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Tech experts gear up for new back-to-school in Bedford County

Each student, 3rd through 12th grades, will get a Chromebook.
Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 7:39 AM EDT
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BEDFORD Co., Va. (WDBJ) -With more students signed up for online learning in Bedford County, leaders are preparing to tackle technology.

Thursday, teachers prepared thousands of new Chromebooks for students to pick up. “School is not just an education. We’re offering our students a lot more,” explained Christine Moxley, the lead teacher at Forest Middle School.

The school district is rolling out a newly-developed online platform and curriculum. “This is the new Chromebook,” explained Director of Technology Edward Hoisington while showing off one of the new Chromebooks.

The laptops will be used to roll out the district’s new online learning called Bedford Connects. Students will learn through the Canvas software with videos and discussion boards.

Each student, 3rd through 12th grades, will get a Chromebook, which comes with up to 32 gigs of memory. “We have not changed how education looks in over 100 years. I mean it’s been straight rows, it’s been students in desks, its been teachers in front and now we’ve been challenged with moving things online,” explained Hoisington.

He says moving online will present its own unique challenges like internet connectivity, and malfunctioning equipment, especially if not taken care of properly. “Watch out for temperature extremes, too hot, too cold. Don’t leave them in your car,” Hoisington explained.

If you and your student hit a roadblock, Hoisington says, reach out to a teacher who will troubleshoot with the IT department if necessary. “There’s always answers out there, you just have to find them,” he said.

Superintendent Doug Schuch says of the roughly 9,300 students in the district, more than 3,000 are enrolled virtually. “Almost a third of our entire population will be learning remotely thorough their parent’s choice,” said Schuch.

Schuch says he’s looking forward to hearing feedback as the school semester progresses. “Please be patient, and flexible with us as we implement, but also to give us feedback for what’s working and not working.”

Online classes begin Sept. 8.

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