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Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Oct 2020

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4 major challenges of virtual learning and how parents can help their kids through them

The vast majority of India’s estimated 250 million schoolchildren have not entered a classroom for almost seven months. Having to adapt to remote, virtual learning has presented a host of challenges for many children and added an extra layer of stress for parents. “Most kids feel connected and happy when they learn alongside other children, so moving from an environment where they are sharing experiences with friends and there are lots of opportunities for fun and play, to home learning where they are interacting with a screen, will feel stagnant in comparison,” explains Dr Elena Touroni, a consultant psychologist.
22nd Oct 2020 - Vogue India

Colleges Can Turn Classes Into Virtual Communities. Here’s How.

COVID-19 has not only shaken up the way we deliver instruction, but the pandemic also threatens the bonds that connect students to each other and their campuses. Institutions enjoy a certain amount of brand loyalty from their existing students, but this may change radically going forward, especially if students are not connected to their campuses physically. And if incoming students do not see the difference between the online instruction offered by their community college and by a traditional four-year residential school, many university administrators should be nervous indeed.
22nd Oct 2020 - EdSurge


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Oct 2020

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Virtual learning poses unique challenges for Arizona’s 148,000 students in special ed programs

Many Arizona schools stuck with virtual instruction this fall as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, but for the 148,000 children who take part in special education programs, the new online environment can be a particular challenge. When school started back in August, June Krafft was busy at home running from room to room, making sure her two young sons kept focused on their schoolwork. James, 3, and Christopher, 5, both attend Kingswood Elementary School in Surprise, in the preschool and kindergarten programs. The brothers, Krafft said, are on the autism spectrum. Christopher also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and has been taking medication for it since he was 4. Before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, a specialist came to Krafft’s home for about 40 hours a week.
21st Oct 2020 - KOLD

Spurred by COVID-19, African schools innovate to close learning gap

In rural Sierra Leone, teenagers tuned into solar-powered radios for their lessons, while Kenyan students texted a code to receive free learning guides on their phones. As COVID-19 shut Africa’s schools, governments and charities rushed to make learning accessible to millions of pupils without internet or even electricity, sparking innovations that could keep children learning long after the pandemic has passed. “The situation... pushed all the governments and education ministries to think in a different way,” said Elena Locatelli, an advisor on education in emergencies at the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF. In a matter of months, officials set up distance-learning programmes, often via TV and radio, while charities and start-ups distributed devices and materials to supplement them.
21st Oct 2020 - Reuters


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Oct 2020

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Cybersecurity And The Remote Classroom

This year, going back to school has been like no other in history as remote learning, modified schedules, virtual classes, and hybrid class modes became ‘normal.’ Seeing my own four kids returning to university, high school and elementary school has required new levels of fortitude. Fortunately, a foundation of technologies with features that include cloud, video, conferencing, and collaboration make distant classroom situations achievable.
20th Oct 2020 - Forbes

For Teachers Unions, Classroom Reopenings Are the Biggest Test Yet

By early August, the Chicago Teachers Union had its fill of magical thinking. After a spring of virtual learning, Chicago, like many cities around the U.S., was pushing toward reopening classrooms in the fall. The revival of the local economy seemed to hinge on parents’ ability to get back to work, and plenty were desperate to get their kids somewhere, anywhere, just out of the house.
20th Oct 2020 - BloombergQuint

Ag in the Classroom adapts to pandemic with virtual farm tours

A Minnesota farmer involved in Ag in the Classroom says just like for most educators, some teaching methods have changed because of COVID-19. Wanda Patsche, a crop and livestock producer in Martin County, tells Brownfield there are usually four in-person teacher tours during the summer to show how food is produced so the teachers can bring that information back to their students. “We couldn’t do that this year, but we did have virtual tours, which actually worked better because we could take them to more places and actually show them more intimate settings within agriculture.” She says more than 100 teachers signed up for the virtual tours that highlighted farms in four different parts of the state.
20th Oct 2020 - brownfieldagnews.com

5000 CT Students Who Signed Up for Online Learning Have Never Logged Into Class

According to the CT legislature's committee, over 5,000 students who opted for online-only learning across Connecticut have never once logged into a single day of class, according to an article in the Hartford Courant. The education department has crunched the numbers and found out that 3.1% of remote students or 5,165 were absent all week from Oct. 5-9. Throughout the state, the education department has provided more than 142,000 laptops along with internet access for approximately 60,000 families. Martha Stone, who's the executive director of the Center for Children's Advocacy, told the Hartford Courant:
20th Oct 2020 - i95rock.com

