ISTE Commons

How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

  • 1.  How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    ISTE Staff
    Posted 09-01-2017 21:35
    I'm the director of editorial content for ISTE, and I'd like to hear from educators in the areas affected by Harvey. How are you using technology to cope with the disaster? How do you communicate with families and keep the learning going? If you've been through a disaster similar to this before, what did you learn from it and how have you done things differently? What are your success stories?
    I'd like to include responses in a blog post. You can reply here or message me with your responses.

    ------------------------------
    Diana Fingal
    Director of Editorial Content
    ISTE Staff
    Eugene OR
    ------------------------------
    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 2.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    PLN Leader
    Posted 09-02-2017 09:31
    Yes! I'd also like to know how schools can be most helpful! I belong to DKG and our local chapter tried to use a website link to "adopt a classroom" but the reply said, "please be patient at this time." I think so many folks want to help. Our school is creating "hygiene" kits through the Midwest Food bank but students wonder if donating their gently used books or other school supplies might be a helpful service project. How can technology help us help?

    ------------------------------
    April DeGennaro
    Enrichment Teacher (Gifted Education)
    Peeples Elementary/Fayette County BOE
    Fayetteville GA
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 3.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    Posted 09-04-2017 00:35
    Edited by Anna Baker 09-06-2017 14:34
    From Katy ISD ...we were directed not to teach using technology because families had too much to think about like whether to evacuate or not and where would they go.  Even if it was voluntary work, students were feeling stressed as some educators did try to continue the learning. You may have seen it in the news where another Katy ISD teacher started the Facebook group Hurricane Harvey Book Club.  This has been an overwhelming success!  Children from all over the world are reading so they can share to this group.  We have stories in English, Spanish, Russian, ASL, and many, many more languages.  Children who are three are reading.  Students with dyslexia and other learning challenges are inspired to read and it has been amazing.  Some children even wrote their own stories and songs to share.  Check it out!

    ------------------------------
    Anna Baker
    Library Media Specialist
    Bear Creek Elementary
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 4.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    PLN Leader
    Posted 09-04-2017 15:50
    We've been speaking with FEMA and a number of district leaders and have created Education Broadband Kits of various types.  We talked with our suppliers about expediting and delivery processes.  The goal is to ensure any ppl and facilities are reconnected as soon as possible.

    Understanding that Students, Faculty and Staff may have been displaced; facilities may be unusable and shelters or other temporary housing may lack adequate (or safe/CIPA compliant) access, we've focused on use cases:

    - Facilities connectivity (portable classrooms, temporary campus locations, shelters, etc.)
    - Staff/Faculty (assume displaced employees may not have their usual access)
    - Students (assume displaced students may not have their usual access)
    - Buses (assume students may be on much longer rides and/or student tracking may be needed)

    The scope is still somewhat unknown.  I've seen estimates of over half-a-million cars destroyed - think how that might affect the need for school provided transportation.  We've heard of dozens of shelters that need pickups but the destinations may be scattered.  And lesson plans that involved online access may have to be rapidly adjusted if connectivity cannot be supplemented.

    Several districts have delayed opening with employees starting this week and students next, or even a week more delayed than that.

    Luckily, FEMA has been very supportive so far about getting these Broadband connections back up and running using their recovery funds, and they do appear to have the funding available to do so.  But getting the message out to those in need is difficult - especially if those most in need aren't well connected!  Argh.

    I believe the Texas CTO Council has started up some supporting activity and is working on guidance and resources as well.  I do not want to speak for them though.

    If anyone needs Broadband resources or FEMA contacts, please feel free to reach out to me as I have pulled a lot of information together.

    Finally - let's not forget that the USVI and Puerto Rico are getting hit by Irma next.

    Michael

    ------------------------------
    Michael Flood
    VP, Strategy @ Kajeet
    Board of Directors @ CoSN
    Cary, NC
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 5.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    Posted 09-04-2017 09:31
    Hi Diana-

    Spring Branch ISD is using our website, automated call-out system, email, and Twitter to communicate with our staff, parents and community. I know it is an effort by both him Scott Muri and our Communications Executive Director Linda Buchman. You might reach out to @ScottMuri and @SBISD and see what they can share with you. Hundreds of homes in our district and the Houston area are still underwater and we remain closed through September 8th at this time. It has been a very challenging time with rapidly changing situations.

    Karen

    ------------------------------
    Karen Justl
    Educational Technology Director
    Spring Branch ISD
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 6.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    Posted 09-04-2017 19:07
    The reason for the "please be patient at this time"  response is that the schools that have been affected have not gone back to class or started.  The largest districts in the Houston area are not opening until 9/11/2017 because of the widespread damage and figure out where displaced from homes and schools students will be attending school.  Some are going to start back this week if they didn't have much damage.  

