Distance – or remote – learning has recently been brought to the forefront of the education world in the weeks following news of a novel coronavirus outbreak across the United States and the rest of the globe. As districts and schools keep a watchful eye and work closely with local government agencies, many across the United States are also preparing for a “worst case scenario” – which includes the temporary closing and shut down of schools.

The coronavirus has already prompted several districts to close school doors temporarily for deep-cleaning and disinfecting, according to Center for Disease and Control (CDC) recommendations, including Murrieta Valley High School in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District here in Southern California. The decision to close the school was “made out of an abundance of caution and the risk is low,” according to a letter that was sent home to families on Monday, March 9th.

Teachers are still working closely to provide students with distance learning support during closures and are sending daily updates through their district’s learning management systems and preferred learning platforms (e.g. Blackboard, Google Classroom, etc.).

EdTech companies are also lending their support and offering free premium access to schools affected by coronavirus concerns. Companies such as Pear Deck, BrainPOP, Google, Kahoot!, Kami, Pronto, NearPod, and Elementari are all offering their services to schools closed because of health concerns.

Until then, it’s business as usual for most. In the interim, teachers, administrators and districts are taking to social media to gather information in the event of a school closure or “what if” scenario – and many are curating resources that can be used during this process.

#HybridEDU and #SpEdTechChat are joining forces to host a Twitter chat tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11th @ 8:00pm to discuss remote learning and hope to offer some resources for those that might be affected by coronavirus. For more information and to see the curated resources via Wakelet visit bit.ly/coronavirusedu and join in on the discussion tomorrow.

For up-to-date information on the coronavirus outbreak, please refer to the CDC’s website or follow them on Twitter at @CDCgov.

To view an updated map of school closures in the United States, check out Education Week.

About Kristin Oropeza
Kristin is a full-time special education teacher, contract consultant, and educational content writer. She is a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 and 2), Google Certified Trainer, and MIE Expert for 2020-2021.

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