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K-State’s remote learning survey provides insight to continuing distance learning in Elementary and High Schools

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 8:07 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - More than 800 Kansas teachers, counselors and administrators participated in K-State’s College of Education survey, sharing their experiences of adapting their teaching methods to distance learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Survey links were posted to the Kansas Educators Facebook group, as well as the college of education’s Remote Learning P-12 platform, asking for volunteers to answer questions about the continuous learning models they used to finish the school year.

“Reaching out and finding out how the teachers were making that shift, and then what they were learning from the things that were happening that might impact their teaching going forward” Kansas State University, College of Education, Associate Dean for Research and External Funding, Cindy Shuman says.

Closing schools was an important step for the health and safety of students, educators and staff, the survey identified four areas to be addressed before students return this fall.

“Things are so much different, they don’t see their friends and teachers and counselors every day, so what does that look like when they’re at home and in a remote environment.” Cindy says.

More than 90% of educators say they used technology to provide instruction during the continuous learning phase, but that didn’t guarantee students had access.

“We knew that technology is…is was a problem, and continues to be a challenge for a lot of areas, and not just rural areas, like some people might think. Even in some of the urban communities that internet might be spotty.” Cindy says.

Besides access to technology, the most frequent concerns listed were keeping students engaged, educator self-care, and the social-emotional well-being of students and teachers.

“We don’t want to see a situation where students are left behind because they don’t have that technology access.” Cindy says.

Researchers provided the survey results to the Kansas Department of Education, as well as other educational agencies to use as a resource in forming reopening plans.

“We wanted to make sure that we’re able to contribute to the conversation and help be part of the solution as we’re trying to figure out what the fall is going to look like and what’s going to happen in the schools.” Cindy says.

Researchers plan to conduct follow-up calls with some survey participants in early August. You can find a link to the survey results at coe.k-state.edu.

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