Technology workshop helps parents with students learning at home

GARY, Ind., (WLS) -- As students at Gary's West Side Learning Academy end another week of remote learning, the district is offering help to possibly overwhelmed parents.

"It's major, it's major. I was kind of worried at first," said Yolanda Small, a parent of a high school junior.

While the Northwest Indiana school district is providing Chromebooks and hotspots for kids learning at home, officials are also offering resources and information to help parents brush up on their technology skills so they can help their kids e-learn.

Ka'Lea Smalls said her mom may need the help.

"It will be nice, I'm still going to have to help her get on," Smalls said.

The first Parents Virtual Technology Workshop was Friday night and the result of a partnership between the Gary School Community Corporation and West Side Leadership Academy's Parent Teacher Student Association.

"It's always important for any student when they know their parents are invested and see what they are doing, that allows them to get more invested because they know that parent is with them as well," said Othiniel Mahone, the West Side Leadership Academy principal.

Mahone said about 85% of his school's roughly 1,200 students received free Chromebooks and hotspots.

The devices were available to any registered student from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Their first day of class was last week.

"It might be helpful, very helpful, just in case the power going out then I can use the hotspot to finish up my work," said Javion Washington, a West Side Leadership Academy freshman.

During the virtual class, parents will get a chance to ask questions and familiarize themselves with how to operate the laptops their kids were given.

School officials said they will offer more virtual classes for parents.

They said it's all in an effort to make sure that kids will be at their best.
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