COVID-19: ABE Resource Considerations for Today and Beyond

COVID-19: ABE Resource Considerations for Today and Beyond

“Preparedness not panic” is a good way to approach the rapid emergence of the Coronavirus in the United States and, especially, as it continues to spread in Minnesota.  The ABE community, like other educational institutions, is continually monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of students and staff.  While this is the top priority, it is equally important that everyone, including all ABE students, teachers and staff, have reliable and timely information and resources in order to adequately embrace the impact of this public health crisis.

What started as a few reminders of proper cleanliness, the number of articles, resources, and guidelines regarding COVID-19’s impact on the educational system is expanding on a daily basis.  As a result, it is more critical than ever to discern information from misinformation.  Doing so will not only help the students, but will have a positive impact on their families and communities.

At this point, ABE practitioners have a unique opportunity to help disseminate information and community resources that can further educate students and families, at all levels, about the virus.  While the number is ever increasing, Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org) has a web page that could be especially helpful for anyone during this tenuous time: Resources for Families During the Coronavirus Pandemic. According to the website, this page provides the following:

  • What to watch, read, and play while staying home, with quality age-appropriate media and books lists
  • Online resources for learning at home and homework help
  • Guidance for understanding COVID-19 news coverage and helping kids to process what is happening
  • How to stay calm for yourself and your kids, with movement games and wellness apps
  • Spanish language resources

Common Sense Media also has a page on Resources for Educators during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Again according to the website, this page provides the following:

  • Extensive tools and advice for virtual education, including student-led learning and virtual field trips
  • Remote teaching resources for core subjects
  • Tools for video collaboration and discussion and communicating with parents
  • Digital Citizenship resources for challenges and cyberbullying students may face as learning and interaction moves online
  • Family education materials
  • Research-backed strategies to ease stress and encourage learning
  • News and media literacy to help students and families understand what information is credible and what isn’t
  • Media balance tips

Educators are also in a unique position during and after this crisis to engage students in questions about civic and social responsibility, making connections between past and present events, and exploring, particularly from a social studies perspective, its geographical and economic implications.  The educational possibilities will be endless as new resources and perspectives will emerge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  At present, the following New York Times Learning Network (nytimes.com/section/learning) site is one example of this new outlook: https://www.nytimes.com/spotlight/learning-network-coronavirus

As a way to help consolidate all of the day-to-day information on COVID-19, a growing collection of resources for adult educators in Minnesota is being offered via the COVID19 & Distance Education Schoology group. Here you will find a great deal of relevant information from your colleagues! To join, follow the instructions in the green box below.

As we navigate this ever-changing situation, you may rely upon your own trusted classroom and/or online resources to meet the needs of your students and your program.  You may also wish to join us in Schoology to get ideas and contribute your innovations during these difficult weeks. No matter how you approach this very uncertain time in education, know that you are not alone in the quest to keep yourself, your students, and your community safe, informed, and engaged.

How to Join a Schoology Group

If you already have a Schoology account:

  • Log into your account
  • Click on the “Groups” tab at the top of the page
  • Click “My Groups” on the upper right side
  • Click on “Join Group”
  • Enter the access code 4PQM-9XNK-FRF7X

 If you do not have a Schoology account:

  • Go to https://www.schoology.com/
  • Scroll to SIGN UP at the top right and sign up as an Instructor
  • Once you’ve registered, click on the “Groups” tab
  • Click “My Groups”
  • Click on “Join Group”
  • Enter the access code 4PQM-9XNK-FRF7X

Important Follow-up Below:

Once you have joined

  • Click on Notifications in the upper right corner
  • Set your email notifications by checking the appropriate boxes to make sure you find out when updates to the group are posted and when people comment on your posts
  • Browse the Discussions tab for facilitated discussions, as well as Updates and Resources
  • Post new comments, questions, or information to the above
John Trerotola, Teacher Robbinsdale Area Schools Adult Academic Program