Virtual Learning in a Time of Crisis with Bright Student

Ollie Puls is a geometry teacher and technology specialist at South Harrison School District in Bethany, MO. She has many years of experience providing instruction in a virtual setting and has benefitted from her forward-thinking school district that has encouraged their teachers to leverage online instruction tools for the past seven years. Ollie uses Bright Student to teach her geometry classes. So, when the pandemic sent everyone home for the year, not only was she able to continue supporting her students fully, but she was able to do so while suddenly being home with her 6-year-old twins. We spoke to Ollie about her experience using Lumen™ Touch; you can watch the video here.

Benefits of Using Lumen Touch for Distance Learning

Bright Learning™ is a comprehensive, integrated district curriculum and learning management system, which allows school districts to map objectives and skills to student learning activities and assess student mastery on a continual basis. Bright Learning is an all-in-one solution, which manages curriculum, instruction, assessment, and grading. Our system allows teachers to create and share learning activities with other instructors and districts from across the country.

Work-Life Balance

Before Lumen Touch, Ollie was spending about eight hours every Sunday grading papers. She would stay at work until 8 pm every night. She knows that, had she not discovered Lumen Touch and had the opportunity to revolutionize her instruction, she would not have been able to keep teaching once she had her twins.

Lesson Delivery

Ollie took the PowerPoint slides she was using in class, recorded video lectures to go with them and loaded them into Lumen Touch. Now her students get more time with their teacher. They can watch the lectures and have lessons delivered right to their laptops at their convenience, and then, when they come to class, they have time to ask questions, get clarification on confusing points, and have time to work on lessons. Teachers have control of how far ahead students are allowed to work.

Testing that Works for Teachers and Students

Ollie can load a test into Lumen Touch faster than she can go to the copy room and make copies of tests. Bright Student offers wide-ranging functionality, even with a course as complex as geometry, which requires the use of symbols and equations. Teachers can:

  • Set up a test or quiz so that students can check their answers and try again until they get them right (this option can also be toggled off for exams)
  • Allow more than one right answer
  • Have open-ended questions that require a written answer or essay response
  • Grade a test, then allow students to make corrections by toggling on the check-your-answer feature
  • Adjust grades with a quick review to allow for partial credit or corrections
  • Reuse tests and shuffle questions so that no two students are looking at the same questions at the same time

More Time to Support Students

Because the Lumen system does the heavy lifting on the grading and lesson delivery, the time teachers and students spend together (whether in the classroom or on Zoom or similar video conferencing platform) can be better spent working to improve the students’ understanding and capabilities. Teachers get more one-on-one time with students and can better individualize instruction to support each student.

Less Stress, Even During a Crisis

For teachers using Bright Student, who already have tests and lessons loaded, shifting to distance learning does not require anything more than setting up one-on-one meetings with students, to check on their progress. The stress level is lower; the students can continue their work without experiencing a major disruption, and the teachers have time to provide needed support. Parents aren’t having to step in and do the teaching.

Lumen Touch has the same capabilities when used remotely as it does at the school.  This empowers the school staff, students, and parents the ability to interact with each other in a new learning environment that accommodates distance learning. Bright Learning was designed to be a flexible system that allows for many ways of accomplishing different tasks and achieving better outcomes – even when school is canceled, and everyone is learning from home.

At Lumen Touch, our goal is to support schools, teachers, and students. We focus on improving the learning opportunities for children, demonstrating measurable outcomes. Learn more.

Supporting Students and Teachers through Challenging Times

Look at any teacher’s social media posts and you’ll encounter an emotional journey:

  • Sadness from having to temporarily say goodbye to students
  • Frustration over having to quickly adapt lessons to an online environment
  • Fear for the safety and health of their students and colleagues
  • Desperation to get technology to function properly
  • Melancholy at the realization that students may not be returning to the classroom this year

Not every school district has cancelled classes for the year; some are reassessing every two weeks, but the likelihood of most students finishing the school year from home is high. But as Dr. Brad Johnson recently tweeted, “Schools, remember this is not the new normal. This is just surviving a crisis. You don’t build a new home in a storm, you weather the storm and then regroup once it’s over.”

When the Going Gets Tough, We’re Stronger Together

As difficult as this has been for educators and students alike, we’ve been heartened at seeing the incredible strength demonstrated by members of our education community as they come together and support each other. From sharing lesson ideas and supporting each other online to making sure school children are still fed a nutritious breakfast and lunch to sharing moments of humor to help us all get through, the education community has never been more committed to each other and to their students and parents. We’re hearing stories about school districts handing out laptops and hotspots to ensure every student has access to online learning, EdTech companies offering their services for free, and so many resources being provided to help families and schools cope.

Surviving the Stay-at-Home Order

Whether you’re a parent learning core curriculum for the first time so you can help your child with their studies or you’re a teacher who is repurposing assignments to adapt them for distance learning, you are not in this alone. We’ve rounded up some great resources to help.

Screen time. Parents, relax. As with everything, moderation is key, but according to a review of the research,  the evidence linking screens to harm is, in reality, paper thin.

Adapting lessons. This guide can help teachers stay engaged with students and adjust lessons.

More resources. WeAreTeachers has put together an exhaustive list of resources for teachers and students.

