Nacogdoches ISD dealing with learning curve presented by distance learning

Nacogdoches ISD dealing with learning curve presented by distance learning
Virtual learning is trying some parents’ patience in Nacogdoches ISD. They have difficulty learning the apps, the devices and maneuvering through software to send off work. (Source: Donna McCollum, KTRE News)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Pritchett sisters start school at the kitchen table. Kindergartener Zoey knows no different.

Zoey exhibits mild frustration about virtual lessons on the number 5. Her mother, Tammy Pritchett calls the glitches the ‘daily new discovery’.

“You’re going to know five if you don’t know anything else cause this is your fifth time doing it,” she said good-humoredly to her daughter.

The patient mother takes it in stride.

Others post on a parent social media site that they’re pulling their hair out.

Pritchett says the issues get more complicated for her older daughter, Avery, who has multiple teachers.

“Trying to maneuver in the app, clicking through the different options, trying to see what lessons are due today for this teacher, what lessons are due today for this teacher,” described Pritchett.

“My mom, she doesn’t know as much as a real teacher when I go to school,” said Avery. Mom exclaimed, 'What?! The exchange ends in laughter.

A sense of humor helps, but rarely does middle school principal Tim Mullican hear it. He says the complaints fall in basically two categories.

“They’ve forgotten their user names or forgotten their passwords and so we have had to go in and help.”

The other issue is maneuvering the app.

“It’s called Canvas and it’s a huge learning curve,” shared Mullican.

The district gave teachers several weeks of practice. Parents got a few days.

“Actually we couldn’t share a whole lot with them because we couldn’t load the kids into it until right before school started, so there wasn’t really a way we could help them prior to.”

Online instructional videos aren’t sufficient, so on week two of school, principals are offering face-to-face instruction, a method familiar to parents and grandparents.

“We will show you what buttons to click. Which place to click. Where to go here. Where to go there,” said Mullican.

Pritchett plans to attend two workshops for each daughter’s instructional method.

She provided just enough guidance for Zoey to master number five. Now today, on her sixth birthday, Zoey is off to the next lesson.

“You got five and hello,” questioned Pritchett. Zoey answered, “six,” with a big grin.

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