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School Closures in Texas for Coronavirus: How TX Schools Can Teach Online

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Would you like to learn more information about online school options in Texas during the coronavirus? Discover some ways the Lone Star State is rapidly adapting to the changing world and meeting its citizens' virtual education needs.

How to Teach Online in Texas

Are you a parent, student, or teacher residing in the great State of Texas? Have your schools suddenly closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak? This lesson can help you! It provides relevant information about some of the various options available to you.

First of all, Texas is our second largest state, and as is the case in many states, not all schools in Texas have equal funding. For example, some of the Round Rock and Eanes districts have the means to provide laptops and iPads to their students. However, some of the De Valle and Austin districts may have to settle for sending home 'learning packets' instead. Some districts are working with ISP's Comcast and Spectrum to provide free internet service to low-income families.

Secondly, one Texas teacher noted that the students and the teachers are going to experience a learning curve to figure out their online learning platforms, such as Google and Blend. Homeless and special needs students will face extra challenges.

Third, the Texas Homeschool Coalition (THSC) is an organization that promotes the online education and well-being of Texas students and parents.

Study.com

The Study.com online learning platform is a fine way for Texas students to learn via virtual instruction. They can access literally thousands of compelling animated videos covering many distinct topics, and then take brief five-question quizzes to test their newly acquired knowledge. They can also access:

  • Activities
  • Assignments
  • Discussion questions
  • Project ideas
  • Unit plans

All of these helpful resources are grouped together on one website, so Texas students can easily find them on their phones or laptops.

Free Printables

Texans can stock up on free printables from the Trend Enterprises website. These include activities, puzzles, scrambles, and worksheets.

Digital Games

Okay, the students have been at home for only a week or two, and they are getting restless. Now they just want to play video games instead of learn. Why not combine the two concepts? The BreakoutEDU website features all sorts of interactive games that will challenge their minds as well as their reflexes. The 'Citizenship Challenge' and the 'Earth Treasure Hunt' are just two of the more popular games.

Exploring Music

A well-rounded student studies the arts and music as well as the languages and science. The interesting Musical Explorers website not only allows a student to study various musical genres, but also allows a student to learn how music can bring cultures together.

Making Math Happy

Okay, let's face it, most students would rather play those video games or learn about music than study dreaded math problems. However, the Happy Numbers math site is looking to change that old way of thinking. Students can even utilize their smartphones to get started right away, so they don't fall too far behind in their studies.

Computers

Well, we've got the math out of the way, but how about teaching students about those pesky computers? Don't fret too much! The iCompute website has a special free offer for any Texas students affected by school closures due to the coronavirus.

Science

What about science? It seems some students love it and some students hate it. However, the Mystery Science website looks to bridge that gap by making learning about plants and animals and other related topics fun and interesting. Students don't even need to have an account or login to access the online material.

Dual Credit

The concept of dual credit, known as dual enrollment in some other states, allows Texas homeschool learners to take a high school course, which also doubles as a college credit. Although the tuition may not be free, the Early College Start (ECS) program touts itself as 'highly affordable.'

Texas Virtual School Network - Online Schools Program (TXVSN OLS)

Even before the coronavirus outbreak of 2020, the Texas schools already had an online learning program in place. The courses must meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, as well as national online course standards. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) administers the program. Students from grades 3-12 may be eligible, and enrollment is free of charge if a student meets eligibility requirements.

eschool Prep

Based in Lewisville, Texas, eschool Prep calls itself a 'college & career readiness academy.' Launched for the 2019-20 school year, any student grades 5-11 in Texas may be eligible to register. Students with pressing financial needs may even be loaned a computer system.

Texas Connections Academy

Based out of Houston, Texas, this tuition-free school launched in 2008 is for eligible grade 3-12 students. As in traditional brick-and-mortar schools, students are responsible for the costs of field trips, textbooks, and other materials.

Four other Texas institutions that provide online instruction are:

  • iuniversityprep
  • Texas Online Preparatory School
  • Texas Tech K-12
  • Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville

Three online private Texas schools are:

  • George Washington University Online High School
  • K12 International Academy
  • The Keystone School

Texas Educational Television

Texas is home to Houston-based KUHT, which is lauded as 'the first noncommercial educational television station in the nation.' Texas designated a 'Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF)' to assist in broadcasting educational content. It partners with:

  • Hospitals
  • Libraries
  • Schools

Available resources include Texas PBS LearningMedia and PBS TeacherLine of Texas.

In Summary

The State of Texas is the 2nd largest state in America, and its diversity of students and cultures creates some great demands. The Study.com website is an ideal online learning platform to utilize during the coronavirus outbreak of 2020. Lastly, Texas is home to several online public and private learning institutions, as well as quality educational television content.

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Transferring credit to the school of your choice

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