Thirty-one percent of teachers say providing remote instruction is challenging during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Thursday by RAND Corporation. Twenty percent reported technology problems, including students who lack internet access or devices.
Widespread adoption of remote learning has led some school districts to cancel scheduled snow days, saying learning could continue online in case of inclement weather. Some states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, already have transitioned to virtual learning, rather than closures, on snow days.
Simple questions can ignite students' thirst for learning, according to Mary Beth Nicklaus, a literacy specialist and sixth-grade teacher in Wisconsin. In this article, Nicklaus writes about the shift to online teaching and her work with one student, whose many questions -- about topics including spiders and the worst blizzard in US history -- demonstrate the power of questions.
Eighty-three percent of teachers in a nationally representative Education Week survey said they are somewhat or very willing to work with curriculum resources that are more encompassing of people of color, while 22% of nonwhite teachers and 9% of white teachers said such resources and training have been provided. This article highlights the need for more than resource lists to teach about systemic racism.
Hall Middle School in California replaced traditional A to F grading with a standards-based model over several years, write Eric Saibel, the school's principal, and Nathan Beach, a social studies teacher. In this blog post, they share four strategies that helped them improve grading, including building consensus slowly and inviting input -- praise and criticism -- publicly.
Interruptions on videoconferencing platforms -- called "Zoombombings" or "Zoom raids" -- could be occurring in a majority of school districts, asserts Doug Levin, founder and president of the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center. This article includes tips to help districts thwart such attempts, including requiring students to display their names and ensure they know they cannot invite outside people to the class.
The shift to virtual learning has presented extra challenges for students with special needs, and pandemic-related precautions mean many students do not have access to the support services they would ordinarily receive, parents and educators say. Middle-school special-education teacher Kristin Liskow says her first priority this fall will be to evaluate students, and has planned this summer to adapt lessons for a blended-learning environment.
Hundreds of colleges and universities are making entrance exams -- the SAT and ACT -- optional because of the coronavirus pandemic. Colorado College, for example, adopted a test-optional policy beginning with this year's freshmen, and officials say they'll track students' performance over three years to gauge whether the policy should remain in place.
Education technology should supplement -- not supplant -- traditional lessons, says Justin Reich, executive director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab and co-founder of EdTechTeacher. Despite its shortcomings, there are ways to use edtech to improve learning during remote instruction, Reich says, including by making cameras optional and using tech tools for teacher networking.
Casey Rimmer, director of innovation and edtech for Union County Public Schools in North Carolina, developed a new approach to teachers' professional development during the coronavirus pandemic. The modules -- similar to microcredentials -- are released weekly, offered virtually, are optional and designed for flexibility for teachers.
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