Liked School Attendance In The COVID Era: What Counts As ‘Present’? (NPR)

One tricky matter that schools have to decide in this era is how exactly they’re going to credit “attendance” when online learning doesn’t always mean showing up on a video conference. Districts such as Los Angeles Unified have been criticized for setting the bar too low by decreeing that any interaction β€” even a single text between a parent and a teacher β€” counts as “participation” for a given day.=

Bookmarked 9 Ways Schools Will Look Different When (And If) They Reopen (NPR.org)

Three-quarters of U.S. states have now officially closed their schools for the rest of the academic year. While remote learning continues, summer is a question mark, and attention is already starting to turn to next fall.

Recently, governors including California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo have started to talk about what school reopening might look like. And a federal government plan for reopening, according to The Washington Post, says that getting kids back in classrooms or other group care is the first priority for getting back to normal.

But there are still many more unknowns than guarantees. Among the biggest, says Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, is this: “Is it safe and healthy for my kids to pack them into that classroom?”

Here are nine key ideas β€” drawn from interviews with public health experts, education officials and educators around the country β€” for what reopening might look like.

Anya Kamenetz provides nine possible options for how reopening might look in American schools:

  • Stepped-up health and hygiene measures
  • Class sizes of 12 or fewer
  • Staggered schedules
  • Younger kids first?
  • New calendars
  • Different attendance policies
  • No assemblies, sports games or parent-teacher conferences
  • Remote learning continues
  • Social, emotional and practical help for kids

via Ian O’Byrne

Bookmarked ‘Panic-gogy’: Teaching Online Classes During The Coronavirus Pandemic (NPR.org)

On one level, Panicgogy means understanding students’ limitations. Some only have smartphones. Some have family responsibilities. But ultimately, panicgogy is about applying compassion to learning.

Anya Kamenetz discusses the challenges of transitioning to online learning in the middle of a pandemic, something some have termed ‘panic-gogy’:

Sean Michael Morris and other colleagues have a tongue-in-cheek name for what they’re doing right now: “Panic-gogy” (for panic + pedagogy).

On one level, Panicgogy means understanding students’ practicalities. Some only have smartphones. Some have family responsibilities. Some have been sent home and need to find a new place to live, new job, and new health insurance. Professors may feel that the simplest option would be transitioning to class over video chat, but for all these practical reasons “It’s not really realistic to think that students can just show up and start taking class at the same time every day in an online environment,” says Morris.

Robin DeRosa explains that where an online course can take up to a year to develop, therefore the current transition is about care, compassion and community. Additionally, where possible this work should engage with the current situation:

“Whatever field you teach, I think it’s worth asking how is that field affected by the public health crisis and what contributions could the field be making right now to help people in their communities.”

Bookmarked What the Times got wrong about kids and phones by Anya Kamenetz (Columbia Journalism Review)

Journalism can hand-wring, divide parents from each other, and cast technology as the heart of darkness. Or it can help shed light on a serious issue that I know lots of families are struggling to get right.

Anya Kamenetz pushes back on the digital ‘addiction’ perpetuated by the New York Times. Firstly, it is hyperbole that no one would give their child small doses of crack cocaine:

The parent who compares digital media to β€œcrack cocaine” allows his kids to use it regularly, which is probably not what he would do with crack cocaine. (He also uses software to track his children online.)

Also, it is not productive to perpetuate extremes as they are not sustainable. For more on Kamenetz work watch her conversation with Mimi Ito.