CTE Teachers Adapt to the Times
Romano says her instructors have found workarounds, many of them technology-driven, for teaching such courses in a virtual environment. For their certified nursing assistant program, for example, instructors are helping students learn new skills by observing and coaching via videoconference.
For programs such as welding that require in-person supervision, the district developed new schedules that allow students to take turns with equipment in very small groups. And cosmetology students now receive kits with everything they need to work from home, Romano says.
“It’s the same way with the culinary students,” she says.
The students have the tools and supplies they need, and they record videos of themselves performing techniques their instructor previously taught them over a videoconferencing platform.
At the start of the pandemic, Pasco County’s CTE teachers met weekly for a crash course leveraging the district’s learning management system. As the current school year began, they were taught to use the district’s newest instructional tool: a Swivl robot.
“You put it on a tripod with a tablet computer, and it follows you around the room and records you automatically,” Romano explains. Teachers can livestream the video to students.
“If there’s a skills lab where teachers need to demonstrate something with their hands, they don’t have to worry whether students can see,” Romano says. “The robot handles that part for them so they can simply focus on teaching.”