Coming Together as a Research Community to Support Educators and Students in K-12 Online and Emergency Remote Settings

In the midst of a global pandemic, our work specific to the field of K-12 online and blended learning has never been more relevant or important. Teachers all over the U.S. and globally are faced with the difficult challenge of working to continue remote learning opportunities for their students. Parents are realizing the many challenges of being a teacher and the importance of their role as many step into the fill the gap and help their students. Schools and districts continue to adjust, adapt, try new approaches, and figure out what works being at a distance. We all struggle with the realities of the digital divide and lack of access to devices, internet connections, and necessary accommodations for learners. To say that we are not sure what to expect or often how to proceed is an understatement. Fortunately, our community is filled with talented and giving individuals who have stepped up to provide a wealth of research-driven advice, resources, instructional design support, guidance, ideas and strategies. From Kerry Rice’s blog to Michael Barbour’s 5 minute video chats with selected colleagues, to Stephanee Stephens’ High Noon Help Desk on Facebook Live, there have been so many examples of coming together to help teachers make the transition to emergency remote learning. This is the kind of community we are proud to be a part of and to continue to cultivate through the Journal of Online Learning Research, an open access, academic outlet.