The challenges of elearning and how parents can adjust

Posted at 8:54 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 08:54:15-04

Continuing to help South Florida rebound during these trying times. There’s no doubt this upcoming school year will be different because of the coronavirus and with that comes the growth of “e-learning” programs. While parents are trying to adjust, so are teachers.

It’s been four months since schools in South Florida closed due to the pandemic. The abrupt closure, forcing teachers to teach online.

“It’s a struggle because since the kids are also at home, they have stuff going on at home too,” said Vanessa Diaz, elementary school teacher at Somerset Academy in Miramar.

Vanessa says she can’t wait to go back to teach on-campus.

“When I’m in the classroom I’m able to group the kids according to their age and goals and it makes it much easier to work with them in smaller groups. Once we started e-learning, we had to make the groups bigger and it was much harder trying to make sure everyone was getting what they needed for their IEP goals,” said Vanessa.

Jacey Kaps, father of a 14 and 16-year-old says his son suffers from severe asthma, so distance learning is really his only option.

“It wasn’t just a matter of convenience, it was a matter of safety. It was 100% a matter of necessity. We’re doing it no matter what,” said Jacey.

And this isn’t new for his family. According to Jacey, from third to eight grade, his son couldn’t go to school because of his medical condition so the transition wasn’t hard.

But for parents who are struggling with the e-learning experience? Jacey says to be present and communicate.

“I think the learning piece is going to have to be to help them adjust to the distinct social component, more so than the learning component. I believe the learning component can be covered. The social challenge in terms of feeling that sense of feeling left out, particularly with some kids physically sitting in class, that’s something parents need to listen to. Help them work through it and come up with other strategies for that socialization to go on even for kids who can’t be physically present on campus,” added Jacey.

In the meantime, Vanessa says she’s adjusting to the new normal, making it easier to teach her students online.

“At least now I feel a little more comfortable with the e-learning, with creating google documents and presenting things in an online format,” added Vanessa.

Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Robert Runcie, made the final decision of moving the upcoming school year to online. As for Miami-Dade, we’re still waiting to hear from the board.