Plugged In: Helping EA Teachers Make Tech-Savvy Transitions
Plugged In: Helping EA Teachers Make Tech-Savvy Transitions

When EA Remote Learning became the new normal, it left Middle School math teacher Jay Jennings looking for a flexible, easy-to-use app for his geometry and Honors Algebra II students.

"Computer grading is about right and wrong. There's no partial credit," Jennings says. "I need to see how my students work through a problem." To find the right tool, he turned to EA's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

"Allison Schultz showed me Floop, a feedback loop that allows me to keep my students constantly informed about what's going on," says the 25-year classroom veteran, in his first year teaching at EA. "I can make detailed comments on work my kids have uploaded to a website. They can comment back, and I see whether they've read my comments."

In recent weeks, CTL has reaffirmed its value as a hub of professional development and a clearinghouse of new ideas. "They have been invaluable in helping transition teachers to online classrooms," points out Academic Dean Chris Anderson. "CTL combines an awareness of promising tech platforms with a knowledge of the ones we already use, like Canvas, Google Classroom, and Seesaw. They steer teachers to what best fits their needs."

Jennings cites an example. "CTL showed me how to randomize quizzes on Canvas, so students taking the same test won't all have the same version. I can also set 'essay questions,' so I'm the one going in and giving them points."

"CTL gives us a big edge," says Anderson. "EA teachers don't have to do the legwork. They have a support system and can focus on translating vital teaching experience to a virtual environment."

"We're getting bombarded with so much information," adds Jennings. "Having a dedicated group of colleagues at CTL who make sure our job goes smoother is an amazing gift."