Read this editorial today in the New York Times by an 8th grader, who says she's learning a lot better with distance learning due to the Communist Lung-Rot Virus situation:
Why I’m Learning More With Distance Learning Than I Do in School
I’m 13 years old. I don’t miss the other kids who talk out of turn, disrespect teachers and hit one another.
Ms. Mintz is an eighth-grade student.
Talking out of turn. Destroying materials. Disrespecting teachers. Blurting out answers during tests. Students pushing, kicking, hitting one another and even rolling on the ground. This is what happens in my school every single day.
You may think I’m joking, but I swear I’m not.
That’s why I’m in favor of the distance learning the New York City school system instituted when the coronavirus pandemic hit. If our schools use this experience to understand how to better support teachers in the then students will have a shot at learning more effectively when we return.
Let me explain why.
I have been doing distance learning since March 23 and find that I am learning more, and with greater ease, than when I attended regular I can work at my own pace without being interrupted by disruptive students and teachers who seem unable to manage them.
Students unable or unwilling to control themselves steal valuable time, often preventing their from being prepared for tests and assessments. I have taken tests that included entire topics we never mastered, either because we were not able to get through the lesson or we couldn’t sufficiently focus.
I go to a school that puts a big emphasis on collaborative learning; approximately 80 percent of our work is done in teacher-assigned groups of three to five students. This forces students who want to complete their assignments into the position of having to discipline peers who won’t behave and coax reluctant group members into contributing.
Distance learning gives me more control of my studies. I can focus more time on subjects that require greater effort and study. I don’t have to sit through a teacher fielding questions that have already been answered. I can still collaborate with other students, but much more effectively. I am really enjoying FaceTiming friends who bring different perspectives and strengths to the work; we challenge one another and it’s a richer learning experience.
I’ve also found that I prefer some of the recorded lessons that my teachers post to Google over the lessons they taught in person. This year I have struggled with math. The teacher rarely had the patience for questions as he spent at least a third of time trying to maintain order. Often, when I scheduled time to meet with him before school, there would be a pileup at his door of students who also had questions. He couldn’t help us all in 20 minutes before first period. Other times he just wouldn’t show up.
With distance learning, all of that wasted time is eliminated. I stop, start and even rewind the teacher’s recording when I need to and am able to understand the lesson on the day it’s taught. If I am confused, I attend my teacher’s weekly online office hours (which are 60-90 minutes long); there are never more than two or three other students present.
The fact that I am learning so much better away from the shows that something is wrong with our system. Two weeks ago, my school began experimenting with live video teaching on Google Meet. Unfortunately, the same teachers who struggle to manage students in the also struggle online.
What lessons from remote learning can be taken back to the I have a few suggestions. First, teachers should send recorded video lessons to all students after (through email or online platforms like Google Second, teachers should offer students consistent, weekly office hours of ample time for 1-to-1 or small group meetings. Third, teachers who are highly skilled in management should be paid more to lead required trainings for teachers, plus reinforcement sessions as needed.
These first two suggestions began during distance learning and have already been a great success. I hope they continue when we return to school, and that schools use this opportunity to improve the learning experiences of all their students.
Kids nowadays are a lot more used to digital education, and their minds seem to have been programmed to learn more by looking at their phones and computers than listening to what are sometimes some pretty mediocre teachers drone on for 50 minutes at a stretch.
From what my kids say, a big portion of the school day in the average public school is wasted time. There's a lot of busywork, watching DVDs so the teacher can catch up on Facebook, poitical indoctrination by teachers who are passing on their own political indoctrination.
Is distance education the future?
Homeschooling can work if you've got a dedicated teacher, but there's some pig-ignorant parents out there. Programmed from the local district might work a lot better. With the disappearance of vocational tech, home economics, etc., there's less and less necessary physical involvement, althought that could be handled by 1x weel meetings in person to do lab experiments, etc. in that need it like chemistry.
Society benefits from keeping all its juveniles locked in one place and feeding them a lunch while many parents are at work. Kids benefit from trying to find friends and social/romantic partners. Some kids are interested in sports, music programs, etc. that need live attendance. Those could all be handled by district level clubs and programs. Maybe mandatory requirements for a sports activity, which could be filled by extracurricular activities. You want to do BJJ or boxing or MMA? Go to a private school and have your coach sign off on your sports points. Or swipe your card at the local gym to show you did x hours of physical ecducation that week. Would probably beat the listless walking around the track with friends while gossiping that passes for PE these days.
It would be harder to do if there isn't a parent at home to be responsible for the kids and make sure they eat.
Has high school's time passed?