Tech & Learning Remote Learning Series: Lessons Learned in Georgia

remote learning
(Image credit: Future)

Georgia had a smaller but similar regional remote learning crisis during 2014’s “Snowmageddon,” when Georgia schools experienced long-term school shutdowns because of unusually extreme weather conditions. In this virtual roundtable conversation, Dr. Kecia Ray talks with district leaders from Georgia about how they made the shift to remote learning then--and how they’ve sustained this model since that time.

They presented their work in T&L’s virtual “lunch and learn” roundtable and interactive Q&A, hosted by Dr. Kecia Ray. This weekly series features district leaders from around the country discussing how they are navigating the challenges of long-term school closures. 

Watch the on-demand version here 

Remote Learning Takeaways

  • Snowmaggedon lessons: Aleigha Henderson-Rosser, executive director of instructional technology for Atlanta Public Schools, presented the historical perspective of “Snowmageddon” and how that helped in developing remote learning plans. The district created at least three days of remote learning lessons, and dedicated substantial time to professional development for edtech. Read more here
  • Proactive measures: Dr. Nicole H. Holmes, Chief Academic Officer, Cherokee County School District, talked about how for the past three years, the district has focused on encouraging use of the LMS on a regular basis so that teachers and students would be familiar with online learning. The district also scheduled remote learning days to prepare for emergency events. 
  • Long-term vision: Bobby Blount, Chief Information Officer, Cherokee County School District, discussed how being prepared for remote teaching during an extreme weather event was critical, but also how the district encouraged remote learning for students as preparation for the years ahead. Read more about how the district distributed tech to students here
  • Building digital classrooms: Cristin Kennedy, Director of the Instructional Technology, Cobb County, discussed how Cobb County has been focused on implementing the concept of a digital classroom over the past five years, which helped the transition to full remote learning. See some of the resources they used here
  • Security first: Curating and vetting online resources to protect students was discussed, as was equity, with the acknowledgement that getting devices and access for all students is a big challenge for every district.
  • What happens after this is over? Most of the participants expect that there will be some sort of paradigm shift, in which remote learning tools and practices will be more proactively incorporated into the overall education system. 
  • Management tools: Rob Chambers, VP of Global Customer Success, Lightspeed Systems, presented how Lightspeed tools can be incorporated into remote learning. Monitoring student activities, setting policies, permitting access to certain resources, sharing screens and content, and providing analytics is all part of the Lightspeed LMS. For a tour of Lightspeed’s platform, click 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.