Remote Learning Will Fail Our Children

Remote Learning Will Fail Our Children

Remote Learning Will Fail Our Children

Remote learning around the country was a failure this last spring, and is shaping up to be a failure this fall.

“The kitchen table will once again serve as a makeshift desk for millions of students when they head “back to school” in the next few weeks. Seventeen of the nation’s 20 largest school districts have said that they’ll reopen with zero in-person instruction. Nationally, only about 40 percent of schools have announced plans to reopen in-person (with another ten percent planning for a hybrid model that includes some in-person instruction).

In short, close to half the nation’s K–12 schools may begin the new year remotely, a figure that will be far higher in the systems serving the most students. This painful reality, combined with teacher resistance to reopening and parental concerns about student safety, has prompted districts to work overtime promising that remote learning will be much better this fall.””

Here in Colorado, many of the K-12 schools are starting remotely, or with a combination of a pretzel schedule of remote and in-school learning. One district that I know of will have first graders start remotely. The schedule that those first graders face will, in my opinion, have a negative effect on their short and long-term learning abilities. Why?

A. A total of fifty minutes of breaks through the day, including lunch

B. SEVEN hours of instruction

C. Total teacher/student engagement time during those seven hours? One and One-Half Hours.

Yes, you read that correctly. A first grader is supposed to have the mental and physical capabilities to stay in his/her seat in front of a computer and learn/absorb the assignment without oversight by the teacher, and presumably without necessary oversight and encouragement from the child’s parents. 

Can we say FRUSTRATION and FAIL? Because that is what is slated to happen with those children. 

There are very good teachers who worked overtime to ensure their students were education last spring. Sadly, there were a great many other teachers who literally phoned it in. I know, as my grandson experienced a combination of both. 

Our children NEED interaction with their peers and direct interaction with their teachers. It is a hugely important piece of their growth process. 

Instead, we have teachers unions operating out of greed and fear. This is the letter the school board of Denver Public Schools sent out when it became apparent that parents are working to find alternatives to ensure their children actually GET an education this fall. Learning pods are bad, remote learning by teachers is good. Equity, money, and social justice are even better! That’s the gist of that load of bullshit peddled by Denver Public Schools.

Education – REAL Education? Not a priority.

For those parents who plan to monitor their children’s classroom time? Don’t. Per Rutherford County School District in Tennessee:

““RCS strives to present these opportunities in a secure format that protects student privacy to the greatest extent possible, however because these meetings will occur virtually RCS is limited in its ability to fully control certain factors such as non-student observers that may be present in the home of a student participating in the virtual meeting,” according to the form.

“RCS strongly discourages non student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed.”

The form asks parents for their signature and warns that “violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting.””

And from the Chicago area:

There is so so much wrong with these “requirements” by school districts. 

  1. Parents absolutely DO have a right to know and see what their child is being taught
  2. If a teacher is phoning it in, but a parent is not allowed to monitor, the CHILD is the one who loses
  3. Protect the academic privacy of the other students, but if the teacher is only “teaching for 1.5 hours of the day” who is the one being protected here?

There’s something else to consider regarding remote learning at K-12 schools, especially elementary schools. 

Furthermore, the statistics are incredibly clear. Children are the lowest of the very low risk for this virus. 

How will the single parents who have to work navigate and manage this? How will parents with jobs in healthcare, grocery stores, restaurants, and big box stores ensure their children are learning when they aren’t there to monitor and keep them on track? Broward County School district shows that 52% of students in 6-12 grades had no motivation to complete assignments, and 45% never received adult assistance at home with their assignments. 

What about the families that have multiple children in multiple grades, but not enough laptops or internet bandwidth or even space at home to set up their desks in a functional manner? Are the teachers unions, the teachers and college professors who are demanding hazard pay, and the teachers who’ve been conducting sickouts considering any or all of this? 

No, no they aren’t. 

There are some amazing teachers out there who are getting creative, some on their own dime, to design their classrooms in such a manner that brings children back INTO school and learning. I applaud them for that, as those are the teachers who will be making a positive life-long impact on that child’s life. 

As for the parents who are exploring the ideas of learning pods, beware, you may have the woke scolds go after you for daring to exercise your privilege to the detriment of others.

Yes, there are other risks to consider regarding learning/pandemic pods, however if teachers AREN’T wanting to go back to school and teach – what is the solution?

Children want and NEED to go back to school. Yet that won’t be happening this fall for far too many of them. Our children’s education is being blatantly hijacked by the unions with the full consent of the Democrat party. Remote learning will fail our children unless parents and the teachers who WANT to teach stand up and say ENOUGH.

