedule. Your entire family will feel better if you have something of a predictable routine to follow during your days home together. Your schedule should include times for meals, movement, creativity, academic work, communication, and play. Also keep your schedule flexible - don't get upset if you don't follow it exactly! You'll get better at finding a schedule that works for you as you refine it day by day.

  • Determine your goals. In a central location, such as on a wall poster or on the refrigerator, make a list of goals for the time you will be home. Encourage each family member to make at least one personal goal, such as ''Watch a video and learn to finger knit,'' or ''Clean out the spare room closet.'' List specific academic goals as well. These goals may be generated by your school and teacher, or they may be your personal choice. Goals should be age and grade appropriate. For example:
    • Read a book and create a visual book report.
    • Do an experiment about the states of matter and write a summary of the results.
    • Learn how to divide and multiply decimals.

  • Inventory your resources. Check the top shelf, the back of the closet, and the bottom drawer. Home time is a great time to learn a forgotten game, use random materials to create a new craft, or recycle and re-purpose a tired household item. Thinking of new uses for old stuff generates the opportunity for learning and fun.

  • Look online for resources related to your academic goals. Keep in mind that people are good resources as well - older siblings may be able to explain topics to younger siblings, and a video chat with a friend or family member can help clarify some of your questions as well.

Using as an Academic Resource provides a wealth of academic resources to help you meet your learning goals.

  • Brief video lessons are available across grade levels for a wide range of topics. The most common topics (such as fractions) have multiple video lessons available to showcase the concept from different angles. Use the video lessons to learn something new or supplement your other instructional materials.

  • Questions and answers with step-by-step solutions can provide you with a wealth of homework help and practice in a variety of subjects.

  • Flashcard sets and quizzes can help you to review concepts you are learning.

  • Project and activity ideas give you plenty of options for extending your learning in an active, creative fashion.

  • Essay prompts and discussion questions allow you to dig deeper into books and other subjects.

As you develop a schedule and choose resources that work for you and your family, remember that learning at home can be fun. Take advantage of this different schedule to learn something new in a new way.

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