Pellston fourth graders Emma Moran and Jensen Edwards work with paper and Chromebooks.

The pandemic brought a technological revolution to schools. Is that a good thing?

Forced closures and quarantines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to ramp-up their efforts in one particular department: technology.

School districts that already had 1:1 initiatives — where each student is given a device, like a Chromebook or an iPad — were able to make the transition to remote learning easily. Other districts, often in rural areas, struggled to connect students with reliable internet access.

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Districts tried different ways of creating virtual classrooms — through Zoom or Google — seeking what worked best for teachers, students and parents.

Regardless of the path, by necessity, most educators agree the pandemic electrified the use of technology in the classroom.

“Absolutely,” said Becky Smith, director of teaching and learning for the Public Schools of Petoskey. “We had no choice but to go virtual.”

Forced closures and quarantines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to ramp-up their efforts in one particular department: technology.

For Petoskey, the largest district in Emmet County, the biggest change to come out of the pandemic is a new learning management system, a software application used across the whole district.

“The learning management system we use is Schoology, and that just made a consistent K-12 platform where all the information was posted, parents knew exactly where (to check assignments) and so on,” Smith said.

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