State superintendent considers digital learning as COVID-19 spreads

State superintendent considers digital learning as COVID-19 spreads
NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson (Source: Corey Schmidt)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — To stop the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina Public Schools are preparing for the possibility of canceling classes and switching to virtual learning.​

“Make no mistake, this is not something that will just start up overnight,” said State Superintendent Mark Johnson. “This comes with a lot of challenges as you see already, the university system is dealing with those challenges.”​​

Johnson recognizes closing public schools could cause a different set of challenges for parents. ​​

“This will be a disruption for whether or not they have enough bandwidth at home for e-learning opportunities and there are students, we hate that this is the situation we live in in this world, but there are students who don’t get enough nutrition unless they get it from school.”​​

Johnson says some students already have access to online lessons.

“It’s a new tool called I-Station and it has free at-home access for every K-3 students to use digital resources and lessons and books. So we already have tools that we can use.”​​​

He’ll be holding a webinar on Friday with superintendents from across the state.

“We invited superintendents, their technology directors, and their chief academic officers in order to discuss what the steps have been in other states and what certain e-learning opportunities will be,” he explained. “We knew a week ago we would be entering the unprecedented territory and we are there.”

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