RAPIDES PARISH, La. - Rapides Parish is heading back to school, but right now the teachers are the ones learning. And they're learning about everything from social media to online grade algorithms.
Carol Passmore has worked in education for 40 years. She knows when it's time for a change in the system.
Passmore: "We knew there was a need, and now it's a much more urgent need. We have to move forward."
Rapides Parish recently found out that ten of its schools are on the failing list, according to the Louisiana Department of Education.
Passmore: "I think it's important that the school system face this head on."
Rapides Parish teachers did just that Wednesday. They gathered at Aiken Virtual School for a "Discovery Day," led by Discovery Education, learning how to use new technology and digital media to reach their students and electronically track their progress.
Sarah Johangiry, Discovery Education: "Our students are different today, and we have to adjust our practice, and that takes time for teachers who are not digital natives, but digital immigrants."
And the teachers say they're grateful for the opportunity to learn how to connect with this new generation.
Christina Gantt, teacher at Hadnot-Hayes: "You have a lot of new trends like Twitter and Facebook, so if I can bring that back to the classroom, it makes it more exciting for me as well as them, and it catches their interest more."
Carol Passmore says she's looking forward to getting the Rapides school system back on track, and she thinks this is the right first step.
Passmore: "This is good old teaching. And those of us who have been here a while, it's kind of a pendulum swing back to the way it used to be. And I think that's the way we're going to reach kids."
The Rapides Parish teachers said they're excited to get back in the classroom and, beginning Friday, implement these new ideas.
Another one of these workshops will be held for students in October.
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