Conservation Think Tank: News, Ideas and Solutions for Energy and Water Company Thought Leaders

Leading the Way in Distance Learning

Posted by Rodney Shelton

In the midst of a global pandemic, schools across the nation have been forced to move from in-class lessons to distance learning. Although students would be missing the physical interaction with their peers and educators, this transition seemed to be doable—on paper.

For years, educators have touted the benefits of a real-world education that blends in-the-field, hands-on activities with student-driven lesson plans. We have been told that to compete globally, our students need thought-provoking, interactive literacy opportunities guided by technology. Computers in one form or another, from laptops to smart televisions,girl-learning-on-laptop smart phones, smart home assistants, and the tablet you struggle to get your kids to put down, dictate nearly every aspect of our lives. Technology shows no signs of stopping, and the younger generation is often savvier with it than adults. Yet in the last couple of weeks when education was forced to go digital, we learned that school districts across the country struggled to make the transition. It quickly became clear that the broader American education system was not ready for the shift in learning. But why?

Even Great Teachers Need Help with Curriculum

Online learning requires completely different lesson plans and curriculum than in-class education. Furthermore, each state has strict educational standards that teachers need to abide by, so making the shift takes time. A lot of time. And time is something most classroom teachers have very little of, especially when an all-digital shift is forced upon them with mere weeks of preparation time. While private schools often have the funding to put towards new curriculum, teachers in public schools are on their own. And writing curriculum can be a challenge for even the best teachers in the field.

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Online Learning Isn’t One-Size Fits All

While there are plenty of education technology firms that specialize in building online curriculum, that curriculum does not come cheaply, nor does it come easily. Most online curriculum available today that meets the stringent nationwide education standards requires a costly download or is not meant to be used on mobile devices. In order to meet the needs of all students, teachers need learning tools that are flexible and offer easy access for a variety of learners. Remote learning needs to be as easy as signing into a website. Things like complicated logins and special software immediately put a stop to distance learning. In addition, online learning must be accessible via both a mobile device and a home computer. While a majority of households have at least one home computer, there is still a notable disparity in low-income households, where students are using mobile phones or tablets to access the internet.

It’s clear that classrooms across the country are in need of distance learning opportunities that fulfill the needs of teachers, students, and their parents. We can all agree it is important, but how does this affect utilities and their customers? You might be surprised.

student-learning-on-laptopEvery utility has a portfolio of energy savings programs they seek to engage their customers in. And now, more than ever, customers are actively looking for touch-free ways to manage and cut-down on their energy use as they spend most of their time at home. School energy education programs have proven to be a cost-effective, energy-saving strategy for both utilities and their customers. And in a time when customers are looking for compassionate providers that can meet their needs in a crisis, a school education program tells your customers that you can be relied on as a trusted energy advisor to get them through this journey and the next. But until now, energy education programs were only implemented in the classroom.

That’s where we’re proud to introduce EarthWise Adventure™. AM Conservation Group has taken K-12 education digital. Our technology-driven education program delivers the building blocks of responsible energy and water consumption to the next generation. Our e-learning platform includes a combination of self-paced, student-driven lessons and activities, allowing students an individualized energy education that fits their unique needs. The teacher dashboard allows educators to monitor students’ progress in one convenient location. We take distance learning to a new level by offering a cost-effective, seamless experience for both you and your customers.

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To learn more about how your utility can harness technology to meet evolving customer expectations, get in touch with us today.

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