Students across Ontario begin online learning today, more than three weeks after COVID-19 shuttered schools in the name of physical distancing.

Teachers will lead the effort with both live and pre-recorded lessons, but the move poses challenges nonetheless.

Barrie resident Lissa Dorey has two children and says the e-learning has started well. She says while some limited devices are posing a problem in her house, it's all about adapting.

"I don't see it any different from when I was teaching them their alphabet, or their numbers when they were going into kindergarten. It's just; now the curriculums changed, now I need to teach them different things," she says.

Teachers across Ontario are also getting used to the new approach. Grade six teacher, with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic School Board, Chantelle Nicholl says reassuring students will play a big part in these days.

"Trying to navigate the different assignments with my students, having them take a breath. There were a lot of messages flying back and forth this morning."

The Ministry of Education has said that e-learning cannot fully replace the in-class experience, so the goal is to help students continue their education as much as possible during the pandemic.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce is asking parents to help the youngest of students through the transition, even as many are working from home.

Patricia Oliveira, from Alliston, has three kids and admits she was nervous to start, but things have been doing well so far.

"I'm really impressed with the level of communication we've been getting leading up to today, preparing us and making sure we have the appropriate apps," she says.

The president of the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, meanwhile, has said school boards have been hearing from parents in recent weeks that they need help teaching their children at home.

Cathy Abraham said every board in the province has been crafting a local plan to address the needs of students who may not have access to the internet, computers or tablets, or whose parents may not have time to oversee their schooling.

 

~With files from The Canadian Press~