UPDATE: Another failure of remote learning is the limitations of system capacity. In North Texas, a hardware problem caused the online system to break down for nearly three hours. This breakdown negatively affected FIFTY FOUR school districts across nine counties. One teacher ended up teaching her class from her CAR. 

https://twitter.com/MrsMarsh4th/status/1296442166273859584

According to the Frisco school district, something like this “will happen from time to time.” 

That’s small comfort to the students who lost valuable education time, and the parents who’ve been told that remote learning is awesome! 

Feature Photo Credit: KokomoCole via Pixabay, cropped and modified

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7 Comments
  • Scott says:

    Closing schools has a higher likelihood of slowing the spread of communism than of covid…

    Very glad my kids are no longer in school, though the indoctrination received by the one that lived with my ex did take hold and ruin her… ANYONE who can needs to homeschool or go with the pod system, and if not NEVER sign such BS that takes away your parental rights! Get a lawyer involved and make them rescind such edicts.

    • GWB says:

      And, the pod system is really nothing more than a homeschool co-op. It’s just neighborhood-based. instead of city- or region-based.

      It’s also a revival of the one-room schoolhouse.

      All public schooling should be based on serving no more than a few neighborhoods at once. It allows much more flexibility, much less top-down management, and more control by the parents.

  • nell says:

    A good friend home schooled all four of her children. All tested above their class level and two continued on to advanced degrees……And she finished their classes nearly everyday in four hours.!

    • GWB says:

      I’m betting she didn’t “finish” in four hours. There’s learning to play well with your siblings out in the yard. There’s learning to do chores. There’s learning to read for pleasure. There’s building rockets to launch. There’s learning how to sew or work on cars or do carpentry or (quelle horreur!) shooting a gun properly (or at least gun safety). One of the fun things about homeschooling is seeing that the entire world is your schoolroom/laboratory as well as your playground. 🙂

  • GWB says:

    A total of fifty minutes of breaks through the day, including lunch
    Having lunch at home should make for a shorter break. And I’m betting that’s the official time allotted during a regular school day.

    SEVEN hours of instruction
    Isn’t that how many they get in a regular day? That’s 8am to 3pm.

    Total teacher/student engagement time during those seven hours? One and One-Half Hours.
    presumably without necessary oversight and encouragement from the child’s parents.
    Why would those other 5 1/2 hours be without parent engagement and oversight?

    Sadly, there were a great many other teachers who literally phoned it in.
    Here’s your real problem. It’s not the remote learning aspect. It’s the crappy teachers. Some number of them might be crappy solely by virtue of remote learning, but it’s the teachers and the curricula that are the problem, NOT the remote learning.

    And, here’s the thing: Those teachers (and curricula) are mostly crappy inside the classroom, too! The only difference is you’re able to see it in real time. In this way, remote learning is one of the best things to happen to public education in a long time – like shining a light in the cockroach-infested kitchen at midnight.

    Our children NEED … direct interaction with their teachers.
    Like physical interaction? How so? Or do you mean they should be online with a teacher the whole time they’re remote learning? I would dispute that – self-learning is a better way for children to learn in many (but nowhere near all) cases.

    Instead, we have teachers unions
    Well, stop the sentence right there. Agree wholeheartedly. And the crap they’re pulling with Winnie The Flu is pathetic. It’s extortion on a grand scale, with your children the victims! “Nice kid you got there, hate to see anything happen to xer.” And it’s the primary reason no publicly funded organization or gov’t entity should ever be allowed to unionize. Period.

    due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed.
    Like what?! Do parents have their kids’ SSNs on the chalkboard on the wall? Are parents making doctor phone calls where they can be heard over the virtual meeting (disrupting the kid’s classroom attention and disturbing the meeting for others)? Or is this that concern for kids coming to a teacher with their tales of home woes?

    Going to be recording their classes this year.
    One of the great advantages of remote learning! They won’t ever let you in their physical classroom to do that. (And they’re trying to block you out of the virtual room with this, too!)

    Parents absolutely DO have a right to know and see what their child is being taught
    But they have established in many places that you most certainly can NOT do that, not in the physical classrooms. They’re deathly afraid of their indoctrination being exposed. (Though, honestly, there are some jerk parents who would abuse it and be total a**holes, disrupting the class.)

    Only 28 children
    OMG! You want to kill the children!
    This is one of the ideas that has become rooted in our culture (due to the “Safetyists”) – a single child who dies is one too many and Something Must Be Done! It’s why we don’t have monkey bars (and we shouldn’t call them “monkey” bars, either, because RACIST!) or merry-go-rounds or cake walks (that cake wasn’t baked in a health dept inspected facility by a health dept trained cook, and you’re all gonna die!) or school potlucks (same!) or bobbing for apples (OK, admittedly, that can get kinda gross if you think about it, but change the water and apples regularly and it’s just fine for kids). Because if it saves even one child it’s worth it. So, when analyzing RISK suddenly you must eliminate risk instead of mitigate and control it.

