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Three Tips to Make Online Learning Work for Your Child

High school student studying with computer.The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) will be offering our highest number of online learning opportunities yet for the 2017-18 school year. All of our online courses are blended Blended learning provides a combination of digital online instruction, traditional direct instruction, and individualized one-on-one time. Teachers are better able to personalize each student’s learning in blended courses, but the format does require independence from students. Support your child’s
learning in a blended environment with these three tips:

Three Tips to Make Online Learning Work for Your Child

  1. Find Reliable Internet Access
    • While home internet access is helpful, it is not necessary to participate in a blended course. The community has many free Wi-Fi sources, including the library, coffee shops, and at school before and after school hours.
  2. Use the Canvas System
    • All of the WDMCS blended courses will use our new learning management system, Canvas, next year. Canvas has a parent portal that allows you to see your student’s progress and keep up to date on assignments. These keeps all of the class information in one place so there is less confusion for students and parents about where to find resources. Please contact Carrie Jacobs, Valley High School instructional coach and district online learning coordinator, with questions about Canvas.
  3. Encourage Them to Ask for Help When They Need It
    • One benefit of blended learning is that teachers can better use their time to provide individual support to students who need it. A blended course requires independence from students, but the teacher is still there to guide learning, answer questions, and help solve problems. Help your student decide when they should look for an answer independently and when they should connect with their teacher.

If you think online learning would work for your child, you can learn more in their school’s course catalog or by contacting:

  • Carrie Jacobs, Valley High School instructional coach and district online learning coordinator, 515-633-4180
  • Erica Whittle, Valley High School associate principal, 515-633-4000

 

This is the final part of our blended learning series.

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