As Texas educators redesigned teaching on the fly in the spring of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the frustration level among educators and parents was high. For families there was the stress of being together 24/7 along with the day-to-day issues of schooling: homework, inconsistent internet and, in many cases, no internet at all, establishing a routine for home-school, and too many more to count.
The stories educators can tell about the challenges remote learning presented for them and their students. Talk about blended learning – schools became responsible for producing paper packets with lessons for those without internet or computers and online lessons for students with internet connectivity.
Many parents and educators can tell of slow internet where at times students might watch a screen with a spinning circle for 45 minutes waiting for the internet to connect. A lesson planned for 30 minutes might take hours to complete as the signal would fade in and out, and the child would still have three more classes to complete.
The Texas Association of Community Schools is an organization that works with small and mid-sized school districts in Texas. While our members come from all parts of the state, it is fair to say that the majority of our members are from rural communities. The pandemic has been cruel for all Texans, but especially to those in rural areas. Let me tell you why:
According to Connected Texas, approximately 300,000 rural Texas families do not have access to broadband internet connectivity which is defined as a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speed. What does that mean to the 300,000 families without broadband internet connectivity? It means that even if a school district provided a laptop or Chromebook with a hot spot to every school-aged
AUSTIN, TX — The City of Austin website will be offline for six hours on Sunday for maintenance work, officials said.
The website at www.austintexas.gov will be down from 6 a.m. to noon, officials said in an advisory. The city is conducting routine maintenance on the data server during this time period, oficials explained. The scheduled maintenance will improve the city’s digital security across a variety of services and applications and will ensure the continuity of services for residents of Austin long-term, officials added.
During this time, the Austin Airport’s website and the City’s COVID-19 resource page will be offline, as they are sub-sites within www.austintexas.gov, officials added. “Please be patient as the city works to protect the integrity of our digital systems,” city officials said.
Scheduling a test: COVID-19 test scheduling and online assessments will be offline during the maintenance window. Please book your COVID-19 test before or after this time period.
Dashboards: COVID-19 dashboard information will be unavailable during this time period. Dashboards can be accessed through the links below.
Twitter: Check https://twitter.com/AusPublicHealth for updates.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Resources
Flight Status: During the maintenance window, please consult your airline for updates on flight arrivals and departures, as well as bookings.
Parking: Parking rates have been temporarily reduced in Blue and Red Garages. These Garages are the closest parking options to the Barbara Jordan Terminal.
Food: Some concessions are closed or operating under limited hours based on passenger demand and staffing considerations. Concessions that are open have enhanced cleaning and safety procedures and protocols.
Masks/Face Coverings: As outlined by Orders from the State of Texas and the City of Austin, people must wear face coverings while visiting Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Non-compliance with these orders could result in a fine or an inability to board a flight. Most
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival is making up for this year’s canceled event with a weekend of archival footage, running Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11, via ACLFestival.com and the event’s YouTube channel. Performances — including some filmed for the “Austin City Limits” TV show — include Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Willie Nelson, Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Phish and many more. Matthew McConaughey, meanwhile, will host two “Make Change” sessions exploring social and community issues.
• The Who’s new YouTube series showcases archival footage from benefit concerts for frontman Roger Daltrey’s Teenage Cancer Trust, showcasing Ed Sheeran on Thursday, Oct. 8, Muse (Oct. 9), Paul McCartney (Oct. 11), Pulp (Oct. 14), Noel Gallagher (Oct. 15) and Them Crooked Vultures (Oct. 16), all at 3 p.m. and free. The series runs through Oct. 18.
• Nick Cave will be joined by co-composer Warren Ellis, director John Hillcoat and photographer Polly Borland for a listen-along and Q&A about the soundtrack for the 2012 crime drama film “Lawless” at 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, via nickcave.com/badseedteevee.
• Elvis Costello will premiere a video for “Shut Him Down,” one of three new songs he’s written with trumpeter and Steely Dan member Michael Leonhart at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, on Quincy Jones’ QWest TV Facebook page and YouTube channel.
• Mostly quiet since the 2017 suicide of signer Chester Bennington, Linkin Park regroups at noon Friday, Oct. 9, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its debut album, “Hybrid Theory,” and the release of special deluxe anniversary packages. The five group members will sit for a Q&A with fans via watch.linkinpark.com, followed by the world premiere of footage from a 2002 Projekt Revolution Tour concert in Las Vegas. A second showing takes place at midnight. Tickets are available via linkinpark.com,
Sometimes I wish there were computer shortcuts to parenting. Not parenting via computer, but that I had the option to use certain key combinations to address kids’ behavior the way you can a computer’s behavior.
For instance, if I’m working on a tedious project in the garage, and all the boys come pell-mell tumbling into the garage and start doing their impression of a stirred ant mound, I could just ctrl +alt +del and use the task manager to stop them before they knock everything off the work bench.
An added bonus of having a task manager menu to be able to view all current tasks this way would be the ability to identify which kid was doing what activity in the other room. Ctrl+alt+delete: I see boy number 3 is working on flushing action figures down the toilet. End process now.
Or think of the power of the refresh button. When I walk into the bathroom and find what appears to be the aftermath of a tornado, I could just hit F5 (ironic) and refresh what I’m looking at. This way I could easily tackle the mess, or rather wouldn’t have to.
Think of the time my wife could save by hitting ctrl + c (copying) after making a PB&J sandwich for lunch and then ctrl + p (pasting) it four more times for each kid.
Different keys perform different actions on different computer systems, but on the one I’m currently typing on Fn + F3 is the shortcut for turning the volume down. Man, could that ever come in handy.
Or what about dragging and dropping? If I could just point my hand at a boy, use the grab function, and then pick them up and move them wherever they were supposed to be (probably to bed) what