What it's like to be a teacher in 2020 America amid the coronavirus pandemic

Now the coronavirus has placed those same underpaid teachers at the heart of a national crisis as the US looks to teachers not only for children’s education and wellbeing but also as essential childcare as parents try to get back to work. “Our public education system is a massive hidden child care subsidy,” said Jon Shelton, a historian of the teaching workforce at the University of Wisconsin. Here are three stories from teachers across the US about the complex roles they have played in their students’ lives since the virus first kicked up and how they’re managing school now.
20th Oct 2020 - The Independent


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th Oct 2020

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Virtual school lets teachers see directly into students' lives. Here's what they're learning

As soon as students logged on for the first day of virtual school, Reading School District teacher Kyle Wilson heard the first chirps. Was it something wrong with his headset? He waited. More beeps. And then more beeps. Finally, he realized: about a quarter of the students in his fifth-grade math and science classes didn’t have functioning smoke detectors in their homes. “I need to do something,” Wilson thought.
19th Oct 2020 - witf.org

Left Behind By Virtual Learning, Students Reconnect At A Therapeutic Middle School

When the school year started virtually in August, 13-year-old Faith Jackson struggled to participate from her home in New Orleans East. “It was so hard because I couldn't get in my classes,” Jackson said. “The teachers weren’t answering none of the calls or email or nothing.” Jackson had a school-provided laptop and hotspot but the internet connection from her home in New Orleans East wasn’t strong enough, she said. She missed class and failed to complete assignments.
19th Oct 2020 - WWNO

After a virtual term, I still prefer a classroom

I enrolled for my first online-based semester in May this year which ended in August, with exams. The assessment was by assignments and online sit-in exams. Virtual classes are different from real classes where you sit next to your classmates with a lecturer in front of you. In my virtual classes, I listened to the lecturer and interacted with classmates without seeing them since we all preferred to have our cameras off.
19th Oct 2020 - Daily Monitor

'Technology Can Never Substitute In-class Training' Says B-School Directors

Management schools have been adversely impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. New technological tools are now taking their place in the daily routine of students; virtual classrooms are a part of it. The question remains what the future of business schools is going to look like. L K Tripathi, Director, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Pune, said, “There is no replacement for face-to-face learning. However, in the present situation, the technology has helped us a lot in all the three fields of design, delivery and evolution of curriculum.” The director was speaking at the recently held virtual Future of Management Education Conclave organized by BW Education. Other notable dignitaries present were Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore; R. Raman, Director, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune.
19th Oct 2020 - BW Businessworld

Teachers Offer Virtual Learning Tips for Parents, Students

For many schools throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the country, virtual education has allowed learning to continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But for some students and parents, remote learning adds an extra layer of difficulty. Educators statewide gathered virtually last week to discuss tips for parents and children who are struggling to keep pace in this new world of virtual learning. It begins with positive parent involvement, according to Randy Seely , the state Department of Education's charter school division chief. "Positive parent involvement is the most positive predictor of success," Seely said. As a parent, positive involvement includes open communication with students and educators about educational planning, assignments and how students are doing overall.
18th Oct 2020 - GovTech

Experts Share Tips on How to Combat Distance Learning Fatigue

We're well into October, and many students in San Diego County are still learning from home. This is creating homeschooling fatigue for a lot of parents, but there are a few ways to cope. Online classes and learning can be intimidating, both for students and parents. And there are some obstacles as well, like having reliable internet at home and learning the online platform that teachers are using.
18th Oct 2020 - NBC San Diego

A desk of their own to ease remote learning for kids in need

As remote schooling surged during the pandemic, parents across the country realized that many kids didn’t have desks at home. So they got busy building, collecting and donating them, giving hundreds or thousands of students workspaces to call their own and helping them get through long days of virtual learning. For Mitch Couch in the Central California town of Lemoore, inspiration struck when his 16-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son kept taking over the kitchen table for their remote lessons. He made desks for them, and thought: Why not provide others' children with individual learning areas they could decorate with stickers and paint? The desks he made were kid-size, simple and inexpensive, fashioned from plywood with a hutch for workbooks and papers. But they did the trick.
18th Oct 2020 - The Independent


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Oct 2020

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Greek Lessons Online: Kids Groups For Little Greeks Who Learn Better Together

The idea of long-term social distancing is alarming for everybody. Especially so for parents who worry both about the practical aspects of their children’s education and also about the social and psychological consequences that social distancing has on children. As we all know, school and peer groups are the focal center of socialization for children, after immediate family. That’s why, experts believe that stay-at-home orders can have a big impact on children’s social development if this lasts for more than a few months.
18th Oct 2020 - GreekCityTimes.com

