How a digital learning ecosystem powers distance learning

Lee County Schools' use of SAFARI Montage's Learning Object Repository has been a game-changer before and during COVID-19.
By: | January 26, 2021

In a thought leadership session on Day 1 of the virtual FETC, Lee County (Florida) Schools and SAFARI Montage explained how the district has leveraged its digital learning ecosystem to support remote and hybrid learning and PD opportunities during COVID-19 school closures.

Dwayne Alton, executive director of Infrastructure Services in Lee County Schools, explained how they used the district’s Learning Object Repository (LOR) to give teachers standards-aligned resources to support flexible instructional models while providing students with a seamless experience across virtual and live settings.

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Lee County Schools has implemented a districtwide 1:1 Chromebook implementation. All staff have laptops now, including non-instructional employees who may need to go mobile at any time.

One of the biggest needs identified was the students who had fallen off the radar and were not attending virtual classes. The curriculum team put together a playlist in SAFARI Montage’s LOR and now with a single click of a button it is sent to Google Classroom for students who have been absent. “We’re finding that the gap is lessening for these students who have fallen behind,” Alton said.

The LOR houses instructional content from 75 publishers that can be pushed to the LMS, offering a seamless way to create meaningful curricula.

At the outbreak of COVID-19, SAFARI Montage listened to districts and found out where they needed support around content. Among other upgrades, they incorporated video conferencing tools into the platform.

The district credits having started building their content repository in 2015 as a key to being able to quickly pivot when COVID-19 forced schools to go remote in March. This was the “beginning stages of our full virtual environment,” Alton said.

He also stressed that the district making the strategic decision to go platform-agnostic, removing any proprietary plugins such as Flash, has enabled them to ensure that all content is accessible on any device or operating system.

Alton predicted that even after COVID, more students will opt to learn remotely, and many of the practices that have been put in place for the past year will become permanent. Having one central repository of all lessons and curriculum means a continued seamless experience for students and teachers, whether in-person or remote.

Learn more about SAFARI Montage here.

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