Tech & Learning Leadership Roundtable Recap: Remote Learning in Illinois

illinois remote learning
(Image credit: Future)

Illinois has been at the forefront of remote learning delivery. To learn more, Tech & Learning invited Illinois Superintendents and Academic Officers to talk about how they built this program, the challenges they have had to overcome, and the technology they have used to achieve it.

They presented their work in the inaugural virtual “lunch and learn” roundtable and interactive Q&A, hosted by Dr. Kecia Ray. This is the first in a weekly series where Tech & Learning and Dr. Ray will interview district leaders from around the country to learn how they are navigating the challenges of long-term school closures. 

Watch the on-demand version here

Remote learning takeaways:

  • Launching an elearning program: Dr. Amy Warke, Superintendent, LaGrange Highlands School District 106, discussed her challenges as a first-year superintendent putting together an elearning plan, including connecting with board members, teachers’ union and other key stakeholders. Starting in late February, the district put together a plan based on earlier remote learning pilots, and then met on a daily basis to implement the plan. Find a sample elearning lesson plan here.
  • Using academic coaches: Dr. Ken Wallace, Superintendent, Maine Township High School District 207, shared how his district was an early adopter to cloud computing, and the need to make sure that every student has access to online learning. The district has a strong remote instruction coaching framework in place, which has been critical in successful implementation. Read more about the district's Coaching Plans here. See their E-LEARNING Plan Page here.
  • Creating remote learning lessons: Dr. Stacey Gonzales, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Consolidated High School District 230, discussed how her district had been developing a long term remote learning plan over the past year, focusing on learning, technology and the management of it all. The plan involved areas such as setting time frames, providing and maintaining devices, and organizing professional development. 
  • Addressing social-emotional learning: Laura Nylen, Director of Digital Learning, Indian Prairie School District 204, talked about eLo (the Expanding Learning Opportunities Consortium), a virtual school across three districts that provided online learning for high school students. That program created a useful template for the districts to fully implement remote learning, including addressing social-emotional learning. You can download this Guide in the on-demand version of this webinar, which you can find here.
  • Remote monitoring: GoGuardian, who sponsored the event, announced that they are offering free, full-functional access to their entire suite of tools through the end of the school year. Read more about how you can use GoGuardian to support remote learning, including sharing resources and monitoring students, here

Hear more about how these districts are sustaining remote learning by accessing the on-demand version here.

Lunch 'n Learn with Tech & Learning

This report is part of Tech & Learning's District Leadership Lunch ‘n Learn Roundtable series, hosted by Dr. Kecia Ray. In this series, districts from across the U.S. share their strategic plans, the challenges they are facing, and the creative solutions they are using to support students and teachers. Access previous webinars and register for our upcoming events here

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Ray Bendici is the Managing Editor of Tech & Learning and Tech & Learning University. He is an award-winning journalist/editor, with more than 20 years of experience, including a specific focus on education.