2020 has been a year of challenges. For the first time in more than a century, our nation has been rocked by a pandemic that has shaken us to our roots. Most of us were caught unprepared—not the least of which have been our educational systems. Even now, great uncertainty remains with regards to the upcoming school year, but all indications suggest that remote learning will become at least a semi-regular fixture in our lives for the foreseeable future, as we seek to keep ourselves—and especially our children—safe and healthy.
Intel, a leader in the technology industry, has produced Parents’ Guide to Remote Learning, a resource manual to help parents get their arms around some of the larger challenges that learning from home will bring. We’ll break down some of the key messages here, and provide you with a link to the full guide at the end of this article.
The need to invest time in creating a routine cannot be overstated. It will help keep your kids on track, establish expectations for the day, and allow you to support their learning. An ideal routine would include a combination of virtual, physical, and project-based activities.
Establishing spaces at home that are specially dedicated for learning can help nurture your child’s creativity, enhance their focus, and increase their motivation. Remember to consider that, in order to be comfortable and engaged during the day, your children will need to have enough space to move around.
Some school districts are able to supply devices, but many families are discovering that they don’t have enough for everyone to work, study, and play. You may need to step in with some new devices to fill in the gaps. And, of course, more devices and more people who need access to the internet means taking special care to ensure you have reliable service that meets the bandwidth requirements of your new situation. We’ll be happy to help you with that!
Now is a great time to review your cybersecurity. Make sure you’ve changed the default settings on your router, keep your device software updated, set up parental controls, and create strong passwords. It’s also an excellent opportunity to take the time to teach your kids the value of strong passwords and the importance of not sharing them with anyone except you.
Parents’ Guide to Remote Learning also provides useful information on developing a plan or routine that’s based on whether your children are in elementary school, middle school, or high school, including a special section for helping students with special needs.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.