As Students Return to School, Virtual Learning Becomes Critical, Brett Ulrich Suggests
The COVID-19 pandemic has plagued the United States since March. Although the number of positive cases continues to climb, many states are talking about sending students back to school in the fall. Using collaborative technology will make it possible to provide virtual learning opportunities for those who are not ready to go back into the classroom. Brett Ulrich, a senior IT consultant at Janus Technology, explores the importance of using such collaborative technology.
In the classroom, students have the ability to work in teams. It teaches them the importance of collaborating on various projects. However, with the fears of the pandemic still looming, working closely in teams may not be possible. Brett Aaron Ulrich explains that, whether in the classroom or at home, various collaborative technologies can be utilized.
Brett Ulrich explains that Microsoft has offered a wide array of software programs to help with collaboration for years. Microsoft 360 enables spreadsheets, documents, PowerPoint presentations, and more to be shared by multiple users. It would allow students to access the document in real-time while each contributing something different to the project.
Another technology that Brett Ulrich feels is important is Microsoft Teams. This allows for chats and meetings to take place. It would allow students to have the necessary level of engagement to talk about projects. Particularly if students are using a virtual environment to return to school, it would give them face-to-face time with their peers.
Additionally, Brett Aaron Ulrich explains that Microsoft Teams makes it easier for students to work together. Various school districts have been using the software already with a significant amount of success. Apps and workflows can be incorporated into the environment, ensuring that teachers can choose the way that students learn. Science, math, and other subjects can be taught in a way that allows students to learn through instruction as opposed to reading a textbook or an e-book.
Students and parents alike want to make sure that the classroom is still interactive. If students return to school, field trips may not happen. Close groups may not happen. Even when masks are worn, Brett Ulrich expects that teachers and school administrators are going to require social distancing within the classroom.
As such, Brett Ulrich explains that it’s important to supplement with various technologies that help to provide the best possible experience. Even beyond Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 360, there are specialized hardware and software solutions. Whiteboards can be drawn on virtually by multiple users at the same time. Apps for virtually every subject are available to ensure that students get the interactive and collaborative learning experience that they expect.
Brett Aaron Ulrich recommends that every parent identify what’s right for their student and explore virtual learning combined with new technologies to ensure that the learning experience is sufficient.