    How will the single parents who have to work navigate and manage this?
    Honestly, this should have been thought of before entering into that condition. Parents should plan for this. (Military parents who are dual military or single parents are required to write up and submit a plan for being deployed or having to work long shifts, etc.) The assumption that “school will raise our children for 8 hours a day” is one that a responsible parent shouldn’t make, but that our society – being rich and safe and comfortable – has made possible in most instances.

    52% of students in 6-12 grades had no motivation to complete assignments
    Very real problem. Not one related to remote learning, but to all schooling. Mostly because our society has made it virtuous to demand “What does this matter to me?” instead of the old virtue of “Learn all you can, work hard, work through your circumstances to achieve an end result, even if you don’t think it’s important now.” Where it was only the rebellious and dumb kids who whined “Why do I have to learn this?” when I was in school, it seems to be a large percentage of them now.

    not enough … space at home to set up their desks in a functional manner
    Hey, lapboards take up very little space. AND you can make them as one of your first school at home projects! 😉

    There are some amazing teachers out there
    Yes, and Bravo Zulu to them! There are lots of good teachers. But let’s never forget the unions and the school administrations seldom work for them.

    learning pods … daring to exercise your privilege
    Oh my! Homeschooling is now “privilege”! Oh noes! *eyeroll*

    Children want and NEED to go back to school.
    If by that, you mean public schools where they all sit in classrooms and listen to the same crap that gave us a communist West Point grad, then I’m gonna say NOT! Children need to be socializing (was never a problem with homeschooling, despite naysayers’ complaints) as part of their learning, yes. (And nowadays, some of that should be online!) And they need someone who can direct their learning and provide support and guidance. And they need someone providing them moral guidance and teaching (which I wouldn’t trust the public schools to do on their best days!). All of those things should not be shuffled off to other people for the majority of the waking day. Children need their parents more than they need public schools – whether there’s a pandemic shutting down gatherings or not.

    I’m happy to work with a mix of public, private, charter, home, and neighborhood schooling options to provide the best options for parents and children. But the first thing that needs to happen is the wakeup of parents that they need to be the primary caregiver and educator of their children. If Winnie The Flu provides that wakeup, then I will be very glad indeed for this spate of lunacy in the history of our country.

    This breakdown negatively affected FIFTY FOUR school districts across nine counties.
    BWAHAHAHA! As an IT guy, I could have told them this would happen (and I bet theirs did). Keep in mind, their regular computer systems are this fragile, too, I bet. They’re one ransom hacker or power outage from losing your kids’ “permanent record”.

    (Sorry, a loooong one. But this topic needs it. IMNSHO)

  • Nina Bookout says:

    GWB – always love your commentary as you make people think about all the other sides of the box. 😉

    That said… to a couple of your points

    A total of fifty minutes of breaks through the day, including lunch
    Having lunch at home should make for a shorter break. And I’m betting that’s the official time allotted during a regular school day.

    SEVEN hours of instruction
    Isn’t that how many they get in a regular day? That’s 8am to 3pm.

    Total teacher/student engagement time during those seven hours? One and One-Half Hours.
    presumably without necessary oversight and encouragement from the child’s parents.
    Why would those other 5 1/2 hours be without parent engagement and oversight?”

    When first graders are in a classroom, they are in a classroom with their teacher AND their classmates. Today, the first graders I know of directly will NOT have that privilege. Instead, they will be by themselves as a FIRST GRADER in front of the computer with the only interaction with their peers as a face on a computer screen. Period. Recess? Cool… run out to backyard and play – if you have siblings who have same recess as you – that works. But recess with your peers? Not happening. Do you understand the concern I have now? I have grandkids who are and now have been isolated from their peers – it shows. Furthermore, your comments about the breaks that kids have… think about it this way. Are those breaks in the day enough for an adult to manage mental and physical health wise? Seriously – think about it.

    • GWB says:

      I understand the concern about the hours/attention. But that concern is NOT primarily because of the virtual learning. It’s due to the educational establishment and their progressive methodologies. It’s been exposed due to the stupid lockdowns.

      As to recess, I have to ask the question: do they have neighbors? friends? I get what you’re saying about timing and such. But here’s the important part: the parents should be taking charge and making it work.

      I know there are real difficulties. But sending the kids back into the indoctrination camps is not the solution, just a return to the status quo.

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