The Tennessee Department of Education and Trevecca University announced a new resource, Bridging the Distance: Family Remote Learning, which is specially designed to help families navigate remote learning and better understand the common tools and programs used by educators.

The free resource features “Remote Learning 101” modules that can help families learn the same tools educators use for remote instruction. The short, accessible videos from experts will help families understand common remote learning tools and equips them to speak the same tech language as the teacher, so they will be better able to support their child’s learning.  

Families can access the resources at remotefamilylearning.com.  

"As a parent with young children, I know how challenging it is to balance work and help our kids keep learning at home,” said state education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “This resource is specifically tailored to help families navigate the new world of remote learning and support their child’s education. Trevecca has already provided training on remote learning to thousands of educators across the state, and now our families can find resources on the same tools their child’s teachers will be using.” 

The resource is significant for families and educators as all districts are reopening with a virtual or hybrid option. As of the end of July, about half of districts are opening traditionally with a family choice option to choose a virtual model. Of those districts, most have on average, about 20% of students who opted in for the virtual option. No districts are opening fully in-person without at least some virtual option, and 10 districts are opening with a completely virtual option. 

Bridging the Distance covers four essential types of tools families and students encounter during remote learning – learning management systems, communications platforms, video platforms and group discussion platforms. The site also provides best practices videos from experts, teachers and other parents on a variety of common remote learning topics, including keeping a schedule, creating learning spaces, virtual field trips, project-based learning and more.  

Families are also able to directly contact the remote learning experts at Trevecca and receive help on their specific questions. 

“My wife and I are grandparents of eight grandchildren in Tennessee, and we’ve watched the challenge they’ve experienced with their parents of experiencing remote learning for the first time,” said Dan Boone, Trevecca University president. “For students like my grandchildren and for parents like my kids, Trevecca decided to provide a free tool to help parents know how to do remote learning with their child. We’ve taken our expertise in online learning and partnered with the Tennessee Department of Education to offer this tool. We hope this resource will help parents and ease the added stress of remote learning.” 

Avery Finch, a parent and school administrator, said, “Parents are facing new uncertainties this school year, but they don’t have to go it alone. This resource will support both families and teachers as we all adapt to remote learning together. I am grateful to be a part of this project and encourage parents to be patient with your children and yourselves.” 

The Bridging the Distance tool builds upon the department’s partnership with Trevecca to provide free training to Tennessee teachers on remote and digital learning tools. More than 19,000 teachers enrolled in the training thus far. 

For access to the resources and more, visit tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus/reopening-guidance.html.  

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