Enrollment for one online teaching program up 500% in wake of coronavirus

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Online teaching programs are seeing a huge jump in enrollment as several districts have closed their doors due to coronavirus.

Mary Armstrong’s been teaching for the live online program ‘Outschool’ for almost a year. She’s used to having students from all over the world taking her classes.

“Just this week, I’ve had students from China and Hong Kong and Italy,” said Armstrong.
However, there’s something different about this new batch of students: They’re all quarantined in their homes due to coronavirus.

“These parents want them to be educated and entertained and to still go about their lives but have a resource,” said Armstrong.

Outschool leaders say the program’s seen a 500 percent increase in enrollments in the past few weeks.

“I am actually to the max I can be,” said Armstrong.

This comes as many families are quarantined and schools closed.

“It’s been this massive surge in interest of these online classes and in particular in classes like ours where kids can interact with each other, can interact with a teacher,” said Amir Nathoo, CEO and co-founder of Outschool.

“A few other teachers i know signed up to become a teacher and this is a great time to join because they need the teachers,” said Armstrong.

Outschool is also offering free training to schools and teachers to help them get set up with online classes.

“We wanted to help in some small way and we felt we could, so we launched those webinars two weeks ago, we’re running them every single day,” said Nathoo.

Armstrong said seeing what these kids and their families are dealing with has been eye opening.

“I’m only with them, the little ones, for 30 minutes; I just try to provide them with a fun distraction,” she said. “If I can make them not think about or worry about it for 30 minutes, then I’ve done my job.”

For more information on Outschool’s training programs, go here.

For more information on Outschool’s enrollment, go here.

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