As school boards blend in-person and virtual classes, criticism emerges for hybrid model

For Steven Ferracane, a teacher in Vaughan, Ont., and some of his Grade 5 students, it was the first day of school all over again this week, as the York Catholic District School Board, north of Toronto, introduced a new pandemic scenario combining in-person and online learners in the same classrooms. "It went OK considering it was our first day. The remote students, they all showed up on time, eager to learn," said Ferracane, who now simultaneously teaches 15 fifth-graders in a classroom at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Elementary School, with seven more logging on live from home. "We're actually so happy to welcome them back to our school."
18th Oct 2020 - CBC.ca

Less wealthy, non-white students over-represented in TDSB's COVID-19 virtual classrooms

Lower-income and non-white families are opting for the Toronto District School Board's online-only classes during the COVID-19 pandemic at a greater rate than white and wealthier families, according to fresh data presented to trustees. Students of South Asian and East Asian background, those with lower socio-economic status, and those whose parents don't have a university education make up a disproportionate number of the 70,000 students enrolled in the TDSB's virtual school system this fall, the data shows. Education advocates say the demographic breakdown underlines the importance of ensuring that students enrolled in online classes are not left to flounder.
17th Oct 2020 - CBC.ca


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Oct 2020

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Q&A: Melissa Lim on Embracing Change and Tech During Distance Learning

When describing how her school district is handling remote learning, Melissa Lim uses a word some might find unusual: opportunities. It’s well documented that public schools across the country still are wrangling with challenges of remote learning — everything from securing devices to engaging students online. But despite those problems, some educators see opportunities to approach education in new ways. That’s one reason why EdTech chose Lim as one of our 2020 K–12 IT Influencers. Lim, a technology integration specialist at Portland Public Schools in Oregon, recently answered questions from EdTech about how she and other educators are finding opportunities for innovation during remote learning.
15th Oct 2020 - EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Oct 2020

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Liverpool's museums launch virtual classroom for schools

National Museums Liverpool’s brand new virtual classroom workshops are now available to book online for the first time ever. Created for schools for the new academic year, NML’s interactive curriculum-linked workshops – led by museum experts – bring learning to life and inspire the imaginations of your pupils by engaging them in activities based on real artefacts.  Mummification, Greek gods and transatlantic slavery are some of the subject’s school children can learn about in the comfort of their classrooms, thanks to virtual workshops developed by National Museums Liverpool.
14th Oct 2020 - The Guide Liverpool

Managing students in online classes

The tectonic shift in the education sector from the traditional form of teaching to online teaching has left not just students and parents but also teachers in dire straits. Teachers were suddenly forced to adopt a whole new way of teaching, practically overnight.
14th Oct 2020 - Deccan Herald

Philadelphia School District To Start Phasing Students Back Into Classrooms On Nov. 30 As Part Of Hybrid Learning Plan

The School District of Philadelphia unveiled its plan Wednesday to offer hybrid learning to students in pre-kindergarten through second grade starting after the Thanksgiving holiday. Parents have between Monday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. to choose between the hybrid model or continuing all-virtual learning.
14th Oct 2020 - CBS Philadelphia on MSN.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Oct 2020

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Virtual learning highlights diversity, enthusiasm of student body: Mark Lautens in the Globe and Mail

The move to virtual learning has highlighted the truly global nature of the University of Toronto’s student body as well as students’ passion for learning, writes Mark Lautens in a Globe and Mail op-ed that reflects on his early experiences with remote teaching. Lautens, a University Professor in the department of chemistry in the Faculty of Arts & Science, recalls one incident when a student requested a Zoom meeting, which he scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT: “Only during our call did I learn he was based in Asia, so this meeting was in the middle of his night," Lautens writes. “I did not see a sleepy-eyed 18- or 19-year-old, but an eager and active participant. I offered to hold our next session at 8 a.m. so it would be a decent hour, but I got no complaint about our originally organized meeting time.”
13th Oct 2020 - University of Toronto

Why Some Kids Are Shy In Remote Learning But Not In-Person Classes

Remote learning often comes with technical difficulties, but it also can bring about challenges with student engagement. By now, most students have been in school for about a month and a half to two months, so if you’re a parent, you’ve likely noticed some patterns with your child’s at-home education. Some parents might be surprised to find that their normally talkative child who had no issues participating in class in the past is quite reserved in the virtual classroom.
13th Oct 2020 - HuffPost

