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B.C. licenses Zoom video conferencing to create virtual classrooms amid COVID-19

Online learning resources open up for B.C. parents
It's only day two of B.C.'s extended spring break and it's a good bet a lot of parents are wondering what to do with their kids. A number of online resources have just opened up. Grace Ke reports.

B.C. teachers and students will be able to use Zoom video conferencing to help with remote learning amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The Ministry of Education said Wednesday it has secured licences for the popular service, which provides video and audio chatting, and online meetings, for all K-12 public and independent schools.

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Life after spring break: B.C. students start online learning
Life after spring break: B.C. students start online learning

Zoom will allow teachers to explore and experiment with remote-learning methods, which will vary from school to school depending on students’ needs, the province said.

Teachers will receive access to Zoom through their school districts sometime this month.

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Students will not need to set up an individual Zoom account to access their virtual classroom.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Resources to help kids learn from home

Earlier this month, the province indefinitely suspended in-class education for students in kindergarten to Grade 12 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Kids were about to go on spring break, but that ended on Friday, and they have still not returned to schools.

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Teachers and administrators are looking at a range of remote-learning options. Staff are allowed to return to work as long as they can follow social-distancing rules.

The B.C. government recently launched Keep Learning BC, a website that offers parents ideas for everyday educational activities, links to free learning resources, guides to maintaining routines, and mental health resources.