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  • Adapting to remote education — a teacher’s perspective

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Adapting to remote education — a teacher’s perspective

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      • #2294364 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        DISTANCE LEARNING By Kendra Capen Each year it starts with the same question: “You’re already back in school?” Followed by the same answer: “Yup, I wo
        [See the full post at: Adapting to remote education — a teacher’s perspective]

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      • #2294366 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I am not a teacher and for kindergarten there is a specialized form of teaching, but I like the way this article explains very clearly the practical details of doing so mainly online. Perhaps some of the methods for distance learning being developed now on the fly, as circumstances demand, might be useful in the future, with the pandemic finally in the rear view mirror? For example, for students bedridden at home to be able to participate in regular classroom learning without placing an undue burden on the teacher or unintentionally disrupting procedures to the detriment of the other students. I wish Ms. Capen and her ingeniously innovative colleagues a rewarding experience and success in their work.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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      • #2294371 Reply

        A grandfather’s perspective on my grandson’s “distance learning” experience here in Guam.  I never expected to be back in the first grade at my age (beyond Medicare qualified).  As the owner of a +34 year old I.T. business, I had my doubts as to the efficacy of first graders really learning in an online environment. When my son asked to have my grandson do so from our house – due to his 2 brothers aged 3 and 2 being hopelessly disruptive at home – I agreed thinking it was a great chance to observe and participate in the process. Surprisingly, after a month of daily classes, M – F, 7:45am – 2:30pm, just like a standard school day, I must fully endorse the process and thank the teachers and all those involved in making the tech works work! Using Google Classroom, there are 16 kids in his class, and they switch between “classrooms” according to a published daily class schedule, raising their hands, (un)muting and answering questions, taking snack breaks, lunch breaks, and even “body” breaks when the teacher sees they are becoming sluggish after lunch! Each day, their various subject teachers post homework assignments, and once the kids complete such, the parents take pictures of their work and upload them to a classroom designated repository for review and grading by their teachers. Listening to his class, while I work in my home office, has been most enlightening, especially to see the level of interaction these 6 year olds have with their teachers and each other, all through their computers, tablets, etc.  Having missed 4 different conferences I would have attended in the states during 2020, I fully appreciate the limitations of “online meetings” and the lack of valuable dialoguing that occurs spontaneously in live meetings.  That said, we must give kudos to all those working to keep our youngest generation on-track in their educational development.  Good Job All!

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      • #2294430 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        My wife a fourth grade teacher in a mid size Illinois town has been required to split learning into a two days in class and three in remote learning to comply with state requirements. In her words this is a complete mess and younger kids don’t have the discipline to do the remote learning on their own and many parents cannot always stay on them to make sure it is done.  It’s going to set kids back in learning big time at a time when the US has fallen behind other countries already in basic scores. Younger kids need the structure of a in person educator to keep them focused and use their training to get the most out of a student. Sadly the pandemic has caused this proper educational instruction to be interrupted so much that its going to negatively affect kids.

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      • #2294438 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Here in Canada (and I am going to assume it is similar in parts of the US) distance learning has shown up the massive rural/urban divide and multiplied the haves and the have nots.

        In my predominantly rural school district there are any number of families who don’t have a cell phone, a smart phone, a tablet or a computer nor even the financial means to acquire one, not to mention those who do not use computers for religious reasons. 10% of our population is Amish or Mennonite who attend public schools but do not use computers for religious and cultural reasons. On top of that, many live in areas with poor to mediocre internet service or none at all, in spite of provider maps which suggest otherwise. Signing in to Google Classroom or any distance learning system might as well be like talking to Mars. Then there are data caps and usage fees. The roadblocks are significant.

        Until we reach the point of universally accessible, affordable basics for distance learning, we will not have replaced our existing pedagogy. To think otherwise is delusional.

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      • #2294482 Reply

        This summer, I taught a virtual learning college class for students around the country.  This was my first use of a class totally by computer.

        I rapidly saw that the better students did extremely well with this learning mode.  However, the students on the lower end of the spectrum, who would struggle in a classroom environment, did not do well at all.  It is clear that they needed direct, personal attention, which I normally give my students who are in a classroom environment.  I have two questions for you:

        1.  Do you find the same to be true for your students?
        2. Do you have any effective techniques for giving these long-distance students personal help?
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      • #2294921 Reply

        My youngest son has High Functioning Aspergers and in-person school was never a good fit. The random irrationality of the other students was so disruptive, he could never focus. He attended public school for a few years, but it was a constant, “He’s in the nurses’ office again because he had a meltdown.” Then we were blessed to find a school that was exclusively for kids with his type of issues, fantastic. We tried sixth grade in person, it was a mixed bag. When we relocated to Idaho, we selected where we’d live solely on there being a public school across the street with a great program for him…then we arrived and found it was full, so he’d have to do regular class until the special class had an opening. We were just a tiny bit miffed over this, searched for, and found public school online. Now three years in, everything’s great!

        Today is his first day of High School, 9th grade, and it’s no different than 7th or 8th grade was. He wakes up, logs in, sees his lessons for the day, and has at it. On good days it is not unusual for him to tear through six classes in under two hours, did I mention he has a high IQ, around 170? Other days he struggles and it’s an eight-plus hour slog, usually because of one poorly worded question. No amount of logic or reason helps him see around the question that was intended versus the poorly worded question actually appearing onscreen. This usually ends in the teacher dropping the question or project altogether. He pretty much gets straight A’s, so there is no question of if he comprehends the material.

        What does him doing school online require, my wife, can not work except at home. Our son is a teen with all the foibles common to the age…and has Aspergers, so requires someone to get him started. If she worked away from home, his days would run from 2 PM to 4 AM and be entirely consumed with talking to friends online. I can’t imagine that parents of kids whose schools are closed would have it much easier. Once they are fed and parked in front of a screen, things tend to go well, it’s the getting them fed and planted that’s the battle.

        We really appreciate all the teachers he has and had, for their patience, understanding, and desire to see him succeed.

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      • #2295018 Reply
        F A Kramer
        AskWoody Plus

        A great article and well written. Thank you! And now a question.

        How can we handle science classes that include laboratory sessions and assignments? As a former college chemistry professor in a teaching situation, I can testify to the value of actually seeing and doing chemistry in addition to reading about it. Certainly for me, much of the chemistry I learned, or at least understood more deeply, came from doing it in the lab.

        Yes elementary school level science can be done at home safely (I hope) in the kitchen sink and backyard garden. But the more advanced stuff needs the laboratory and the help of a knowledgeable instructor/supervisor.

        Anyone out there with some ideas to share?

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