Bells Elementary teachers receive training for virtual learning
BELLS, Tenn. — When COVID-19 hit earlier this year, many schools systems were left scrambling for a plan.
Over the summer, administrators with Bells Elementary came up with a plan to transition smoothly into virtual learning for the future.
With help of technology consultants, the teachers have been using Google Classroom for their online classes.
“There are a number of innovative strategies. There are a number of educational technologies that they’re going to be utilizing regardless of whether or not the students are here or if they’re at home, attending virtually,” said Educational Technology Consultant Dr. Clif Mims.
Principal Brooks Rawson says that — with the help of government funding — they will have enough Chromebooks for their students to access their work.
“We’re getting very close to getting one-to-one computers for students, as well as access points that we have provided on the outside of our building,” Rawson said.
One teacher says her challenge is not only how to work with the technology, but also how to teach her young students how to use it.
“So I work with a really great team, and we have all worked together to create first grade class together,” said Billie Dee Chandler, who is a first grade teacher. “We’ve used a Bitmoji classroom that’s fun and interactive for our kids, that links both of our curriculum — our math curriculum, our reading curriculum — that our students will be able to access straight from our Google Classroom.”
Others say they appreciate learning how to use the tools.
“We’ve been able to ask questions on things we didn’t know how to do,” said Wesley Hart, a fifth grade math teacher. “We’ve had special guests and teach us things that we haven’t seen before. So the workshop has been really really great. ”
Besides having a backup plan for remote learning, Rawson says that the school had been preparing health and sanitation procedures all summer.
“I think one of the things is that it’s going to help set our parents at ease, or hopefully set our parents at ease,” said Rawson. “Just know that we have a plan.”
The first day for in-person classes at Bells Elementary is Monday, August 24.