Student Assigned Technology is Key to Smooth Virtual School Transition
Lourdes Academy eighth-grader, Erin Yunick, has had a take-home Chromebook laptop since sixth grade. The 1-to-1 technology program has been in place for all middle school students at Lourdes Academy for three years. Students use the laptops during the school day and at home to communicate with teachers, receive and turn in assignments.
“Already having the devices with 1:1 has made a huge difference for the middle school students,” said eighth-grade teacher Melanie Wilson. “We have continued to use programs and websites the students already know how to use, and not ask them to learn new programs.”
So when the COVID-19 pandemic required students to learn from home for weeks at a time, the middle school students were prepared.
“They separate the assignments by the day and by the week,” says Erin Yunick. “I have a guide on what I need to complete each day and then turn it in by the end of the week. It’s easy to follow and I know I’m staying on track.”
Erin’s mom, Kathy Yunick, says that the transition to virtual school has been very smooth.
“The Lourdes Academy middle school teachers really set up the students to win with virtual learning,” explains Kathy. “They all are on the same technology, and they are used to using it.”
Kathy has also been impressed with the suggested schedule for each student that gives a timeline of each virtual school day, plus the great communications between teachers, parents and students.
“I don’t feel like the home-school teacher,” said Kathy. “I’m working from home myself, and I’m able to get into my online work meetings because they have structured this so Erin can be self-managing and self-pacing her schoolwork.”
That organizational structure was intentional.
“I think our school is fortunate we use so much technology to begin with,” says Wilson. “The biggest challenge we have is not with the technology but helping students stay organized and focused. We have an amazing faculty, staff, and administration at this school and everyone has been helping each other navigate through this process. There are day-to-day challenges but working together has definitely made it easier for everyone.”
While the transition to virtual school has gone smoothly, Erin is looking forward to regular school getting back in session.
“It’s kind of boring at home,” says Erin. “I like the classroom environment where we can work together. I miss being around the other students.”
You can learn more about Lourdes Academy at www.lourdesacademydaytonatour.org.