Remote learning specialist hired in Prince Edward

Published 2:03 pm Thursday, September 24, 2020

Remote Learning Specialist Amy McClure was recently hired by Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) to facilitate efforts to support teachers and students as they navigate their way through the remote learning process.

Amy McClure

McClure, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees locally at Longwood University, brings with her an array of experiences in remote learning management systems and education leadership. In recent years she taught advanced mathematics courses at the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia and served as an adjunct faculty member at Southside Virginia Community College, teaching the Teachers for Tomorrow course as well as additional math classes.

As a remote learning specialist, she said she will coordinate Prince Edward’s learning management system division-wide, working with principals to coordinate training and help with instructional practices for teachers in Google Classroom and Canvas, the two learning management systems utilized by PECPS.

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One of McClure’s goals is to help educators with strategies and virtual learning tools that encourage students to participate during remote learning sessions in order to foster the growth of critical thinking skills while still meeting emotional and social needs.

“In our rural area, many families struggle with a lack of internet access,” McClure said. “Working parents are also having a difficult time balancing their work demands with their children’s educational needs. Families need structure like they had when school was in person.  I would recommend developing a daily schedule that works for your family.  While teachers are juggling their own family situations, they are working tirelessly to meet the needs of our students.”

McClure said some of her goals in her new position with the school include providing professional development for teachers to become acclimated on different Google extensions, resources and remote learning tools that are available for instruction.   

“I would like to help teachers feel comfortable and confident using a variety of remote learning strategies,” she said.

She added while it’s difficult to make post-pandemic education predictions, strategies educators are learning now will likely be useful and applicable in many future settings, be it in-person instruction, at-home learning or other student-specific situations.

McClure highlighted there are some students who flourish in a virtual learning environment.

“Students gain confidence in their public speaking and oral presentation skills when they present behind the screen,” she said. “This situation is forcing us as educators to create a new way of learning. Students now have the advantage of not missing school time when certain circumstances arise.  I personally have worked with students that were in California and joined my class remotely at 5 a.m. their time while it was 8 a.m. here. Before remote learning, this particular student would have missed a week of instruction.” 

Prince Edward County Public School Superintendent Barbara Johnson said McClure has the skillset needed to help the district enhance its remote learning capabilities.

“Mrs. McClure comes to the division during a time when the K-12 learning landscape is shifting,” Johnson said in a release. “She is innovative and skilled with a genuine desire to maximize the remote learning environment for students and staff.”