learning

Stressed out and overwhelmed by distance learning? Here are some resources that might help

With the announcement that the Sacramento City Unified School District will begin the year with distance learning, many parents are looking for ways to support their children as they learn from home.

Supporting a student engaged in distance learning can be challenging for parents, particularly those who are juggling working from home, working in essential jobs, or supporting multiple students at the same time.

There are a wide variety of resources online, through the Sacramento Public Library, and through tutoring agencies. Here’s a guide to help parents get started as they support students learning from home this fall.

Have patience

Andrea Venezia, an Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Education Insights Center (EdInsights) at Sacramento State University, said parents should be patient with themselves and with their children.

“Take a breath and know that this is an unusual time, and that our kids might not learn as much as

Read More

My Teen’s Anxiety Has Improved Since Online Learning Started

2019 was a small nightmare for my daughter. So was the beginning of 2020. She struggled during her last year of middle school and I had several meetings with her teachers. 

My sweet daughter — the one who used to like to go to school and have her friends over — started getting quiet. Then her group of friends changed. Next came an email from her 8th grade teachers (these teachers also had her for 7th grade because she was in a “looping” program at school) who all said she just wasn’t the same.

Instead of doing work during class, she would sit in silence and not participate or hand in her worksheets. Instead of chiming in during advisory and socializing with her classmates, she’d sit alone. 

She wouldn’t talk to me about what was going on. There was lots of time in her room. Lots of silence. She began

Read More

Central Florida schools push learning option that lets them can keep student funding

Central Florida public school districts are giving parents choices on how their children learn this fall, and many schools are pushing programs that would keep students in their home district.

The reason? Money. Public schools receive full funding for students who take classes on campus or through their own online learning model, but lose out on funds for kids enrolled in the Florida Virtual School — which could mean teacher layoffs.

Principals in Orange County have sent messages to parents through phone calls and social media posts expressing funding concerns and “highly recommending” the district’s new virtual program, OCPS LaunchED@Home, over the other virtual school option.

West Orange High School principal Matt Turner wrote in a newsletter to parents that he was “lobbying heavily” for families to pick on-campus learning if they’re comfortable or LaunchED@Home, which will have live, online lessons that follow a traditional school schedule.

“I just wanted

Read More

Trump sours on online learning that his administration evangelized

President Donald Trump’s newfound disdain for online education is a sharp departure from what his administration and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have long championed in terms of policy on virtual learning.

As he presses schools and colleges to physically reopen their doors this fall, Trump has dismissed online learning as an acceptable strategy that local education leaders can employ as they face surging coronavirus cases in many parts of the country.

“Now that we have witnessed it on a large scale basis, and firsthand, Virtual Learning has proven to be TERRIBLE compared to In School, or On Campus, Learning,” Trump said in a tweet last week. “Not even close! Schools must be open in the Fall.”

In events and media appearances over the past several weeks, the White House and administration officials have repeatedly insisted that the nation’s schools and colleges must physically reopen classes — and that online

Read More

L.A. Latino, Black students suffered deep disparities in online learning, records show

A gate in front of Los Angeles High School was locked on July 13. <span class="copyright">(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)</span>
A gate in front of Los Angeles High School was locked on July 13. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

More than 50,000 Black and Latino middle and high school students in Los Angeles did not regularly participate in the school system’s main platform for virtual classrooms after campuses closed in March, a reflection of the deep disparities faced by students of color amid the COVID-19 pandemic and of the difficulties ahead as L.A. Unified prepares for continued online learning.

The numbers, reflected in a first-of-its-kind report by Los Angeles Unified School District analysts examining student engagement during campus closures, paint a stark picture of students in the nation’s second largest school district struggling under the new pressures of online learning.

Nearly every category of students — sorted by race, income and learning needs — included large numbers who did not regularly participate in distance learning. But low-income students and

Read More

L.A. Latino, Black students suffered deep disparities in online learning, district records show

A gate in front of Los Angeles High School was locked on July 13. <span class="copyright">(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)</span>
A gate in front of Los Angeles High School was locked on July 13. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

More than 50,000 Black and Latino middle and high school students in Los Angeles did not regularly participate in the school system’s main platform for virtual classrooms after campuses closed in March, a reflection of the deep disparities faced by students of color amid the COVID-19 pandemic and of the difficulties ahead as L.A. Unified prepares for continued online learning.

The numbers, reflected in a first-of-its-kind report by Los Angeles Unified School District analysts examining student engagement during campus closures, paint a stark picture of students in the nation’s largest school district struggling under the new pressures of online learning.

Nearly every category of students — sorted by race, income and learning needs — included large numbers who did not regularly participate in distance learning. But low-income students and Black

Read More

Cornell says in-person learning is best for public health

As colleges around the country grapple with how to reopen in the fall, Cornell University’s president on Tuesday announced that it will welcome students back to campus — an option she said is best not only for their education, but also public health.

The Ivy League university decided that compared with holding classes only online, residential learning would be safer for students and the wider community because it can ask students to participate in a screening program to detect and contain any spread of the coronavirus, President Martha Pollack said.

“The key consideration in our decision to reopen is public health,” Pollack said in a statement.

In contrast, many other universities around the country, citing concerns for the health of students and faculty, have developed plans to bring smaller numbers of students to campus or emphasize online instruction. Dozens of others have announced plans to reopen with modifications to campus

Read More

Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue

Read More

In-person classes, online learning or a mix? Reopening schools will bring new struggles

With the next academic year less than three months away, and no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, school districts face a daunting decision: Reopen the schools they shuttered, or continue to teach students remotely?

Educators across the United States are weighing their options, taking into account the quality of the education they can offer, the need for children to socialize and keeping safety in mind above all else.

So far, a hybrid model that combines some in-person learning and some remote learning has emerged as the most popular proposal for the fall, according to Dan Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, an advocacy organization for the 14,000 superintendents in the U.S.

That could mean a school has as little as 25 percent of its normal capacity in the building at once, which would give students more space for social distancing in their classrooms and

Read More

Online shopping a steep learning curve for Cuba

Havana (AFP) – When Jorge Noris first tried online shopping, Cuban-style, the products he bought never turned up.

Like most people, the father of two living on the outskirts of Havana was seduced by the convenience of shopping over the internet.

However, Cuba’s catch-up with the world of e-commerce, encouraged by its communist rulers during the coronavirus lockdown, has left many users angry.

“After a month, the store called me to ask if the order had arrived,” said Noris, a 34-year-old technician. He was similarly stunned when he discovered he had to travel into the shop to be reimbursed.

Worldwide, the online food trade has been given a massive shot in the arm by the pandemic. With millions confined to their homes, online consumer activity soared by 300 percent in Italy and Spain, and 100 percent in France, according to pollsters Nielsen.

But the experience is still a novel one

Read More