In these extraordinary times, many parents are making an effort to keep their kids engaged with learning. For some, that means extra time for reading and memorizing the times tables. For others, it may mean learning how to make a family dinner, trying coding or working on a long-shelved art project. Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) is communicating with parents via email and social media, and the school website provides e-learning resources.
Staying motivated and getting organized can be challenging. Find guidance from AACPS at the E-Learning section on the system’s website. There are important details about accessing AACPS instructional technology on this “Digital Resource Information for Families” Google doc. Note that the school district uses Google Chrome as its instructional browser, and students and families should download Chrome. Once signed into Chrome, students use a homepage called ClassLink — it provides single sign-on to a dashboard of links to websites and online textbooks.
For students in kindergarten through eighth grade, activities are organized by grade level and subject. There is no penalty for not completing work. Students may skip a day or repeat an exercise they want to review or try again. K–8 students may also tune in to AACPS TV for broadcasts of lessons repeated throughout the day.
High school students may stay on track with their work using their AACPS ClassLink and Google accounts to access websites, resources and Google Classroom to view, complete and receive feedback on assignments provided by teachers.
There are many options beyond what the school district recommends. Start with this inspiring Khan Academy video, and check out these resources that are sure to keep your student’s mind active.
Computer science is driving the world, and now is a great time to learn it. Code.org offers online coding courses and activities organized by grade levels. There are fun tutorials for all ages, and even free online college courses for those in high school and beyond.
The Emerson Collective, a social change organization that invests in education initiatives, has posted a comprehensive list of resources for remote learning. There are links to a virtual field trip website and printable at-home packets in math and reading for K–8, as well as recommended resources for educators and schools.
Khan Academy is a nonprofit that provides suggested daily schedules for students learning from home. Organized by grade level, they feature links to subjects so that students may smoothly connect to grade-appropriate online activities. At the Khan website, parents will also find guidance on how to support children’s learning during school closures.
Local public libraries may remain closed into April. Fortunately, there are many resources for students available on the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) website. According to an email distributed by AACPL on March 18, new opportunities to learn are coming. Trained staff will provide daily storytimes from the AACPL Facebook page. The system’s eBook, eAudiobook, and eMagazine collection will grow to offer even more digital content to library patrons.
Taking advantage of online learning and materials is not easy for everyone. According to the Pew Research Center, as many as 15% of school-age children do not have access to high-speed internet service at home. Locally, Comcast Xfinity Internet Essentials provides two months of free high-speed internet access to low-income families that are new customers.
Perhaps we have never appreciated classroom teachers as much as we do right now. If we walked into schools today, maybe like the Khan Academy video says, they would remind us, “Whoever you are, wherever you are, you only have to know one thing, you can learn anything.” It is likely that they would also remind us to take breaks, exercise and have some fun.
AACPL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aacpl
AACPS E-Learning: www.aacps.org/elearning
AACPS Digital Resource Information for Families (a Google doc with comprehensive instructions for accessing online resources): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1igVJ2kotPH05soBxGCMDU4wYy8m0GrlDn4nF9wd58EE/edit
AACPS TV schedule & information PDF: https://www.aacps.org/cms/lib/MD02215556/Centricity/Domain/1753/AACPS%20e-Lessons%20Broadcast%20Schedule.pdf
Audible Free Stories for 0–18: http://stories.audible.com
Comcast Xfinity Internet Essentials: https://internetessentials.com/?utm_source=highspeedinternet.com&utm_medium=affiliate&clreqid=ecd0de6a-f9ae-41cf-93f9-a3284c8aff24
Emerson Collective Remote Learning Resources: https://www.emersoncollective.com/articles/2020/03/covid19-resources-for-remote-learning/