    Please do be patient.  Teachers may not know what they need because they are dealing with getting their own homes and families cared for.  My school is starting back Wednesday, but I am dealing with figuring out home stuff and staying at my parents house with my husband, our two dogs, and cat and we don't know when we're going to be able to get back to our house. 

    Thanks for guiding your students to help people out...It is very much appreciated-

    Shari Hiltbrand
    Houston, TX  



    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 7.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    Posted 09-05-2017 00:47
    Because so many schools were flooded in the Houston area, a book Drive would be awesome.  They would probably not make it into the library because those are usually library bound books, but classroom libraries and individual student home libraries were destroyed.  If you go to Facebook Hurricane Harvey Reading Club and search book drive, you will see different organizations, school districts, etc., that are collecting books for our teachers/families who lost everything.

    ------------------------------
    Anna Baker
    Library Media Specialist
    Bear Creek Elementary
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 8.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    Posted 09-04-2017 00:43
    We have two schools that have been flooded and many school communities that had to evacuate.  My school still has water blocking the front of our campus.  Families are still taking boats/kayaks to check out their houses.  We have 250 families that we have been able to verify that they are without a home because of the water.  Families need everything.  I started an Amazon wish list for BCE Relief and as soon as the mail starts again and the roads are passable, they will deliver directly to the school so we can distribute to our families. Check out this list: https://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/N5Q6CY55EXIT/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_it_wl_o_FLnRzbMYJT9VD

    ------------------------------
    Anna Baker
    Library Media Specialist
    Bear Creek Elementary
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 9.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    PLN Leader
    Posted 09-05-2017 15:41
    Edited by Karen North 09-06-2017 14:34
    I love the book reading network. Wish all teachers did this, you are the leader we need to change.  We are in a fish tank, https://www.facebook.com/youngversemusic/videos/1266061030111662.

    Long shot, but I would like to see accountability testing postponed for a year. Give time for taking care of kids and families hearts and survival needs.  And take the money saved to help re-build. Create community service credit hours instead of seat-time hours for the high school students.  So many want to help, but need leaders to make this happen.  My grandson's house was flooded and he would love to help re-build and help his neighbors that were flooded by Buffalo Bayou.

    Let the kids who are tech savvy become the teachers and build lessons connected to their friend's needs.  Everyone can learn from anyone.  SBISD is an innovative district and would love to see students have innovative time to build ideas for recovery.  Give high school students time to go into the local elementary school with unplugged and maker activities.  Teachers are going to be dealing with so much and need a helping hand, such as what TCEA is doing with an adopt a school.  Let older students adopt a school too.

    ------------------------------
    Karen North
    Computer Science Education Researcher
    ISTE CTN, Code.org, AAUW, NCWIT, WeTeachCS.org and SBISD Code Buddy
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 10.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    ISTE Staff
    Posted 09-05-2017 17:23
    Edited by Diana Fingal 09-06-2017 14:33
    Thanks Anna! These comments are extremely helpful!

    ------------------------------
    Diana Fingal
    Director of Editorial Content
    ISTE Staff
    Eugene OR
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 11.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    Posted 09-04-2017 09:45
    PS. As for using technology to keep the learning going... We, as a system, haven't gone there. Situations are desperate for many of our families. They left their homes with the clothes on their backs. All efforts are focused on taking care of families and supporting those in need. Several teachers are using Twitter and Facebook to begin rebuilding libraries for students who have lost everything. I know TCEA has started a service to help connect classrooms in need with classrooms that want to help. Here is their link: 

    https://www.tcea.org/blog/hurricane-harvey-adopt-class/

    For many, it will just take time to be able to assess their situation and needs. Some of our teachers who live in other areas where the waters have gone done are in the recovery process. Many are saying they have the cleaning supplies they need. Now they are in need of building supplies.



    ------------------------------
    Karen Justl
    Educational Technology Director
    Spring Branch ISD
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 12.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    ISTE Staff
    Posted 09-05-2017 19:19
    Thanks for these comments. I've included them in this article: https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=1050&category=ISTE-blog&article=Schools+weather+Hurricane+Harvey

    ------------------------------
    Diana Fingal
    Director of Editorial Content
    ISTE Staff
    Eugene OR
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 13.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    ISTE Staff
    Posted 09-07-2017 16:42
    Thanks for your help, Michael. Here's the link to the article you are quoted in: https://www.iste.org/explore/articleDetail?articleid=1051&category=Digital-citizenship&article=Educators+help+schools+recovering+from+Harvey

    ------------------------------
    Diana Fingal
    Director of Editorial Content
    ISTE Staff
    Eugene OR
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect


  • 14.  RE: How are those affected by Harvey keeping the learning going?

    ISTE Staff
    Posted 09-05-2017 19:18
    This is a great idea!

    ------------------------------
    Diana Fingal
    Director of Editorial Content
    ISTE Staff
    Eugene OR
    ------------------------------

    Discovery STEM Connect