The Digital Classroom Explained

On that fateful Friday the 13th back in March of 2020, no one knew that education was going to go through a rapid evolution and that teaching would forever change. As we get ready to go back to school on September 14th, I wanted to take a few minutes to describe to everyone where the "evolution of education" moved the traditional tools that were used in the on campus classroom. Parents of Encore students can attend a Parent FAQ Technology Training on Thursday September 10 at 4:00 p.m.

I created the picture above so I can explain a breakdown of where the classroom tools went in hopes of giving everyone a picture of what school looks like through the screen of a computer. I hope that this is helpful.

  1. Google Classroom - The best way to describe Google classroom at Encore is that this is part of the teacher's chalkboard where the assignments for the day are listed. Remember that list that said "read pages 10 -20 answer EOO 1- 55 on page 21"? That is now Google Classroom. Remember the boxes under that part of the chalkboard where you turned in your homework? That is now Google Classroom.

  2. Zoom - This is where your teacher is doing the "in person" teaching. That time at the board, the time you spend in small groups, the time that your teacher (the expert in their field) is going to share the passion that they have for that subject happens on Zoom sessions. Their goal is to help you understand the subject and hopefully, have you grow a little passion for their subject of expertise.

  3. Aeries - This is your teacher's gradebook and all of the notes that they keep to share with your parents. You and your parents have access to your grades through Aeries and the reporting of your accomplishments and attendance to class are recorded in this digital gradebook.

  4. Encorestudent - This is your syllabi, pacing plan, and your step by step workbook of your class. Encore's teaching team has developed this platform starting in the 2020/2021 school year so students can keep track and follow the course even if there are connectivity issues during the day for school. Digital worksheets and step by step plans for every course are outlined and followed on this platform.

  5. Remind - Remember when your teacher would see you on the playground and remind you that the big project was due on Friday? Remind is that playground reminder where the teacher can send a text message to all of the students and their parents at the same time to remind everyone that dates are coming up. Remind is also set up so teachers can have official communication between students and parents via text message in a safe forum.

  6. CyberHigh, CK12, TCI, and SOMOS - It seems like it was only a couple years ago when the world was concerned with back problems from 50 pound backpacks because of the amount of textbooks a student had to carry. The online resources listed here have replaced the heavy textbooks with digital curriculum. Encore uses a variety of resources as textbooks, but these are the most commonly used across the campus.

  7. Call-em-all and Constant Contact - These two platforms cover family communication in a couple of different ways. Call-em-all is used for one way automatic phone calls and/or text messages. Constant Contact sends email messages. This is like the morning announcements or that letter that was sent home by the principal in school.

  8. Twitch - With a lot of limitations on student events, ASB will be relying heavily on "Twitch" to bring special events and productions to the students of Encore. Things like Virtual prom and graduation were held on this platform last year. Some of the advanced performance classes are preparing variety shows that will air on Twitch this year. This is where your virtual activities will be at home until CDC Guidelines change.

  9. Google - This is not a new addition to the classroom, but is very noteworthy. Google has replaced the traditional library of books. There is an infinite amount of research materials at your fingertips when you use Google.

  10. YouTube - This is also not a new addition to the classroom, but a noteworthy addition. YouTube has a lot of great resources for tutoring and homework help. When you realize at midnight that you didn't do the assignment, there are not a lot of friends to call for homework help. YouTube gives access to hundreds of DIY tutoring videos from people that have different personalities and different ways of explaining. Some of my favorites are Crash Course, the Amoeba Sisters, and National Geographic. There is an infinite amount of resources to help educate you, even lectures from professors at Harvard!

As school plans to resume digitally on September 14th (San Bernardino County still does not qualify for in person instruction), it is important to note that the entire world of the traditional classroom is conveniently at your fingertips every day, twenty four hours a day, to accommodate whatever your reality is at home. If you need help with juggling school and "at home" please reach out to your counselors and your teachers for help and advice. Encore is prepped to help our students with the reality of learning from home. Please communicate with us so we can support you through this evolution into the digital age of education.

Important emails for support:

For technology and connectivity help:

7th, 8th, and 9th Grade Counseling, Ms. Candace Carter:

10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Counseling, Ms. Sara Terrazas:

Don't forget Device Pick Up Days are next week and there is a parent technology training on Thursday. Visit the event calendar to see what other events are coming up.

It is important to note that students are required to attend school every day, even though we will be distance learning. Next week, I will send out a blog on exactly how to make sure that your student is counted for attendance every day. Encore has a solid plan to make sure that everyone is supported through this unprecedented back to school time.

We are excited for a great year. Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.

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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2020 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2020.

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