4 Ways an Academic Manager Can Help With Remote Learning
This year, "back to school" looks a bit different than it might have last year. For the past 7 months, we’ve navigated what some like to refer to as ’a new normal’. The COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic has tested us and stretched us in ways we never knew were possible. Now that the school year is underway, the reality of getting back into the swing of things is finally setting in—particularly for parents and guardians of young children. As parents begin to wrap their minds around the new reality of working from home while helping their children head "back to school", feeling overwhelmed is inevitable. Helping a child with assignments and due dates and technology and the logistics of a virtual learning school day can feel all-encompassing—because it is, in fact, all-encompassing. Enter the concept of an academic manager.
An academic manager is a person who works one-on-one with your child to assist with the day-to-day tasks associated with remote learning. Academic managers can have different levels of involvement depending on the age of your child or your preference as the parent. An academic manager is not a tutor, but instead, more of an assistant to your child (and you!) as they navigate the newness of virtual academics. Think of an academic manager as a project manager for your child’s education. Thanks 2020!
Below are 4 ways that an academic manager can ease the burden that is remote learning.
- Google Classroom or Other Learning Platform Management
Recently, a friend called to see if I could pick her son up from school. Typically, this would be something she could easily do, but this particular day, at this particular moment, her 6-year-old daughter was melting down because she could not figure out how to submit an assignment in a Google doc on Google Classroom that was due in 10 minutes. I could hear the desperation in her voice.
Google Classroom is an awesome platform with lots of capabilities that make remote learning through online courses possible. Unfortunately, despite ease of use, young children still need an incredible amount of assistance with the functionality and technological aspects of Google Classroom and other learning platforms. An academic manager can help children with seemingly small tasks (like making sure the wi-fi is on!) and take the pressure off of parents and guardians who are trying to work from home, take care of other children, and complete household chores.
Without a doubt, children of different ages and abilities need different amounts of assistance with remote schoolwork. Elementary school & pre-k students may need an academic manager to sit with them for 5-7 hours a day, while middle school students may only need help for 1 or 2 hours per day. High school students may not need any assistance at all during live remote instruction, but may find they need assistance when it’s time to do homework. An academic manager can work with you to create a custom schedule for supporting your child on their remote learning journey.
3. Streamlined, Organized Schedules
As educators work hard to ensure students are getting the attention they need, daily schedules are bound to change with frequency. You may find that your child has a morning meeting each day at 9:30am and individual meetings with their teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11am. Some schools require students to log into separate meetings for specials like PE, music, art and library. Before you know it, weekly schedules are jampacked with meetings and you haven’t even begun to tackle the actual assignments yet! It seems no matter how many alarms or alerts you set, you still manage to miss something important. An academic manager can help ensure that your child (and you!) stay on schedule and on task. An academic manager becomes the master of keeping your child’s schedule straight and ensuring that your child logs into whatever Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, GoogleMeet, or other learning platform their school district uses for remote instruction.
4. Content Clarification and Support
Due to the nature of remote learning and virtual classrooms, sometimes concepts may not come across as clearly as they do when students are learning in a traditional classroom setting. This can make homework and learning, in general, feel a bit frustrating. Although different from tutors, an academic manager follows along with a students’ assignments and overall curriculum and can provide support to students and families by offering clarification of concepts or lessons that the child may have found confusing or unclear during online learning. Clarification of confusing concepts can help improve students' overall learning experiences.
Ultimately, an academic manager can be a huge asset to families as they attempt to navigate successful remote learning outside of a traditional classroom. Assistance with things like technology, planning, scheduling, content and time-management are just a few examples of ways an academic manager can help ease the stress of distance learning and take the pressure off of already-overwhelmed parents and guardians therefore improving overall well-being.
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