Keeping kids connected and up to speed for remote learning

Remote Learning
Photo credit Photo Courtesy of Josh DeFries

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The school year is starting for many children, and many of them will be learning remotely. A big challenge could be getting those devices to keep up with the rest of the class.

Sarah Edwards with Buffalo Public Schools says she's aware devices may not operate smoothly at all times.

"During summer school, we maintained an open webinar where families could pop in and ask questions and get face to face virtual help, and we'll have that during the school year," says Edwards, along with a student-run orientation to the applications the students will be using. "We'll continue to be here to help," and if you need help, you can call 816-7100, option 1, or if necessary, head to 1515 South Park Avenue. "If it's a physical problem, where something needs repair, parents can bring it here for a quick repair or swap out the device if we need more time. Parents will not leave without a device," adds Edwards.

What about having enough bandwidth to keep things going?

"Devices today eat up so much bandwidth, it's easy to slow things down with your phones and laptops. I would recommend at least a 50 meg download speed," says Entercom engineer and IT expert Al Marranca. "If you have Spectrum, you can call them and they can do this over the phone. If you have an older modem, there's a chance they have to replace it. Fios, same thing. You'll have to contact Verizon, they may have to change out the modem."

Marranca says most homes aren't that big so if you can centrally locate your wifi router, you're usually in good shape. "For Fios, they're usually in the basement, so you'll need to get a separate router with wifi in there," notes Marranca. 

Marranca adds your best bet is to shop around.