What does it mean not to be in school? How to students learn online? Great theoretical questions, but with widespread school closures across America, there’s time for a reckoning. Who is best suited to teach K-12 in the age of Coronavirus? We need an answer fast.
Over the past few weeks, the closing of schools, initially with no specific guidance beyond resources for “enrichment”, is a challenge, even for children of parents have the luxury of time and skill to mentor their own kids on the side. For many others, it is a catastrophe.
Parents across the state and country (and globally) have by now, largely, found a way to work from home. Those who need to go into work, and who fit the “essential worker” category, have an additional problem, they cannot take care of their kids. Those who are lucky enough to work at home face the issue of entertaining and educating their kids and at the same time trying to work.
Ultimately, it could be a black swan event for public schools, as parents actively are seeking other, more adaptive learning accelerators. How can this be? What can we do about it?
Elementary School kids need teacher support every day
Elementary school age kids, particularly, need more detailed guidance than just being told to use a few colorful websites in order to learn efficiently over time. I’m not sure if the problem is that the government, superintendents, principals and teachers don’t fully understand online learning, that they need more time to improvise solutions, or that they are unwilling to provide it based on principle. Very likely, the complicating factor is that there is a lack of guidance from above and a lack of initiative (or fear of consequences by simply going ahead with something) from below.