By Jim Hammack, CEO, Nerd Crossing
Even with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout underway, there’s still much uncertainty around safeguarding students this upcoming school year.
Exactly what hybrid or blended learning model learning should educators adopt? It really depends on your level of readiness and of course, the needs of individual students, teachers, and administrators.
Here are some essential planning questions you should be asking:
Are Student Basic Needs Being Supported?
Young learners and their families have experienced a range of emotional, financial, and physical strain. A hybrid learning plan can help school districts deploy the resources so many rely on during the year.
Here are a few ways that tech can enhance hybrid learning:
- Live collaboration and real-time student engagement and goal monitoring
- Transparent communication — allowing educators to monitor disease levels
How Strong is Your Wireless Connectivity?
Students need fast, reliable Wi-Fi — and that’s challenging when they are working from home full-time or slowly getting back to the classroom. Whenever you deploy devices en masse, make sure you have enough access points.
Keep in mind that a school environment where hundreds may be accessing the network will need much more support than at home. Contact us about some of the best alternatives to store-bought access points.
Are You Cybersecurity Ready?
It’s no secret that schools with outdated IT are sitting ducks for cybercrime. Having a disaster incident response protocol is just the first step. You’ll also want to implement at least a bi-annual security screening.
The most common areas of cybersecurity weakness today include:
- Lax bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy
- Insecure data and document storage
- Improper administrative access
- Password mismanagement
How Robust is Your Infrastructure?
Pivoting to online learning overnight probably came with quite a few tech headaches. And this time around, schools may want to take a much closer look at exactly what resources and staffing will be needed to achieve their learning goals.
Below are a few areas that may be lacking in your IT plan:
- Maintaining data privacy and compliance
- Responsive tech support for staff, students, and families
- Communication plans for deploying critical messages, gathering and implementing feedback
What’s On the Horizon for Hybrid Learning?
California’s schools will face mounting risks in 2021, but many still lack a functional policy for hybrid learning. We hope that educators, students, and their families can stay safer online with the above tips.
Here are some emerging areas that you should focus on this school year:
- Data, device, and identity management
- Phishing, ransomware, and cyberbullying
- DDoS, backdoor threats, and zero-day exploits
About Nerd Crossing
Nerd Crossing works with private schools, charter schools, and public institutions of all scales in the California Bay Area and beyond. We specialize in working with educators that are just beginning their transition to hybrid and fully-remote learning.
Our friendly tech experts address all current technology issues while also planning for future needs when kids are finally back in class. We combine distance and onsite learning solutions that meet the long-term goals of school districts.
Our specialties include Tech Support for Parents and Teachers, Wi-Fi Setup and Connectivity, Safe Browsing and Web Filtering, Educational Apps and Software, Data Storage and Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure Setup, and IT Roadmapping.