Online Learning Isn't As Easy As We Think!

Our country has a habit of creating unreasonable and unrealistic goals for children and parents matriculating through the public education system.

We are expecting children in K-12 to actively work online Monday - Friday, at home, away from teachers and in the proximity of their parents who may or may not be available. 

We are expecting children to sit in front of a screen and learn. The same screen that gives them access to social media, YouTube, games and many other applications and sites they can access.

Online Learning Isn't As Easy As We Think! 

Most of my students are still developing ideas about the world, racism and reality, fake news and true research and most importantly socialization and human development. We label them as the millennial/technology generation without considering the importance of basic foundational skills that we obtained. We constantly discuss the huge gaps in literacy yet overlook the existence of literature in the world of tech. The expectation that students will comprehend instructions on their own through technology or a robot voiceover is silly when students struggle with comprehending literacy. As teachers, we often time repeat instructions and break things down in various ways online curriculums and voice overs simply can't! Students need teachers! Or we rely on automatic programmed systems to say the things that we would say without being able to pick up on if the child is truly understanding the concept or not.

We already know the distractions placed before children with technology. We are pressing educators again, similar to the cheating scandal, with creating online systems for learning with little preparation and resources. We are not helping children who are already behind the learning curve with many academic gaps.

Don't misunderstand my message. Online learning isn't easy, but it's not impossible. It simply  just won't work without the social engagement and interaction with teachers. The main idea is that we must support and empower teachers more. We need to create effective yet easy to manage teacher preparation/certification programs. Teachers need to make salaries that allow them to focus on building up the instructional needs of students without having to work two to three jobs to survive. 

Creating innovative schedules for scholars is key. Integrating technology but using apps such as Google classroom, Zoom and Facebook Live as ways to do classes, forums, debates and other things to student occupied. But we can't stop there. Scholars who have learning disabilities, who are behind grade level in reading and who have trouble adjusting to one to one learning. Our natural instant is to be engaged with others.

In addition to the things that we are providing to our scholars while schools are on suspension from gathering in person, we have to create pathways for all of them to be successful during this time. We can't work to stable the economy without securing our investment in the future. 

Online learning nor teaching is easy; reach out to a teacher today and thank them for the work we do in teaching and learning.