Updated: Mar 21, 2020
The classrooms are empty. The hallways are quiet. The locker doors are still and the bathrooms are cleaner than they've ever been before. EJA has been a lonely place these past few days, and the long haul has only just begun. The world is coming to a frightening standstill, but that doesn't mean our students' education should. The teachers have been hard at work to create a home learning solution that will fit the needs of our kids wherever they might be, and today we are finally ready to launch Phase I of that solution.
Welcome to EJAOnline, our new distance learning program!
"But Mia," you might be thinking, "hasn't the EJAOnline website always existed?"
Yes, friend. Yes it has. But! It's new and improved. Before it was just information about our wonderful school. Now it is a hub for our virtual classroom pages!
Distance learning is a method of educating students who are not physically present at a school, using a combination of digital and physical resources. Although it is new for EJA, it has been around for a long time - in fact, I was homeschooled through distance learning from 5th grade all the way through university! The running joke at school is that I've been preparing for this my whole life.
And I have. Extensively.
In order to stay organized and keep our families informed, every classroom has its own website. These websites explain what the class will be like, outline a typical day of work, list the teacher's available hours and methods of contact, provide links to the educational resources we'll be using (as well as some fun extras), offer a collection of tutorials on how to use those resources, and more!
Teachers will upload their lesson plans and assignment lists to their sites so parents and students always know what to expect - but that's Phase II. From now to March 30th, we ask that parents become familiar with their student's class site and digital resources. Once 'school' begins again, each class will use a combination of digital learning (e.g. Google Classroom, MobyMax, RAZ-Kids) and physical assignments (e.g. theme books, worksheets, craftivities). This will be a learning experience for everyone, and we are excited to get started!
It might seem daunting, particularly as we are so far into the year, but the good news is our students have used tools and practiced skills that have already partially prepared them for learning at home, and the teachers at EJA are determined to see them succeed! Phase II: Assignment-pocalypse will hit the shelves on March 30th, so stay tuned for an update soon. Until next time, stay safe and don't panic.
God's got this.