In light of COVID-19 and the switch to remote instruction, Garfield Campus is adapting, overcoming, and succeeding. Faculty and staff have spent countless hours onboarding students to Canvas, as well as providing primary language support when familiarizing them with website navigation and password creation. Challenges that arose during this time included student access to technology, to which Garfield has risen to the occasion. Hundreds of Chromebooks have been distributed through a safe, social-distance pick up, and more are on the way. One of the biggest opportunities during this time is that online Noncredit classes allow isolated students to not only learn new skills, but to connect with and support one another.
Digital literacy is especially important for our student population, as many of our students are new to computers and internet navigation, and need help interpreting the online environment. Before the Safe at Home orders were put into place, I had intended to highlight our EL Civics program by speaking with Noncredit ESL’s EL Civics Coordinator, Alexandra Christy. It was intended that 50 of our classes would spend about two weeks learning about the educational system in the United States and how they can achieve their personal goals using our college’s extensive resources. We had added activities that require critical thinking skills and digital literacy in order to ensure these crucial career and college readiness skills are delivered through EL Civics curriculum. Alex added that in the future, she would love to add the civic objective on digital literacy and online communication to the curriculum, as these are essential skills for our students that would help them substantially with our program as they venture out into the college and workplace beyond our campus.
Wishing everyone good health and tranquility during this unprecedented time.