The shift to remote learning amid the global coronavirus pandemic, is likely to result in learning loss for some students, according to Julie Sonnemann, a fellow at the Grattan Institute. However, she writes in this commentary, schools should consider alternatives to holding struggling students back a year, such as hosting small learning groups outside of the regular school day.
There are online resources for teachers to use that include some of the great sites and museums around the world, including virtual tours of The Great Wall of China, streaming performances from The Metropolitan Opera in New York and painting analysis from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
UK middle school teacher Holly King-Mand has been leading daily language arts lessons on Facebook, and the response has reached 10,000 views each day. The mother of two goes live with students and covers topics such as Shakespeare and synonyms.
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Officials at UNESCO have announced plans to launch a global coalition aimed at supporting students around the world whose education has been derailed by outbreak-related school closures. "Today we must rise up to the previously unthinkable challenge of providing learning without schools," write UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Researchers followed 629,622 Danish students and found that only 52% who had mental health problems had finished ninth grade final examinations, compared with 88% of their peers without any psychiatric conditions. The findings, published in JAMA Psychiatry, also showed that students with mental health problems had significantly lower mean grades, compared with peers without mental health disorders.
College athletes from abroad are faced with the decision of whether to return home, in some cases where the coronavirus is worse than in the US, after their campuses shut down. There are more than 20,000 foreign athletes at NCAA schools, and the organization advised colleges to decide how to handle the situation.
It's telling that it was the status of school closings that captured public attention like no other recommendation. This speaks to the centrality of the K-12 school to the daily life of society at large in the United States -- not just for education, but for realities connected to socioeconomic status, technological access, nutrition, and health.
As more schools shift to remote learning, online instruction expert Mike Flynn suggests that working together as collaborators is key. People often look at online learning from the perspective of what technology is available, but it's more important to look at how and what you want to teach, then collaborate in community to figure out what resources you'll need.