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  1. #1
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    Public Schools during the Pandamic

    With schools closing for perhaps weeks or longer we have to face lots of repercussions. We now have schools rushing to figure out how to provide some kind of schooling. I find this interesting because we have had online education available for years now and it never really took off as expected.

    Teaching and learning online requires more dedication and effort than face to face classroom education. I have taken quite a few college and university classes over the internet as an adult and one must be very committed and motivated or it does not work well.

    My daughter is a 5th grade teacher at a private school and they canceled all classes. Now they are scrambling to provide some kind of online education. With all the hype over the years as to how online classes were going to nearly replace the physical classroom, it did not materialize that way.

    This current virus mess is now going to put the online classroom and digital technology for education to the test.

    Anyone experiencing the use of educational technology as a temporary measure right now as a result of this virus? Am interested in your opinions.
    "No matter how thirsty your imagination, mirages contain no water"

  2. #2
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    Great topic Hugh!

    Today, the BC government closed the schools for the 'foreseeable future'. My children had just started 2 weeks of spring break, which gives the school system some time to put together a way of delivering education. There is talk of a mix of online and as yet disclosed, other mediums... the concern being for people without reliable online access.

    My wife's university (back as a student to finish psychology) moved to online delivery of courses 3 weeks ago. I'll have to ask her for an impression. But since her Uni already offered online courses, I'm sure they were more prepared than primary/secondary education

    I agree with your assessment that online studies requires more discipline. I did a 6mth part time course last year. It took just as much time offline, as on, to complete with a good grasp of the subject. It was well presented and the teacher did his best to be engaging, but it was still pretty dry and monotonous.

    ~25 years ago I did a Uni degree that was distance education. Now that was brutal! Just books and study guides, very very little online back then. Certainly not livestream classes like today.

    Luckily for our children, education is a regular part of home life. The transition will be easy for them. There is already areas in our house for study... My eldest daughter has her own classroom with whiteboard etc. One of her favourite games is school. Beyond that, my mum and sis are teachers... if the school system falters, my children won't be left behind.

    The kids education is all up in the air, like the virus , at the moment. But look forward to sharing the experience when able.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/coronavirus-covid-19-bc-schools-1.5500453

    Anyway, interesting times! To be honest, my generation and beyond has had it pretty darn good! No global wars or deep recession. Sure, there was 9/11, terrorism and Middle East conflicts. But somehow this seems more personal? Whether this is all an endeavor of over precaution or significant pandemic, it is the first real taste of uncertainty for many people in the western world.
    Last edited by Lahrs; 03-17-2020 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Added link

  3. #3
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    They sent out a form a week or so ago asking if kids had internet and a computer. But have not implemented things yet. School out this week and next week is spring break so I guess they have some time to decide or plan.

    They are making sure that poor kids who got school breakfast and lunch are getting meals. Some kids going to the school to eat and some having meals delivered.

    I’m glad about that. Some children with sorry no good parents put their child’s nutrition needs at the bottom of the list. At least the schools make sure they get two meals.
    The bible is my constitution and the constitution is my bible.

    WE THE PEOPLE refers to THEM and not YOU.

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  5. #4
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    Starting today here. Kids in grades 3 to 5 are being issued laptops to do their work. Pre K through 2nd grade are getting work packets to take home. School breakfast and lunch are being supplied via pick up at each cafeteria for anyone 0 to 18 years old.

    It's going to be tough on the kids. Internet around here is poor. I really worry about the younger kids. My wife teaches pre k. Those kids are at a critical stage and at least half the parents aren't going to push learning. They depend on the schools to do it all.

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  7. #5
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    There is a scramble going on right now for public schools to get up to speed with online teaching and learning. Many schools have been doing some online classes but the majority of teachers have no experience with teaching online or even creating online lessons, assignments or connections. All of a sudden there is a rush to figure out how to use Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Whiteboard, etc...

    There are decisions that have to be made as to if the classes are going to be offered as synchronous or asynchronous. Then there is the problem of motivation and participation by the students. These issues are putting digital online teaching and learning to the test.

    Who here has children now asked to or required to log into the school's online learning portal for class?
    "No matter how thirsty your imagination, mirages contain no water"

  8. #6
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    My kids are older, out of school and working. If this had happened when they were younger I wouldn’t have really been concerned education wise unless it went on for over a year. Just not that much you learn I school. It’s really about how elite the noggin is.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh B View Post

    Who here has children now asked to or required to log into the school's online learning portal for class?
    Mine supposedly start in a week and a half. It is going to be a mix of live webinars, sent out printed material and computer worksheets. Update on how it rolls out when can.

    One thing I had not considered, they go to a French school (English speaking at home). We will need to start speaking French in the home, great for the girls/wife... But I can barely say excusez-moi. I guess I'll finally learn while we are in full lockdown.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lahrs View Post
    Mine supposedly start in a week and a half. It is going to be a mix of live webinars, sent out printed material and computer worksheets. Update on how it rolls out when can.

    One thing I had not considered, they go to a French school (English speaking at home). We will need to start speaking French in the home, great for the girls/wife... But I can barely say excusez-moi. I guess I'll finally learn while we are in full lockdown.
    My daughter teaches fifth grade and she is spending her entire day here at home creating teaching videos, pdf worksheets, assignments and online quizzes.
    "No matter how thirsty your imagination, mirages contain no water"

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lahrs View Post
    One thing I had not considered, they go to a French school (English speaking at home). We will need to start speaking French in the home, great for the girls/wife... But I can barely say excusez-moi. I guess I'll finally learn while we are in full lockdown.
    Tabernac......ma bière est vide

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  13. #10
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    Our dining room is now the wife's workroom for building her kids work packets. Her web conference yesterday didn't work out so well. Spent most of the conference time on the phone with the IT guy. Hopefully it will go better today but with our poor internet ???

  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by model m-man View Post
    Our dining room is now the wife's workroom for building her kids work packets. Her web conference yesterday didn't work out so well. Spent most of the conference time on the phone with the IT guy. Hopefully it will go better today but with our poor internet ???
    I bet it went better today.

    All of my construction meetings are now Skyped. Ive been just calling in on the phone, but you can’t tell what the heck. If we are working next week I’m going to learn to skyp.

  15. #12
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    My kids are out of school until April 20th. That’s the plan for the moment. We went to there school on Tuesday so they could get there things. One in 1st grade and 1 in kindergarten. Teachers had packets for them plus websites usernames and passwords for apps they use. It’s a different time with schools I’ll tell you that.


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  16. #13
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    Classes have not been meeting in physical classrooms now for over two weeks. This has been quite a learning curve as school district after school district are attempting to transition to online schools. My daughter teaches 5th grade and is now on her second week of teaching over the internet. First it was figuring out what software programs they could use, they decided on Zoom. Then it was learning how to use it, sort of. Then developing lessons to deliver. Then the matter of how students could do their worksheets, assignments, etc and how and where to post them.

    Everybody has been confused from the administrators to the teachers to the students and the frustrated parents. Quite a fast track learning curve with lots of mistakes and misunderstanding. Since I am also grounded and at home with the family I have been doing my best to assist my daughter since I have taught HVAC and controls classes online for several years. Teaching 5th graders is not the same. Working with parents is still worse.

    I sometimes think I should start a daily or weekly log right here in ARP and post the progress, problems and progression of how it is going. We have had the Internet and digital devices long enough now that one would think the transition from the face to face physical classroom to asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning online would be fairly easy. Not the case!

    How is it going for those of you who are having to deal with this issue?
    "No matter how thirsty your imagination, mirages contain no water"

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