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Jason

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Distance Learning
« on: July 23, 2020, 11:44:03 pm »
My 5 year old was getting ready for the adventure of public education as a big Kindergartener.

After several polls of parents who mostly voted for returning to school full time or a hybrid model, the district just announced that they will be doing 100% distance learning. We start the day after Labor Day.

How can you completely rewrite, verify effectiveness, and then properly implement a completely new method of teaching in just over 1 month's time?
 

Roper

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 01:01:02 am »
A few thoughts:

1) It isn't a completely new method. Most likely, the teachers implemented it in March for the big quarantine.
2) Depending on which distance learning model they're using, it might not be a complete rewrite. The teachers may be creating very similar lessons to what they would offer in class, but adapting them for online delivery and completion.
3) Verification is the hard part. Research on home learning so far shows that it's not as effective as in-person classroom learning. One of the biggest reasons is that students don't do the work at home.
4) I've learned over the past four months that teachers are some of the most innovative and solution-oriented people I've ever known. Seriously--if we replaced our military Joint Chiefs with veteran teachers, I believe we would have solutions to our most pressing national security problems before the election.

Have faith, Jason. Teachers can do it!
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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cook

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 10:15:11 am »
Agree with Roper, most likely it is not new at all for the teachers anymore and I'd hope to say most elements of it wasn't completely new to them when the first round of schools closed came. Many of the things you'd do in the classroom you can do with distance learning. So I think the teachers will do just fine and kids can have great experiences.

But, it will be a completely new method for your child and that may be tough. We start school the year we turn 7. Pre school the year we turn 6. 5 is very young, the distance learning must be well thought out and I hope academic goals aren't big.

I'm wondering at Roper's number 3. Statistics here say that distance learning in general wasn't creating any gaps in learning. Some even thrived better than in school. OF course some worse. But what do you mean the student's don't do the work at home? They were not given assigments to do or they don't do them?

 

Roper

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 12:10:48 pm »
Many elementary children didn't complete the activities. With most parents still working full time, there wasn't a lot of student accountability.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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cook

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 12:22:21 pm »
Interesting. Did you have teachers available online or on the phone to help them with the assigments and see they get them done? Special education teachers looking after those who seem to not be doing what they are supposed to do? Or was it more just giving and assigment and instruction and waiting for them to return them?

 

Sparky

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 02:32:49 pm »
It was all very chaotic and unexpected. For me, spring break came the week after we shut down. The first week we were just coming to grips with not going to school and the second week we were off for vacation. By the time the third week came, kids were totally out of the school mode. In my system, teachers were told that there wouldn't be any more grades, that the final report card would only cover the time we were actually in school. So for the kids, once we were out, schooling really didn't matter because there was no accountability. Of the students I serve, fully half never checked into Google Classroom. Of the half that did, half of them only did once. Of the quarter that are left, it was usually every other week. Parents have been informed that whether distance learning or in the classroom, there will be accountability and grades when school starts up again.
 

Jason

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2020, 11:19:59 pm »
You can bet that I have my daughter read books to me. We do writing. We do math. We do German. We watch educational shows. We are learning how to gain responsibility with raising chickens and doing other daily chores. We learn about money. We have a parent home with the children.

For better or worse, these things are considered luxuries in many households. There is a big fear that distance learning will worsen achievement gaps between lower and higher income students.
 
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nitasmile

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2020, 09:21:50 am »
My county will be 100% virtual for the first semester.  Some friends will do home schooling.
I think it is absolutely correct that there is a gap for those who can stay home and do home school vs single parents etc who must also work.
I have followed some therapy pages of school occupational and physical therapists and have been so impressed with how them and teachers rose to do their best!
  We all know the hundreds of stressor that people have endured, and so adjustment of expectations is probably needed on some levels. Early on, a meme circulated about Maslow's hierarch and reminding people that we are in crisis at the bottom rung..so not to expect parents or kids to be at the highest level of academic learning.
  When I was at my worst, in April and early May, there were times my attention span for online coursework I was doing was literally about 5 minutes, die to the stress, poor sleep, depression and anxiety I had at the time.
 
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pnr

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2020, 06:38:52 pm »
If I were in your space and could afford to, I'd get the great minds curriculum and hire a teacher to do it if possible, or do it myself.    I think a digital version of instruction for 5 year olds is inherently problematic.   

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/great-minds-announces-knowledge-on-the-go-free-video-lesson-series-additional-free-eureka-math-resources-to-promote-learning-during-school-closures-301025046.html
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 

dyany

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2020, 10:47:37 pm »
I've heard of a lot of families doing learning 'pods' to share/pool resources and time. Maybe that would be an option?
 

Sparky

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2020, 07:01:09 pm »
Just learned today that our school system is pushing our start date for students from August 7 to August 31, though teachers will still start on August 4. We will be preparing distance-learning lessons and receiving (probably lots) of training on technology in support of that. This will certainly be a different type of school year! I do feel sorry for people who expected their kids to go back to school next week and now suddenly have to find child care for four weeks.
 
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Roper

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2020, 10:19:36 pm »
Best wishes for a new year, Sparky. I have to present our re-opening plan to the school board tomorrow night. Our students come back on Aug 17. It will be interesting...
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Jen

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 06:02:39 pm »
The charter school my twins go to is digging their heels in about opening school in just over a week. Our county has some of the highest community spread in the country. Face coverings will be required only sometimes. The classrooms aren't big enough to move desks even a foot apart, but they will be teaching "airplane arms".

Best of all, in their own words, a "bi-polar ionization unit will be installed in the school’s HVAC units. This creates negative ions in the air that starves viruses, mold and bacteria and, in the case of COVID-19, can kill 99% of its spores". COVID SPORES, guys.

I don't think I can send my kids back. We're looking at options.
 

Roper

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2020, 11:21:35 pm »
Move to Utah County. They can come to my school. We have a pretty comprehensive plan for protecting students and teachers. Or, you could choose online learning created and guided by one of our amazing teachers.  :D
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Palmon

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Re: Distance Learning
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2020, 12:02:27 pm »
Here is an interesting transcript of an interview with Robert Redfield, MD.
In it, he references how suicides and drug overdoses by teenagers are quickly rising.

This bit really caught my attention:

Quote
And I do think… you know, there are consequences of the decisions that we’ve made. I mean, one of the ones that’s the most personal to me, I spent a lot of my life working in Africa, one of the consequences here in the United States is, I mean, 85% of kids now that are younger than five are behind on their pediatric vaccination. Vaccines are such an important medical tool. But even worse than that, if you go to Africa where our polio eradication program and our measles vaccine programs have really come to a halt because of COVID concerns and field workers are not out there. I now have 120 million children in Sub Saharan Africa that haven’t received the measles vaccine. And they’re very at risk to die from measles. And they’re very limited risk dying from COVID.

So I think as we look at these things, it is important that we don’t... as Secretary Azar would say, in some of his talks he would say, ‘It’s public health versus... it’s health versus health. It’s not health versus the economy.’ As we know, how many people would miss their mammograms or their colonoscopies or their preventative medicine for neoplastic disease

https://www.buckinstitute.org/covid-webinar-series-transcript-robert-redfield-md/

 
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