Learning

Work Or Online Learning? Homeless Families Face An Impossible Choice : NPR

Freda and her 9-year-old son visit the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. She and her five children have been living in the front room of a friend’s apartment, sleeping on pads of bunched-up comforters.

Maddie McGarvey for NPR


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Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Freda and her 9-year-old son visit the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. She and her five children have been living in the front room of a friend’s apartment, sleeping on pads of bunched-up comforters.

Maddie McGarvey for NPR

The closure of school buildings in response to the coronavirus has been disruptive and inconvenient for many families, but for those living in homeless shelters or hotel rooms — including roughly 1.5 million school-aged children — the shuttering of classrooms and cafeterias has been disastrous.

For Rachel, a 17-year-old sharing a hotel room in Cincinnati with her mother, the disaster has been academic. Her school gave

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Indonesia’s education minister on Covid’s effect on students’ learning

SINGAPORE — There’s not enough discussion globally about the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on students’ learning as schools are closed to prevent further spread of the virus, Indonesia’s Education Minister Nadiem Anwar Makarim told CNBC on Monday.

“A lot of people keep mentioning about the health crisis and about the economic crisis that’s caused by the pandemic but not enough people are talking about the educational crisis, the learning crisis that is happening all around the world, not just in Indonesia,” the minister told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

“So we really have to find the right balance between … the health crisis as well as the educational crisis as leaders,” he said ahead of the virtual Singapore Summit happening this week.

Students from a school in Surabaya, Indonesia’s East Java province, attend in-person lessons under strict health protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.

Budiono | Sijori images | Barcroft Media via Getty

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An Education Innovation That Beats Learning Pods

Faced with public education’s failure to adapt to Covid-19, parents who can afford it are pooling their resources and hiring private tutors to lead home-based “pod” schools. Dreading the prospect of a mass exodus of families from traditional public schools, progressive pundits are condemning these parents for pioneering “the latest in school segregation.” But education policy makers truly committed to “equity” should look past the current crisis for ways to serve students better within the traditional public-school system.

More than half of Idaho’s high-school seniors are enrolled in college—many remotely—thanks to its four-year-old “Advanced Opportunities” program. When Idaho students reach seventh grade, the state provides them with $4,125 that they can use to customize their high-school education. Depending on their career and educational goals, students can use the money to earn college credit by taking courses that are taught online, on campus, or by high-school teachers in partnership with professors.

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It’s an old-growth forest. It’s also home to a Washington school’s first foray into outdoor learning amid COVID-19.

Think of what you see and hear in the woods. Bird song. Spiderwebs. Branches framing the sky.

This particular forest is in Port Townsend. It’s an old-growth plot called the Quimper Lost Wilderness. Many of the trees here are more than 170 years old. 

It’s also the site of a local private school’s new outdoor classroom. No desks, no smartboards. Instead, the school will bring in local botanists, poets and historians to teach students about the land’s first people and its role as a habitat for plants and animals. Says Emily Gohn, the school’s head: Class is in session, rain or shine. 

At a time when thousands of children and their teachers are reinventing school on screens, places like Swan School are experimenting with the polar opposite: bringing school to nature. Gohn and a handful of other Washington school leaders are trying their hand at outdoor schooling, a concept that

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Learning pods are here to stay and could disrupt American education

That is what Kendra Newton is doing: The 24-year-old first-grade teacher resigned from her job with Orange County Public Schools in Florida after learning she would have to teach in-person this fall. She is moving across the country to Oregon, where she will lead a pod of eight students — for a higher salary than she earned in Florida.

“It gave me a way to feel safe working,” Newton said. “I will have guaranteed money coming in, and a stable idea of what my life will be like, because there won’t be a school district changing its mind every two seconds. For my mental health, it’s just a better option.”

