ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA) — With schools going digital during this Coronavirus crisis, many school districts in the Upstate are working to curb technology issues that may happen with their eLearning and digital systems.
7 News crews broke down how districts are using all resources to ensure there are no hiccups while students are learning.
On a typical day, students aren’t seen in cars doing homework in their school parking lots. However, since many families don’t have access to the internet, school districts in Anderson and Greenville counties are promoting drive-up wifi spots. This will allow students to connect and download their classwork with a click of a button.
Technology gurus were hard at work at different school districts all over the Upstate on Monday morning.
“This is my 43rd year in public education and we’ve never seen anything of this nature that we’ve had to deal with,” said Tom Wilson, Superintendent of Anderson School District Five.
Superintendent Wilson said they’re used to doing eLearning, as they’re the first district to implement it in the state. However, with the Coronavirus crisis putting them out of school for multiple weeks, this is something new.
“We’re going to do the best job that we can and try to keep education as normal as possible,” Wilson said.
This is now prompting a new normal. School districts in Anderson and Greenville counties are allowing parents and students to use school parking lots as drive-up hot spot.
“Once it’s downloaded, they can go back home and work offline to do their work, so they don’t have to stay in the parking lot working on their assignments,” said Anna Baldwin, Director of E-Learning and Integration at Anderson School District Five.
If that’s an inconvenience, districts are working with internet companies like Spectrum and West Carolina Tel who will provide free WiFi if you enroll in the companies program.
“None of it is going to look exactly the same across the board, but it’s all going to be moving forward,” said Stewart Lee, Director of Instructional Innovation and eLearning at Anderson School District Three.
Anderson School districts one and three said students in Kindergarten through second grades won’t have to worry about these issues. Those student will be sent home with packets for parents to check off everyday.
“Once they pick up those packets there will be activities for those students to do that will cover at least the next ten days worth of school,” Lee said.
What about technology problems with certain devices? Some school districts said there’s a solution to that.
“So if a student breaks their device or something happens and they need technical support to get their device back up and running, they can come by the district office and drop their Chromebook office to get repair,” Baldwin said.
All in all, districts in the Upstate said no matter what, they will work to ensure all students are learning during such difficult times.
“We want to give a feeling of calmness that this is an issue, but we’re going to get through it,” Wilson said. “Our country is going to be stronger for going through this together,” he added.
Anderson School District Four leaders said they are using remote learning. This is similar to eLearning in other districts. Right now, 7 News is working with the district to see how they will handle technology problems with their devices.
7-News also spoke to Pickens County Schools, and leaders said they are developing a plan to combat any issues before students start their digital learning on Wednesday.
Charter said you can enroll in their free Spectrum Broadband WiFi for 60 days. The program is for any households with students in K-12 grades and or college students. This is for any family who don’t currently have Spectrum Broadband Subscriptions.
To enroll, contact Charter at–1-844-488-8395.