Valley career and tech schools face unique challenges with online learning

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Tech schools are working out ways to keep students engaged in online learning

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Teachers across the country are having to re-arrange lesson plans to accommodate online learning. This includes trade and technical schools.

We’ve heard a lot about how traditional public schools have been adapting to the changes brought on by COVID-19, but some schools in our area learn only through hands-on activities. At the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, most of the curriculum is based on that type of instruction.

As you can imagine, it has been difficult for both students and teachers. Most classrooms at MCCTC don’t involve a typical lecture style of learning. Now, instructors are using Google Hang Out and other video conferencing technology to teach their students.

MCCTC math teacher Monic Ciarniello said her teaching styles has changed a bit for online learning. For example, she said she doesn’t give her students worksheets to turn in or random problems to figure out, instead, she is using the coronavirus pandemic as a tool. She is teaching students to analyze graphs and current trends in the outbreak.

“It looks a little different but still trying to keep it engaging for them. If it’s something about the current times maybe they will want to check in and see it, see what they are taking about – how does this affect me now?” Ciarniello said.

Teachers aren’t the only ones having to adapt. Students are navigating the new way of learning and some of that includes being aware of things like mental and physical health. For some students, learning online is a challenge and teachers are working with students who struggling one-on-one.

“With those students maybe we will have someone who checks in with them every day or makes them a schedule – you are going to work on this subject and tomorrow you’re going to work on this subject. Some students just like anything need extra support, and we’re doing our best to give it to them,” Ciarniello said.

If you’re a parent who may need additional resources for your student, MCCTC recommends reaching out to teachers directly. They also said to look online for free activities to keep them active and learning during breaks and weekends, too.

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