learning

Cornell says in-person learning is best for public health

As colleges around the country grapple with how to reopen in the fall, Cornell University’s president on Tuesday announced that it will welcome students back to campus — an option she said is best not only for their education, but also public health.

The Ivy League university decided that compared with holding classes only online, residential learning would be safer for students and the wider community because it can ask students to participate in a screening program to detect and contain any spread of the coronavirus, President Martha Pollack said.

“The key consideration in our decision to reopen is public health,” Pollack said in a statement.

In contrast, many other universities around the country, citing concerns for the health of students and faculty, have developed plans to bring smaller numbers of students to campus or emphasize online instruction. Dozens of others have announced plans to reopen with modifications to campus

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Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue

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In-person classes, online learning or a mix? Reopening schools will bring new struggles

With the next academic year less than three months away, and no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, school districts face a daunting decision: Reopen the schools they shuttered, or continue to teach students remotely?

Educators across the United States are weighing their options, taking into account the quality of the education they can offer, the need for children to socialize and keeping safety in mind above all else.

So far, a hybrid model that combines some in-person learning and some remote learning has emerged as the most popular proposal for the fall, according to Dan Domenech, the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, an advocacy organization for the 14,000 superintendents in the U.S.

That could mean a school has as little as 25 percent of its normal capacity in the building at once, which would give students more space for social distancing in their classrooms and

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Online shopping a steep learning curve for Cuba

Havana (AFP) – When Jorge Noris first tried online shopping, Cuban-style, the products he bought never turned up.

Like most people, the father of two living on the outskirts of Havana was seduced by the convenience of shopping over the internet.

However, Cuba’s catch-up with the world of e-commerce, encouraged by its communist rulers during the coronavirus lockdown, has left many users angry.

“After a month, the store called me to ask if the order had arrived,” said Noris, a 34-year-old technician. He was similarly stunned when he discovered he had to travel into the shop to be reimbursed.

Worldwide, the online food trade has been given a massive shot in the arm by the pandemic. With millions confined to their homes, online consumer activity soared by 300 percent in Italy and Spain, and 100 percent in France, according to pollsters Nielsen.

But the experience is still a novel one

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Reopening California schools is dangerous. But so is letting kids go a year without learning

Sean Brandlin, an eighth grade social studies teacher at El Segundo Middle School, stands in his classroom. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times)</span>
Sean Brandlin, an eighth grade social studies teacher at El Segundo Middle School, stands in his classroom. (Los Angeles Times)

With COVID-19 cases at very low levels within its borders, Israel fully reopened its schools in mid-May. By the end of the month, 130 students at a Jerusalem high school had tested positive for the virus, setting off a flurry of quarantines for people who’d had physical contact with the students and the closure of dozens of schools.

This is the kind of outcome American parents dread as they contemplate sending their children back to school sometime this summer or fall.

It’s a troubling scenario, but so is the remote-learning experience of the past three months. The reality is, more kids will do better if schools reopen than if they continue online-only classes. But regardless of how we proceed, we must do better.

With little direction or help from federal

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