Columbia Co. students have their first digital learning day of the school year

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Columbia County students tackled a different way of learning Friday.

Students learned entirely from home for their first of two digital learning days this year.

The school district says these days give kids a chance to learn new technology in a flexible work environment.

There may have been some connectivity issues, but Friday was all about making sure they were fixed, so students have what they need to succeed.

One teacher we spoke to said she thinks having her students in their own environment has helped them learn more easily.

Brittany Gantt teaches eighth grade math at Greenbrier Middle School. She is no stranger to virtual learning.

“I was a little anxious, and I think the kids were too because a lot of them had mixed feelings the last few virtual days,” she said.

She had a plan to help them learn new concepts.

“We did a lot of pre-teaching core skills yesterday with the students, and then today we were doing more of an interactive activity with the students where they could ask questions,” Gantt said.

Gantt says she thinks this exam has helped her students feel more comfortable asking questions.

“A lot of them who are quiet in class felt a little more comfortable putting in that chat box ‘Hey, could you maybe do number four?’, or ‘I’m not also comfortable with this one because it has a fraction’,” she says.

The district says getting students comfortable in the classroom is the goal of this day, except it’s focused on how they learn.

Associate Superintendent Michele Sherman said, “We have a real need to be prepared to know that our students have access and are connected.”

Knowing this will allow them to return to virtual learning if they need to.

“It will allow us to be able to continue school in almost any circumstance,” she said.

Gantt thinks this will make that transition easier for her and her students.

“I think it was really good to do this as a little trial run in case it happened again,” she said.

Sherman says this gives the district time to address any connectivity issues students may be having. They plan to install hotspots before the next virtual day scheduled for March 10.

Richmond County will also host a virtual learning day. Their first is scheduled for Tuesday.

School officials say parents and students are encouraged to provide feedback on their experience with a brief investigation.

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