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Share Your Experience:

Help shape new digital learning guides families, educators, and
school/district leaders

Office of Ed Tech
Apr 20 · 3 min read

“Melissa Becker is living two versions of the nation’s mass and involuntary move to online education. As a teacher… she’s been told not to teach. Too many students don’t have Internet connections, her district has decided, and it wouldn’t be right to leave them behind. But Becker’s own daughters, who attend a nearby district, are in daily contact with their teachers…”

White mug, laptop, papers and other items scattered on a table.
White mug, laptop, papers and other items scattered on a table.
Photo by Ferenc Horvath on Unsplash

The spread of COVID-19 in the U.S has caused prolonged school closures. Schools and families are using digital learning opportunities in order to provide continuity of learning for students. An important and urgent challenge is ensuring that these digital learning opportunities are equitable and a high quality learning experience for all students. Although COVID-19 creates an urgency for addressing this challenge, equity and accessibility of high quality digital learning will continue to be important after the crisis is over.

In order to support schools and communities in responding to the current crisis and beyond, the U.S. Department of Education will be releasing digital learning guides for parents, educators, and school leaders. The guides will include recommendations, highlight examples, and promising practices specific to each of these particular audiences. Because this crisis is affecting everybody, but not in exactly the same ways, we would like to hear about both your immediate and longer-term needs, and your successes and challenges in digital learning.

Here are some examples of questions we plan to address in the guides:

Parent and caregiver guide: How can my child gain access to a device and the internet, either through the school or another source? How can I determine if a digital educational resource is high quality? How can I partner with school leaders to make sure all of my child’s learning needs are met? How do I help my child be safe and responsible online? How can I partner with my child’s teacher and school leader to support their learning?

Educator guide: How do I select high-quality digital tools appropriate for my students? How do I design digital learning that is collaborative, engaging, and reaches ALL my students? How can I ensure my lessons and digital content are accessible by all students? How can I use digital tools to track student progress and inform instruction? What are best practices for communicating with, partnering with, and supporting parents and students? What are important skills to consider teaching or reinforcing during prolonged school closures? How do I meet each student’s unique learning needs when using digital tools?

School and district leader guide: What are the best ways to provide devices and Internet access so that all students can access digital learning from home? How do I ensure student privacy is protected and that all school practices are Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) compliant? What are the best practices for organizing content and lessons to meet the needs of various learning environments? How do we best support and provide professional learning for teachers, especially those who have little previous experience teaching online? How do I ensure that students with special needs are supported during prolonged school closures? What are the best practices for using digital tools parent, teacher, student, and community-wide communication?

We know that people may have more questions than the ones above. We are seeking to make the guides as relevant and practical as possible. The input that you provide will help support others who are experiencing similar situations. Please share your stories, examples and questions by emailing tech@ed.gov and designate the specific guide in the subject line (i.e., Parent or Teacher or Leader).

Department of Education information about COVID-19 is available at: https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus.

Office of Ed Tech

Written by

The Office of Educational Technology (OET) provides leadership for maximizing technology's contribution to improving education at all levels.

Keep Calm and Connect All Students

As a response to school closures & remote learning measures, this series shares reflection questions, highlights promising solutions & describes effective practices. Each week will focus on a new theme geared toward families, learners, educators & system leaders.

Office of Ed Tech

Written by

The Office of Educational Technology (OET) provides leadership for maximizing technology's contribution to improving education at all levels.

Keep Calm and Connect All Students

As a response to school closures & remote learning measures, this series shares reflection questions, highlights promising solutions & describes effective practices. Each week will focus on a new theme geared toward families, learners, educators & system leaders.

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