Commentary on Virtual Learning & The Madison School District

Logan Wroge:

In an email Friday, district spokesman Tim LeMonds said the district is now aiming to roll out virtual learning the first week of April, but it “takes time and thoughtful planning to prepare an all inclusive virtual learning program.” 

“The complexities being addressed include there being a large number of our families who do not have internet access or devices,” he said in an email. “Additionally, how to best meet our students with special needs concerns.”

The district also needs to make sure its approximately 2,700 teachers are trained, LeMonds said, and a “reliable infrastructure” needs to be in place to deliver online instruction.

There’s also a large number of students in the district who don’t speak English as their first language, speaking more than 110 other languages as their primary language, LeMonds said.

I recall discussions many years ago about creating a fast, wireless network at every school for neighborhood internet connectivity.

In addition, we discussed changing the District’s technology policy from top down to BYOD, that is bring your own device. I suggested to several Superintendents that teachers and staff receive a stipend to purchase and maintain an internet connected device (cellular iPad would be my choice) and begin to interact with everyone using this device. Further, Apple’s assistive efforts are substantial.

This occurred during Infinite Campus evaluation and implementation meetings. I wonder what the teacher/staff utilization data looks like today?

Infinite Campus – or similar – was for many years an expensive, missed opportunity.