Technology and Jack Liu Rise to the Challenge
There wasn’t a lot of time to get students, families, and staff set up and trained for technology-based learning when the League School pivoted to an online model last spring.
Fortunately, the League School’s Jack Liu sprang to action. Jack, who is the League School’s Assistive Technology and IT Specialist, took four actions that helped ensure a smooth transition:
- Taking inventory: The League School’s goal was to equip students and staff with electronic devices. “Technology is a tool that helps students receive a quality education, and the pandemic highlighted its importance,” said Jack.
- Accessing the Technology: Next up was to distribute user names and passwords to students, parents, and staff. Jack conducted Zoom, G Suite, and other trainings with teachers who then helped parents navigate remote learning. Denise Moriarty and Nicole Brunelle helped familiarize parents with Google Classroom. “Our teachers were instrumental in helping students and families navigate the online logistics,” said Jack.
- Providing Resources: Jack catalogued available resources that would support teachers, students, and parents with online learning. This included Google classroom and PowerPoint training, an online curriculum, reading resources, remote learning activities, and subscriptions such as News-2-You, a newspaper for learners with special needs.
- Emergency Preparedness: When the school reopened for in-person learning in July, we didn’t know how long we’d be able to stay open. Ultimately, the school did very well, and we implemented a hyflex model (a combination of hybrid and teaching approaches using online technology and in-class instruction) after the holidays as a buffer week to reduce opportunities for transmission. Advance planning facilitated that change, and gives us a leg up in the event of a future shutdown. Jack ordered extra equipment and charging cables to respond to requests as needed. For families who didn’t feel comfortable with technology, the school provided printed study packets.
“It was challenging to roll everything out smoothly and efficiently, especially at the beginning,” said Jack. “Teachers and families did a great job adapting to the new way of learning.”