Columbia Co. students have first digital learning day of the school year

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County students tackled a different way of learning on Friday.

Students learned completely from home for their first of two digital learning days this year.

The school district says these days give kids a chance to learn new technology in a flexible work environment.

There may have been a few issues with connectivity, but Friday was about making sure those were solved, so students had what they need to be successful.

One teacher we spoke to says she thinks her students being in their own environment helped them to learn easier.

Brittany Gantt teaches eighth-grade math at Greenbrier Middle School. She’s no stranger to virtual learning.

“I was a little bit anxious, and I think the kids were too because a lot of them kind of had some mixed feelings on the past virtual days,” she said.

She had a plan to help them learn new concepts.

“We did a lot of pre-teaching of the major skills yesterday with the students, and then today we were doing more of an interactive activity with the students where they could ask questions,” said Gantt.

Gantt says she thinks this review helped her students feel more comfortable asking questions.

“A lot of them who are quiet in class felt a little more comfortable kind of putting in that chat box ‘Hey, could you maybe do number four?’, or ‘I’m not as comfortable with this one because it has a fraction’,” she said.

The district says making students comfortable in the classroom is what this day is all about, except it’s focused on how they learn.

Associate Superintendent Michele Sherman said: “We have a real need to be prepared in terms of knowing that our students have access and are connected.”

Knowing this will allow them to shift back to virtual learning if they need it.

“It will allow us to be able to continue school in almost any circumstance,” she said.

Gantt thinks it will make that transition easier for her and her students.

“I think this was definitely a good thing to do this as a little trial run in case that ever does happen again,” she said.

Sherman says this gives the district time to work out any connectivity issues students may have. They are planning to install hotspots before the next virtual day scheduled for March 10.

Richmond County will also host a virtual learning day. Their first one is scheduled for Tuesday.

School officials say parents and students are welcome to provide feedback on their experience with a brief survey.