Schools Turn to Teleschool During COVID-19 Outbreak
The United States is currently faced with the challenge of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) while simultaneously maintaining the daily function and operation of a variety of large-scale operations. Travelers have been warned to proceed with caution or postpone any trips. Those that work in a corporate setting have been granted permission to work remotely to avoid further spread of the virus. School districts across the country are turning to teleschool, an increasingly popular technology that connects students with teachers, therapists, and other education professionals remotely.
CDC Recommends Teleschool
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a guide for US childcare programs and K-12 schools. The purpose of the guide is to help administrators and districts plan, prepare, and respond to the evolving situation of COVID-19.
Local and state governments across the country have implemented the recommendations by the CDC to practice social distancing. Social distancing encourages people to maintain physical distance between others and avoid large groups. As a result of this sanction, most schools in the United State have been dismissed either indefinitely or for a minimum of two weeks. In addition to adhering social distancing guidelines, everyone should continue to practice general hygienic practices that include:
• Wash your hands diligently, for at least 20 seconds.
• Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw it away.
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Clean and disinfect regularly.
Since most schools around the country are experiencing indefinite closures they will be forced to find alternative teaching methods. Many districts are turning to online technologies. The CDC even states in the guide that schools should, “Implement e-learning plans, including digital and distance learning options as feasible and appropriate,” referring to teleschool.
This isn’t the first virus that has disrupted school systems. The H1N1 flu in 2009 was a major concern, however, the technology for online schooling wasn’t readily available then. According to CNN, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools now have as many as 200,000 electronic devices they can distribute to their students in the event of school closures.
What is Teleschool?
Teleschool is a live, interactive, virtual program that uses video conferencing technology to connect students with school professionals so they can provide effective education services remotely. Teleschool can also be referred to as remote learning, online school, teletherapy, telepractice, or even teleservice. Remote learning doesn’t limit the subjects that can be taught. Math, English, science, social studies, and all of the other usual subjects can be offered online. Teleschool doesn’t have to stop with just general education subjects either. Teleservices can connect students with specialized needs to a wide array of school professionals including:
• Speech-Language Pathologists
• School Psychologists
• Occupational Therapists
• Teachers of the Visually-Impaired
• Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing
• Sign-Language Interpreters
• Social Workers
Is Teleschool Effective?
Administrators often wonder if teleschool and e-learning is a viable replacement for traditional, in-the-classroom education. There is a growing body of evidence the confirms teleschool is just as effective as traditional education. Additionally, students and children are already in touch with technology in their daily lives which makes teleschool intuitive for them. Learning through interactive video-conferencing is much more engaging than the old-school method of sending kids home with a homework packet for long dismissals.
Not only is teleschool and teletherapy a viable option for natural disasters or virus outbreaks that cause school dismissals, but it is also a cost-efficient tool that gets students the help they need year-round. Teleservices are a great way to connect school professionals with students who are located in remote areas and don’t always have access to the help they need.
If your school district is looking for a solution for potential school dismissals or to fill the gaps in your education services, then VocoVision can help. We can set up your current teachers, providers, and other school professionals with our teleservice platform, so your district doesn’t fall behind during any delays.
Contact us for teletherapy services for your school during COVID-19 dismissals.