Lumen Touch Is Here to Support You

The Bright SPED™ system will continue to support communication among staff and student teams, as well as the development of progress reports, IEP forms, and associated documentation. Bright SPED is a multi-user system, allowing your team to work together on an individual record at the same time. We are also adding a parent portal.

Bright Student™ has the same capabilities when used remotely as it does in the school.  This empowers the school staff, students, and parents, providing them with the ability to interact with each other in a new learning environment that accommodates this emergency situation and perhaps creates a confidence that respects a different model for our future.

We are holding a variety of webinars to help. You can schedule here.

We will get through this. We are stronger together. Stay home, stay safe, and let us know how we can be of service to you.

A Message from Lumen Touch

To Our Valued Partners:

There is a Chinese curse that says “May he live in interesting times.” Well, while we are being bombarded with recommendations and advice, it is also a good time to take stock of where we are and where we want to go. There is no doubt we are in interesting times, and the great news is that this too will pass. Now, without appearing brash at first blush, we can be comforted by the outreach of our family, partners, and friends – and not only express all our gratitudes but also share them. Gratitudes are forms of daily reparation that help us move to higher levels of commitment, fortitude, and leadership. Leadership is being exhibited at all levels, and each one of us should reflect on how we are leading in our little ecospheres to move to a level of higher order.

There are 3 major traits of great leadership, especially in times of disruption that we should embrace:

  • Take care of your people
  • Be transparent, trusting and forthcoming
  • Bring the future into the now

At Lumen Touch, we embrace these tenets and embrace our partners as our people in several state departments of education, our Kansas City community and in your communities. We reflect on our vision and mission and determine if these survive the stress test we are facing.

It is in times of duress and challenge that coming together builds greatness and pulls us through the tribulations. Many of our “clients” have been consulting with us on various matters that gives us the feeling of a true partnership, where their concerns become our concerns. In many cases, we are able to assist them in finding solutions that were not apparent – it was the communal think that brought about the solution and in many cases was mutually beneficial. To encourage and catalyze these learning opportunities, we will be distributing a series of informational emails and conducting webinars to create a new norm. Let’s face it, life will not be the same now or hereafter.

Lumen Touch has always been proud of disseminating good leadership practices and creating leading edge technology to address this and many other situations. We do this in tandem with you through the cooperative that has been fostered that we believe will make us an influential player in the world of education. Many of you have been our partners in excess of 10 years for which we are extremely grateful and your confidence in us allows us to create a better future that is symbiotic. Rather than wallow in the directives that are coming from all directions, we are being highly responsive and are choosing the high road to a new paradigm for education. We believe that we are perfectly poised to take on the changes of a redesigned education system that is not only accelerated by the current time but also through the technology in our world of learning and education. We are stooped in The Age of Agility which demands of us to be flexible in every corner of society to meet the demands of the future. We are being pushed to redesign education and move to a new model and unfortunately, we sometimes require a nudge from a crisis to create the urgency for change and a new future. For many of you that were visionary in your design thinking and planning, the situation you are in will have less impact on your students than those that have been a little less proactive. Our purpose is to rise up to the occasion and move up in the interests of all our students and their support teams.

To keep with our purpose, we are providing you with opportunities to stay abreast and move ahead. We would love this to be interactive and would like to hear your suggestions on what else we can do to assist you in moving beyond the challenges in our midst.

First up, “How Bright STUDENT enhances our capabilities for remote and project-based learning.” We will be alerting you through these Lumen Touch Points on your new journey.

Bright STUDENT has the same capabilities when used remotely as it does at the school.   This empowers the school staff, students and parents the ability to interact with each other in a new learning environment that accommodates this emergency situation and perhaps creates a confidence that respects a different model for our future.

Bright STUDENT was designed to be a flexible system that allows for many ways to accomplish different tasks and better outcomes.  An example of this would be the various AMI (Alternative Methods of Instruction) rules the States have or are in the process of implementing.  When Missouri implements their AMI rules, our teachers should be able to track their AMI attendance by the school adjusting a few settings in the existing attendance setup.  We expect the other States to have a similar experience.

TOUCH POINT 1 – CHAT SESSIONS WITH STUDENTS AND PARENTS

Teachers in our system have the ability to see if a student or parent is on-line and initiate a chat session with them.  This gives the teacher the ability to interact with and quickly check the status of the student.  Teachers also are also able to create assignments that have their content delivered electronically through our system.  This electronic delivery can take a variety of forms.  It can be as simple as resources such as a PDF or Word document attached to the assignment or all the way to interactive on-line assessments graded by the system.

Click here for detailed examples and instructions.

TOUCH POINT 2 – MAINTAINING STAFF CONTACT 

Principals, secretaries, and other staff have the ability to interact with the system just as they would at the school or in the district.

As long as the users have access to the internet, they should have access to their Lumen Touch platform.  For users that do not currently have an internet connection at home, there are a number of programs available from the major internet providers.  Below are a few example:

Comcast: https://www.internetessentials.com/

Spectrum: https://www.spectrum.com/browse/content/spectrum-internet-assist

AT&T: https://www.att.com/shop/internet/access/

As we continue to learn more about State and Federal expectations, we will be updating and adjusting our processes.

In the meantime, click here to see what webinars are currently scheduled.

Together, we will continue to connect all students to opportunities!

-Your Lumen Touch Team