As we get closer to the fall semester for elementary schools, high schools, and universities, there’s still debate as to how kids will be educated in the midst of a pandemic.
Many school districts are being left without direction, forcing them to come up with their own pandemic learning plans. Many states are calling for full remote learning in counties with the highest tiers of the state’s public health advisory alert system, counties rated purple or red. For example, in Southwest Ohio, Hamilton and Clermont county would be advised to go completely virtual with teaching programs until further notice.
In a recent poll, parents were asked whether it would be safe to reopen the schools. Sixty-nine percent of those polled said it wasn’t safe yet–as far as elementary and high schools go. Because of this, many schools in varying alert tiers are choosing between five days a week in school, full-time online learning, or a mix of both in-person and remote learning.
About Remote Learning
While many are up in arms about having to move to a completely virtual learning environment this fall, this change doesn’t go without its benefits for others. The sudden move to remote learning will undoubtedly show us some students are more than willing to participate fully in online instruction, or even benefit from additional parent-delivered enrichment.
But remote learning doesn’t come without caveats. Many students may have trouble getting access to instruction, or simply lack the support and guidance in order to commit to virtual learning. The need for differentiated methods of teaching based on the needs of your students will become even greater in an online learning environment. Educators are given the difficult task of maintaining a relationship with their students from a distance, while still teaching new material, reviewing content, and addressing learning gaps.
If remote learning isn’t taken seriously or done properly, the consequences could be huge. A recent study from the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Collaborative for Student Growth Research Center estimated that when students return for the 2020-21 school year, they’ll enter classes with about 70% of the learning gains in reading compared to a normal year of classes. The “COVID-19 slide” is predicted to affect mathematics comprehension even more, with an estimated 50% of retention of what was taught when compared to a typical school year.
The bottom line is: going forward, remote learning is going to be increasingly important; and digital resources along with their respective devices will be ever-essential.
- Are you providing your K-12 students with a Microsoft Surface tablet or Windows-based laptop for remote learning? Microsoft has provided K-12 educators with a resources page for quickly getting started on their remote learning journey, finding tools and training, and receiving tips to help meet your educational goals.
- Does your district support Apple products? If your district is renting Apple iPads or MacBooks for remote learning, you’ll be interested in Apple’s K-12 learning from home resources page. Here, Apple provides all of the resources, including Applications, Learning Series video collections, the Apple Teacher Learning Center, App and Book collections, Remote Learning App Collections, and more!
- Do you work for an institution of higher learning? If your university need to provide Microsoft devices, the Microsoft Education Team also has a resource center for Higher Education IT leaders and another page for Higher Education Faculty. Here is where you can find all of the information you need to transition quickly from in-person class to inclusive online learning sessions. Microsoft’s devs will walk you through remote learning with Microsoft Teams, which brings together virtual face-to-face connections, assignments, files, and conversations in a single place, free for schools and universities.
- Apple doesn’t have a page developed specifically for colleges and universities, but here are their tips on preparing your school’s Apple devices for remote learning this semester.
Now that you’ve come up with a plan for which devices you’ll provide to different ages and grade levels of students, it’s time to come up with a plan for how to manage student devices for remote learning. Here are the top 10 tips for districts’ device management during this time of prolonged learning from home.
Remote Learning Technology, Devices, and Equipment
If your district hasn’t provided devices for its faculty or your students yet, an option many schools are going with is tablets or laptop rentals for remote learning.
Our most popular remote learning products are:
Remote Learning Devices – Apple or Microsoft?
The technology devices you choose to provide your students with could have an ever-lasting effect on how they will receive their education this year. In order to choose the right device for remote learning, first, you need to assess the needs of your students at each grade or academic level.
After you’ve decided what specifications you’ll need for each of your classrooms, you’ll have to consult with your district about which brand is right for your school, with Microsoft and Apple as the frontrunners for most learning institutions.
Remote Learning doesn’t have to mean “Early Summer Vacation”
Just because you won’t be meeting with your students this fall, doesn’t mean you can’t offer customized teaching lessons for the needs of your students. Teachers should be able to prepare lesson plans, including specialized plans for students with special needs or require additional attention, and stay in constant communication with fellow colleagues, students, and parents. Not just for educational purposes, but for the mental and emotional well-being of all of those involved in learning remotely.
Remote Teaching Office Setups for Teachers
Now that the students in your district are equipped with the devices necessary for distance learning, let’s equip your staff and faculty with the equipment they need to work at home.
If you have never worked from home before you may not have the right equipment to complete your day-to-day responsibilities. It’s time to do a quick assessment of your living quarters and determine what you need.
How it works – Remote Learning Delivery Options
- Delivery to your IT department
- One solution is to send a computer to the district’s IT person ahead of time by courier. The IT administrator then has the physical computer rental in their hands and can install their school’s VPN settings and custom software on the device. They can make sure that all is set up according to their institution of learning’s secure environment protocols. Once they are satisfied with their configuration, they can then send the device back to the tech rental provider to save the image.
- Remote Configuration
- Another option would be to set up a remote session of the computer. Your trusted rental provider can use remote desktop sharing software such as TeamViewer. TeamViewer is a proprietary software application for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing and file transfer between computers (Wikipedia). This is an excellent option when time is of the essence. By remote sharing the desktop with the IT Administrator, they can quickly and easily set up their custom configuration. Once completed, the computer’s settings can then be saved and is then ready to deploy the image to the remaining units.
- Imaging Multiple Devices
- Imaging or ghosting are terms used in the technology rental industry to push system settings and software loads to other computers and devices. There are several products and technologies out there that your rental partner may use to push an image or clone a computer to multiple units. The seed computer’s image will be saved to a server and these programs will then be used to load that seed units configuration on to the remaining computers. Almost all schools and educational organizations have been directly affected by the current world situation. Challenged like never before, schools and universities are working hard to get computers into the hands of their staff and students to be able to learn and teach remotely from home. By utilizing the right method and supplier, these organizations have options to quickly roll out large quantities of computers to get their schools back to doing what they do best: teaching our children.
Remote Learning Rentals with Rentacomputer.com
Are you looking to equip your students, teachers, and/or faculty with remote learning devices? You’ll have peace of mind in knowing Rentacomputer.com has provided remote learning rentals to a number of school districts during these difficult times. If you’re interested in having remote learning devices delivered to your teachers, staff, and students during the coronavirus outbreak, Rentacomputer.com and our Tech Travel Agents like Randy Moore can help equip your institution of learning with the necessary devices and technical support to keep the school year running smoothly.
Rentacomputer.com has a large stock of equipment that is ready to deliver that includes laptops, iPads, tablets, smartphones, WiFi hotspots, teleconferencing equipment, and more. Not only can we deliver your rentals, but we also offer custom configuration and setup so you know everything is in working order.
Furthermore, Randy can answer any questions you have about office equipment rentals–in any capacity, for any type of office. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form. You can also connect with Randy on LinkedIn!
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