An interesting little bit of data turned up in an email report from Screencastify, the product we use district-wide to make screen recording videos. In 2019, our staff and students combined made 572 videos. In 2020, that number was 8,482! Just one small indicator of the dramatic change we’ve been through, but I thought it worth sharing.
Having an extra pair of hands in the department since a little before the winter break has made a big difference to our department. We were stretched thin and lagging behind in certain areas and since then we’ve been able to be more responsive in the day to day needs (which was always our priority), while also catching up gradually on many of the background tasks that we just hadn’t been able to get to.
We were able to put sound amplification systems in all elementary classrooms to help teachers be heard when they are wearing masks. There is lots of research that voice amplification is extremely beneficial in elementary schools, so this will continue to be valuable even after we return to normal. And we have the high school set up with additional TVs, Chromeboxes, and cameras for the hybrid setup, so students will be able to take part in class whether they are in that day or at home.
We’re also catching up with some software upgrades, rolling out new desktops and Chromebooks to staff (as part of the on-going upgrade cycle), and now planning for new Chromebooks for next year already. With availability still somewhat unreliable I want to get the ball rolling on procurement of next year's devices now so as not to be caught short.