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Have questions about online learning? So do teachers. Here’s how they’re figuring it out

A Facebook group for educators to share ideas and strategies has quickly amassed more than 15,000 followers from across the state.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — When Traci Andrews first learned Florida schools would be moving to remote online learning, the Skycrest Elementary fourth grade teacher and mother of three says her first instinct was to head to Facebook.

“I tend to go there as a parent and a teacher,” Andrews said. “I go there for different groups, I utilize it a lot for my parenting.”

Andrews, who has been teaching in Pinellas County for 17 years, knew she’d need a way to collaborate with other teachers while navigating something totally new like this as social distancing keeps everyone home and online.

She created the private "Teachers Going Digital Unite" group with tempered expectations.

“Two heads better than one,” she said. “I really thought it’d be two heads.”

In a matter of two weeks, two heads quickly turned into more than 15,000—and counting.

Teachers, principals, administrators—and even a few parents—from all across the state have joined the group, using it to post and share ideas and strategize solutions to problems as they prepare to answer many of the questions they expect to get from parents.

“Everyone just wants to know what’s working,” she said, adding there’s a lot of talk about troubleshooting the different technology. “You know, ‘I tried this and I had this outcome. What are you trying?’”

E-LEARNING TIPS Traci Andrews, a 4th-grade teacher at , offered up tips as parents embark on a new adventure with their kids. We're all doing the best we can, including teachers. Here's how they're figuring it all out themselves: Skycrest Ele... mentary School https://bit.ly/2JrmCqk

Andrews says she understands this experience will be stressful and frustrating to begin with, but she’s encouraging parents to be patient—with their children, the teachers and themselves.

“I think that when you sit at home and you’re in front of a computer, it’s very easy to feel like you’re alone, but you’re not and the kids are not alone,” she said.

“We’re going to do education a little differently for a while because this is what’s best for everyone but nobody is alone.”

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