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NYT article about continuing online education after covid


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https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/11/technology/remote-learning-online-school.html?

This raises so many questions and there won't be good data on outcomes for years.  

Plessy vs Ferguson.  As it's tax-payer funded, will localities begin to compensate caregivers whose children are enrolled?  One of the comments pinpoints that paying one history teacher per district will be far cheaper than one per grade.  

All those years of what about socialization?  I guess zoom is the new community.

 

Edited by Harpymom
learning to not hyphenate online, finally
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  • Harpymom changed the title to NYT article about continuing online education after covid

I think it will be interesting to see how it plays out, and how schools develop with the new avenues.  I have to say, the new part is the acceleration of the virtual option, but it has been a long time coming and has slowly worked its way here.  10 years ago it was an option in our smaller district for high schoolers to attend virtual classes inside a school that could not support those classes on their own (like specific AP courses in a school that only had 100 kids total in K-12).  They were district-run, but it would have been impossible to get the kids to an in-person classroom each day.

It reminds me of the various educational revolutions of the past. The early 1900s where different methods became popular, the 1960s-1970s 'free child' experiments.  This new digital, where-it-best-suits may end up as some sort of permanent hybrid in many areas, At the very least, it is a much better option for homebound students than the teacher who would come out once a month with a packet of worksheets.

The drawbacks I do see?  The overestimation of a teacher's ability with the number of students given.  It is easy to say that they can pay 1 teacher for the district, but if the teacher still has to grade work for each of the students, and keep each engaged during lessons, there has to be serious caps.  Plus I'm not certain it's the best option for every grade, especially with what I'm currently seeing, where students only have access to digital material.

I'll be watching with interest, though.  For the fun of it, 3 of us in our house have been doing online classes this year, a mixture of live and asynchronous courses. It has been a great option for us, though none of us are doing full daily courseloads with them.

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The kids where online has worked, in my personal acquaintance are those where the teacher was just doing virtual, there were lots of actual connections and discussion, and both teachers and students were supported. Hybrid, where the virtual students watched a class happen and were afterthoughts was pretty bad. Asynchronous, where content was put up and kids were on their own was horrid. 
 

if districts think they can hire one teacher to handle more virtual students than they would have in a classroom, it’s going to fall on the horrid end of the scale more often than on the pretty good end.

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I just worry that once again, as so many people have been saying for the past year, this will be something equated with homeschooling that isn't homeschooling. I hate to think of an entire generation of kids and parents saying "Oh homeschooling? That doesn't work well and has such bad outcomes. The video lessons and never seeing their friends? That's the worst." They won't equate it with a parent-led customized approach, with tons of social interaction with other homeschooling families. They are in this weird no-man's-land of not in school, not homeschooling.

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I feel like online instruction is best used as more of a curriculum+ rather than complete classroom with live teacher experience. The best classes have student - teacher interaction with office hours or live discussions etc. 

If that one teacher was doing lesson prep etc while other teachers could focus on more the tutoring aspect (like a flipped classroom) it could work but only if the lecturer/ lesson prep teacher was good at receiving feedback from tutoring teachers as she wouldn't be getting feedback directly from students. 

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I can’t open the article 😞 

I am afraid online will be for those who can’t afford in person in higher Ed. So our CCs, which arguably serve the most vulnerable population and those who need lost help with academics, are staying online while more affluent kids are heading to in person UC system. I am afraid this is going to be a new divide.

Do they think online will work in high school? I hope that’s not a new reality. 

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10 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

I just worry that once again, as so many people have been saying for the past year, this will be something equated with homeschooling that isn't homeschooling. I hate to think of an entire generation of kids and parents saying "Oh homeschooling? That doesn't work well and has such bad outcomes. The video lessons and never seeing their friends? That's the worst." They won't equate it with a parent-led customized approach, with tons of social interaction with other homeschooling families. They are in this weird no-man's-land of not in school, not homeschooling.

I definitely agree with you and am concerned about this - though to be fair, it has always been my experience that non-homeschoolers have weird mental models of what we do 🙂  The difference the covid "crisis education" experience might make is that the general population will now think they have "tried" homeschooling and can express those opinions from a place of authority and experience, not conjecture.

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On 4/12/2021 at 9:31 PM, caffeineandbooks said:

I definitely agree with you and am concerned about this - though to be fair, it has always been my experience that non-homeschoolers have weird mental models of what we do 🙂  The difference the covid "crisis education" experience might make is that the general population will now think they have "tried" homeschooling and can express those opinions from a place of authority and experience, not conjecture.

I think this is true. 

Most of my acquaintances have no idea what I do.  They all seem to think that I am required to follow the provincial public school curriculum, and that I'm provided by the province with the books/on-line resources to do so, and that we're somehow evaluated and kept in line by the province.  All are surprised to hear that I am completely independent, provided with nothing, not beholden to the provincial public school curriculum, not evaluated by the province, and free to teach anything I like.  I am required, as per the provincial education act,  to provide a "satisfactory education", and there isn't actually a clear definition of what that means, so I get to decide.  They really have no idea.

Many of my acquaintances who done public school on-line when schools were shut down, and know that I've homeschooled all along, want to commiserate with me about how hard it is to get kids to pay attention on zoom, how stupid the online classes are etc. They call it homeschooling, and they really believe that what they've been doing is homeschooling.   I gently educate, one at a time, that what they've been doing is nothing like what I do. There is no Zoom in my school, not much of online anything actually, we learn what choose and we choose how to learn it.  There is no stupid work or stupid classes, because we don't choose to do stupid stuff.  And I have great empathy for them; online schooling with disengaged kids while trying to work full-time sounds absolutely miserable.

I've started to call myself an "independent homeschooler" when the topic of schooling comes up.  Otherwise people assume that homeschooling means public school online at home.

Edited by wathe
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