No reliable data exists on how many teachers have left, or are considering leaving, their jobs to teach pods. But worried school officials are sending emails claiming that pods pose just as much of a health risk as returning to

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Colorado College shifts to remote learning after all dorms placed under COVID-19 quarantine

Colorado College is switching to remote learning and asking on-campus students to leave after a dozen positive COVID-19 cases led the school to quarantine its freshman dorms for two weeks, the school’s leaders announced Tuesday.

The private Colorado Springs college, which enrolls about 2,200 students, is the first higher-education institution in the state to switch to remote operations after reopening its campus to in-person learning in the midst of the pandemic.

But the college is largely placing the blame for its about-face on El Paso County Public Health, which school officials said is behind the stringent quarantine guidelines that left 155 freshmen stuck inside their dorm rooms for two weeks last month after a single positive COVID-19 case was confirmed on campus.

Over the weekend, the school’s other two dorms were placed on quarantine, too, after 10 more student infections were confirmed.

El Paso County health officials did not return

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Physical education in the age of online learning

For students from Meraki High School outside Sacramento, California, staying fit during the coronavirus pandemic has been as easy as playing solitaire.



a group of people playing frisbee in a park: Fitness trainer Myriah Volk (far left) of Sebastopol, California, leads a socially distanced gym class through her PE Express 101 business.


© Courtesy Jenny Pellini
Fitness trainer Myriah Volk (far left) of Sebastopol, California, leads a socially distanced gym class through her PE Express 101 business.

Since the school shutdown this spring, students have taken part in a modified physical education class with the help of a special deck of cards. Dubbed “Super Fitness Fun Cards,” the deck is comprised of cards with different exercises on each one: push-ups, squats and crunches. There are multiple games students can play with the deck; with most, students can shuffle the cards, take a predetermined number of them, then do the exercises that the cards depict.

The tool is the brainchild of Dan DeJager, physical literacy and wellness advisor at the school in Fair Oaks, California. DeJager is a self-proclaimed “gaming nerd,”

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Student newspaper at University of Kansas students slams school’s reopening plans, demands remote learning

After one week of in-person classes, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill closed its doors to stop uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. Four hotspots surfaced in student housing and a fraternity on that campus.

Make no mistake. A similar story will likely play out at the University of Kansas if it follows through on plans to bring students back to classes in person starting Monday. Already this week, other schools, such as Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame, suspended in-person learning because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

KU hasn’t been honest in its approach to bringing students back. When the Kansan asked about the University’s testing plans, officials declined to answer for months and implemented a saliva testing system three weeks before the start of fall classes.

When the Kansan asked a routine question about how much money was left in KU’s reserves, we were told this information

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Schools weigh outdoor learning as education crisis solution during coronavirus

Children sitting under a shade tree learning their ABCs and multiplication tables might sound like a scene from a long-lost era, but it also might be the answer for some school systems desperately seeking ways to resume operations.

With school buildings shuttered and complaints surging about the shortcomings of online instruction, some administrators are going back to the future by taking advantage of balmy fall climates and the relative safety of the great outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Utah, teachers at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education are selecting spots that offer plentiful shade and good Wi-Fi access for students returning to the physical classroom next month.

In Bend, Oregon, preschool children at Bend Forest School will forge ahead with another year — with boots, mittens and scarfs at the ready — to learn and play in the woods. Bend is one of hundreds of “forest schools” across

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UNC students outraged after quick shift to virtual learning

As University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students scrambled on Tuesday to move out of their dorm rooms, make decisions about their academic futures and demand tuition refunds, they had one message for administrators.

We told you so.

“Everybody told the university not to reopen, and it was only a matter of time,” said Nikhil Rao, a student government senior adviser who has participated in online meetings with provost Bob Blouin every month since April along with other student leaders. “I would be shocked if I didn’t know this was going to happen.”

The university, which disregarded concerns from faculty members, staff workers, Black student leaders, student campus leaders and local county health officials to become one of the largest campuses in the country to reopen for students amid the coronavirus pandemic, announced Monday that it was shifting to fully remote learning after reporting 135 new COVID-19 cases and four clusters.

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