Michigan Career Tech Centers Adjust to Virtual Learning

All high schools in the state started remote learning Wednesday, and must continue that for at least the next three weeks under epidemic orders from the state.

It’s a move career tech centers across Michigan knew they’d eventually have to make: the switch back to remote learning. The Wexford-Missaukee CTC says that meant doing as much hands on learning as possible to start the year.

“We kept saying this is a possibility, this could occur so let’s get as much hands on as possible, let’s get the kids buying in on the program and really liking what they’re doing in their programs and then now okay we got some theory to do so let’s work through that,” said Director of CTE Tim Rigling.

It’s a similar situation at the Career Tech Center in Traverse City. They say some programs like web or graphic design transition well to virtual learning.

But for programs like welding or auto mechanics, that can be more of a challenge.

“Our teachers are doing that through demonstration videos that they’ve created, so imagine going down to the auto lab and learning how to put an automobile on hoist, they’re doing videos of that, laying out the steps that are involved in that process so students can see still the safety proponent and things that need to be taught,” said Pat Lamb, Assistant Superintendent of Career & Technical Education.

Now the hope is this three week pause is just that, a pause, and face-to-face learning returns.

“I think if you talk to employers or their teachers, yeah you can do a lot of book learning or remote learning but ultimately you gotta out the tool in your hand,” said Lamb.

“The sooner we can get back to face to face, it’s better for students. We’re hopeful that by December 9th we can be back face to face and students are coming through the doors, but for now it’s pretty quiet,” said Rigling.

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