Are you unfamiliar with some of the words used in conversations about your child’s learning from home or returning to school? You aren’t alone! It can be confusing. Here are some commonly used terms and what they mean.

Synchronous Learning: Synchronous learning happens when teachers and students are engaged at the same time. This can happen in-person or in online video conferencing. It lets the teacher and student directly interact, ask questions, or have a group discussion.

Asynchronous Learning: Asynchronous learning can happen at any time. There is no live interaction between the teacher and the student. Students may watch a pre-recorded video, work on an online exam, or learn and study at their own pace. It has the benefit of allowing your student to work when it’s convenient for him or her (or you) rather than at a set time.

Distance learning/Remote learning/Online learning: This is when learning takes place outside of a traditional classroom. Students are physically separated from their teachers but can continue to learn via online technology or work on educational packets.

Blended/Hybrid: This combines some classroom teaching, such as person-to-person, with distance learning. It can also refer to a group of various aged students learning together. It is important to ask your teacher or school for their interpretation when using this term.

WiFi: WiFi, is the technology that allows a computer, mobile phone, or tablet to connect to the internet without needing a physical, wired connection.

URL: A URL is simply the address or link to a specific website or online resource. It allows you to view the website in a browser (i.e. Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.). When you are sent a URL in a text or email, you can click on the link to go directly to the webpage.

Hotspot: A hotspot is a device or a location that allows you to connect to the internet using Wifi. If you don’t have internet access at home, you can find free hotspots in libraries or coffee shops. Schools are also lending hotspot devices to families to help children keep learning.