Digital learning presents challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah Governor Gary Herbert thanked educators on Tuesday for their hard work during “these unprecedented times” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I appreciate the hard work and dedication that our teachers and those that are in education are exhibiting in very difficult and trying times in something they’ve never been trained for,” said Gov. Gary Herbert, (R) Utah.

The governor ordered schools to go into a soft closure on March 16 and since then, all school have transitioned to digital learning.

“One word, overwhelming,” Katie Steele replied when ABC4’s Brittany Johnson asked her to describe the last two weeks.

Katie Steele is a special education teacher at Albion Middle Scool. As did all other Utah educators, Steele had two days to transition in-classroom curriculum to a digital learning space, in addition to creating packets for students who don’t have access to internet.

“It is so much more work trying to figure out how to meet your students needs without actually seeing them in person,” she said.

“A lot of what special ed(ucation) is, is these in-person interventions, and this kind of one on one with the student. And so trying to figure out what that looks like online has been just the most unique challenge ever,” the sixth and seventh grade teacher told ABC4. “So many of us are familiar with the platforms that we’ve been using. But now having to teach full on lessons versus just having students submit assignments on this platform has been a learning curve for sure. And I think we’re all adjusting. I think we’re all slowly learning…”

Steele said the first two weeks have been a bit of a scramble, but as time goes on, she and other teachers will have more prepared and in-depth lesson plans for students.She also points to the resources put in place from Canyons School District for teachers to help ease the transition.

“We’ve had a lot of resources as teachers to kind of fall back on as we’re starting to create these online modules and these lessons and these videos and figure out all the new technology that comes with them.”

Resources for parents and teachers within the Canyons School District can by found by clicking, here.

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