Distance learning interest increasing ahead of school year

Distance learning challenges

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - As the new school year fast approaches, districts are sharing more information about distance learning programs families can choose if they’re worried about sending their children to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, a system known as Canvas has been adopted by the Caddo Parish School District after switching from Google Classroom.

Jordan Thomas, an educational specialist with Red River United Teachers Union, says Canvas is a little different compared to Google Classroom.

“The grades are going to be there. Your Zoom is on there. So, whenever the student logs in they can immediately click what they need to, immediately go to the Zoom video. And everything’s kind of a one-stop-shop,” said Thomas.

Thomas says there are fewer steps involved with Canvas compared to Google Classroom, the distance learning platform used by Bossier Parish Schools.

Red River Parish will also utilize Google Classroom, but with static groups.

Thomas explains that in static groups, students will stay in one class for the entire school day. Throughout the day, students will change subjects by logging on to different classes, such as math and social studies.

Thomas feels that regardless of whether it’s online or in-person instruction, they’ll all have one thing in common.

“They’re all going to be completing their assignments on Chromebooks or on iPads. There’s not going to be the hard copies that we’ve had in year’s past,” said Thomas.

However, one student who took part in distance learning in the spring says there is something lost in translation when you are not learning in person.

Kayleigh Pace, an incoming junior at Parkway High School in south Bossier City says, “I didn’t like the online classes as well because I couldn’t focus as well as I do in a classroom where I can ask the teachers.”

Copyright 2020 KSLA. All rights reserved.