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MCOE Launches ‘Distance Learning’ Website For Students

Local METV channel to be used

 

Merced County schools have transitioned from in-person instruction at school sites to distance learning to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the Merced County Office of Education has launched a Distance Learning platform to assist educators, students and families.

By accessing mcoe.org/distancelearning, academic resources are expanded exponentially. This resource is available for the entire community, including students, parents and teachers.

Elements of the MCOE Distance Learning website are still being perfected, but the site offers specific curriculum for second through eighth-graders. MCOE administrators are continuing to identify and curate content that will appear Monday through Friday on the Merced Educational Televisions (METV) channel and stream online. METV videos will complement other resources available on the MCOE Distance Learning website and include content from Camp Green Meadows naturalists, MCOE content experts and teachers from across the county.“

All 20 school districts in our county are working together to make sure the learning continues,” said Merced County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Tietjen. “While this is a change for our students and families, we want you to know you are not alone and MCOE is here to help.”

MCOE Educational Technologies Coordinator Matt Edwards said Educational Services content coordinators created Google Classroom templates for second through eighth grades with 30 to 40 lessons for each of the four main subject areas, which are mathematics, English, history and science. Classroom content for kindergarten and first grade is being developed.

Edwards said teachers can preview content and request a copy of the grade-level Google Classroom for use with their students. For teachers new to digital or distance learning, two of the biggest hurdles are content and how to deliver.

“Our goal was to try and help teachers overcome these hurdles by having curated content in a free delivery method with an easy learning curve,” Edwards said.

Along with the website, there is curated content that teachers and parents can both use in the absence of digital curriculum, according to MCOE Continuous Improvement Director Francisco Romo. These courses are focused on the priority standards at each grade level and will give students a chance to continue their academic growth throughout the distance learning time frame.“

We are offering online virtual coaching to educators that need support in a number of subject areas,” he added.

The MCOE Distance Learning website also features science connections such as engineering, physics and outdoor science learning as elements of science education that may require focused support.MCOE Mathematics Coordinator Duane Habecker – who created the site and its structure – said the purpose of the MCOE Distance Learning website is to support educators along with parents and students.

Parents have access to daily scheduling advice and enrichment opportunities for all subjects. Teachers have access to MCOE content coordinators via virtual office hours in which they receive support on how to run a classroom through distance learning, Habecker said.

Many lessons Habecker has created will air on METV, which is broadcast on Comcast channel 97, AT&T U-Verse channel 99 and a livestream that can be found at mcoe.org/metv.

The livestream will also be broadcast on the METV Facebook page, facebook.com/metvmerced.“

On the MCOE educational TV station METV, we will start each day with visual and performing arts, and then focus on a subject area that day, like mathematics, language arts, science and history,” Tietjen added. “We have provided many ways to access this resource and we hope families with take advantage of the TV station or the livestream.”

METV will have Distance Learning programing from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

A tutorial video for MCOE’s Distance Learning website can be found here:

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