By H. Alix Gallagher & Benjamin Cottingham
Wanted for the new school year: high-quality remote-learning experiences to engage and benefit all students.
In the current pandemic reality, educators can improve learning, we believe, by finding better ways to use and structure students' work time. That's true whether learning is fully remote via computers, phones, or packets or whether it includes in-person instruction.
When in-person schooling ended abruptly this spring, the learning opportunities then available to students varied enormously. Some students received no distance instruction, and others got a hodgepodge of a synchronous virtual classroom, asynchronous online activities, and worksheets and packets. Educators scrambled to keep a semblance of school going till normal returned.
But now, with many locations choosing to open the year either fully virtual or in a hybrid of in-person groups and remote teaching, educators must tackle how to help children learn, and learn effectively, in those formats. And while access to devices and the internet is important, data on student engagement in online learning last spring from several large districts showed technology access alone is insufficient for providing quality distance learning. Equally important is reconceptualizing teaching and learning for the current situations.