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Educators say fall virtual learning will be different from last spring

It's a new season on the same online platform for learning, but educators say it will be a different experience.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — When schools closed in March, many districts in Hampton Roads quickly put together a remote learning plan.

Now we’re looking at the fall semester plans for public schools and educators said virtual learning this fall will look very different than it did in the spring.

We know that schools' administrators and teachers are passionate about seeing students again.

"I became a teacher because I love working with students inside the building, and building those relationships with them... and it's hard to do that digitally,” said Virginia Beach teacher Alison Davalle.

However, during the coronavirus pandemic, many children will start the school year with virtual instruction this fall. For some, it means more time physically apart, but educators said it'll be a different learning experience for all.

"But the biggest thing is planning. So, now that we have had the time to plan. We are able to reflect on what worked well, what didn't work,” said Davalle.

With that extra time to prepare, Davalle said work online will happen in groups.

"There's going to be a lot more -- if not, completely -- synchronous teaching and I know my kids will be doing hands-on things together... through a screen, but together,” said Davalle.

Lakisha Ireland is an administrator in Norfolk, and she's speaking with us on her individual opinion. She said there’s "absolutely a huge difference" between last spring’s virtual learning and this fall’s virtual learning.

Ireland said many more students and teachers know how to use digital platforms now and her school has worked on making schedules that add time for extra instruction, for those who need more support.

"The most important thing that I've seen, is the ability to individualize and be more prescriptive and tailored,” said Ireland.

Isle of Wight County Assistant Superintendent Mike Lombardo said in this fall virtual learning plan, they can get a better idea if students are actually retaining the new information.

"Part of our virtual plan is that teachers will be able to very closely monitor student progress and even more importantly on the front end do some diagnostic work,” said Lombardo.

It's a new season on the same online platform, with a different experience.