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Schools to expand virtual learning
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Warren County Schools will continue to advance the education opportunities for students when they broaden the virtual learning system in the near future.
The county’s Budget and Finance Committee recently approved a bid for expanding the current system to include several additional schools.
Currently in use at Warren County High School and Motlow, other schools are slated to integrate into the system including Irving College, Dibrell, and Morrison schools.
Virtual learning links students from different schools and allows them to attend a class and interact with teachers and other students in real time. It also offers the opportunity for students to re-watch the classes to improve their understanding of the lesson.
“It gives us the opportunity to record those, post those, have students being able to come back and get those,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “It opens the door for really anything.”
Common Core math standards require teachers either have a secondary endorsement in math or pass a practice test and go to the standards employment training. Not all schools have enough students enrolled in an advanced math course to warrant a dedicated teacher.
According to Cox, “We realized that through technology we could probably have one teacher deliver the curriculum to those other schools and through that those students could still be served. Learning can take place in a virtual setting if we give kids the resources to do it. We always complain that we don’t have time to teach what we need to teach. If we give them the tools and continue to develop them, we can have people in our community learning 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Justin King, a teacher at Dibrell, is a certified high school math instructor and has been offering virtual training on Common Core math I (formerly algebra I) via the Internet. King records lessons and posts them to YouTube while utilizing online resources to give students a chance to further their learning outside of a classroom.
Betty Wood, Director of Teaching and Learning (Grades 7-12), explains, “They can go watch it, then they can re-watch it, or even watch it a third time, so they’re impacting their own learning. When they come to class they’re really able to amplify the learning because they’ve done a lot of things outside of class. Posting makes it possible for anybody who is struggling with math in any classroom in our district to go get it.”
Cox and Wood are looking forward to expanding the system. “It’s something we’re excited about. It’s going to take some time to build that, but this year we wanted to try to branch out a little bit more into our elementary schools. Who knows where we go from there,” said Cox.