Bringing hands-on learning to the virtual classroom

Every year Sheri Hincks, a lab instructor in the department of integrative biology at the University of Guelph, coordinates a series of field trips for the 70 or so students taking Limnology of Natural and Polluted Waters, a fourth-year course in water ecology. The group practices fundamental research techniques over the course of a week at Guelph Lake, two weeks at the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, and a day at a water treatment facility. It’s during these trips that students really engage and have fun with the course content, Ms. Hincks says. When she realized this year would look a lot different due to COVID-19, she found a way to bring hands-on labs to the online learning environment.
12th Oct 2020 - University Affairs


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th Oct 2020

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Teaching has changed - and it's nothing to be afraid of

Information technology is a foreign country to many people, especially those of a certain age. During the lockdown, when I was being trained by relatively young adults in using Microsoft Teams for meetings and holding online training workshops, I was a little apprehensive as to how I would cope in a world of burgeoning technology. So many people – especially the savvy IT generation – seem so apt in paving and navigating their way in what is essentially a digital world. So, I’d be the first to admit that surrounded by mass communication modes, I have often felt like an immigrant trying to make sense of the rising complexity and sophistication of social media and the growing possibilities for artificial intelligence.
12th Oct 2020 - TES News

How PBS Kids Is Making Remote Learning More Accessible To All Children In The Coronavirus Age

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on so many facets of life this year. Education has been one of the hardest hit—teachers, parents, and students alike have struggled in adjusting to virtual classrooms. It isn’t merely that homes have been transformed into de-facto classrooms; this way of remote learning has cast a spotlight on socioeconomic discrepancies like who gets access to computers and a speedy, reliable internet connection, and who doesn’t. It’s a lesson for everyone that remote learning isn’t even remotely easy.
12th Oct 2020 - Forbes

Weston College launches UK's first virtual classroom for further education

@WestonCollege, the lead organisation for the West of England Institute of Technology (#IoT), has launched a virtual classroom in a first for further education (FE) in the UK. The project, developed with support from the education and technology not-for-profit, Jisc, and technology supplier Barco, includes innovations such as mobile extending cameras, and provides the opportunity for enhanced remote-access education.
12th Oct 2020 - fenews.co.uk

Reimagining education to beat the constraints of lockdown

Firki, an initiative by Teach For India, is a blended online and offline learning model. It recently launched inspirED 2020, the first of its kind virtual conference that brought together students, educators, policymakers, parents, and investors under one roof to reimagine education. For Bharath, the event developed a unique platform for all voices – teachers, students, and parents – to share their perspectives on the NEP and map the possibilities on the ground.
12th Oct 2020 - The New Indian Express

India’s schoolchildren pay the price for coronavirus lockdown

Outside the locked and deserted Vidya Sagar Public School, the eight-year-old daughter of a snack vendor sits forlornly on her father’s disused pushcart. Before coronavirus, Rachna Kashyap was one of 200 pupils whose working-class parents paid Rs400 ($5.40) in monthly tuition to send their children to the no-frills, English-medium private school instead of overcrowded and underperforming state schools. But the school, which employed nine teachers, collapsed during India’s lockdown that cost millions of jobs. Parents could no longer afford the fees and the school lacked the wherewithal to transition to online learning.
11th Oct 2020 - The Financial Times


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Oct 2020

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What South Africa’s teachers brought to the virtual classroom during Covid-19

In South Africa, teachers have had to adapt to online learning platforms while learning how to use learning management systems during the pandemic. Before the pandemic, many teachers in the country had not received substantive formal technology training, either to support blended teaching and learning or to fully apply online learning. The decision by the Ministry of Basic Education to shut down schools in response to the pandemic forced teachers to adapt and innovate to ensure that learning continued despite the challenges faced.
11th Oct 2020 - The Citizen

Virtual field trips helping students see different countries without leaving the classroom

In Florida, a Hillsborough County classroom has found a way to go on field trips without ever leaving their seats. Dual language students at Doris Ross Reddick Elementary are traveling to other countries, virtually. For Hispanic Heritage month, students are doing video calls with students in Cuba, Argentina and the Dominican Republic. Teachers say the silver lining of this pandemic is that virtual learning has expanded their abilities to connect with people in different locations on a level like never before.
11th Oct 2020 - ABC Action News

Reinforcing academic integrity in physical, virtual classrooms

Blended learning is being deployed as a solution to the ongoing impact of the pandemic across Southeast Asia. We have seen educators quickly adapting to new ways of delivering lessons and feedback, as well as grading students’ work in distance learning and virtual environments. Naturally, there is also some concern about maintaining academic integrity when courses are being conducted with fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions. The reduction of physical classroom interactions does not mean that academic integrity has to suffer. New technologies enable teachers to detect academic integrity issues early so that they have the opportunity to teach students to convey their original thinking and properly attribute ideas. Students can also use these tools to check their work before submitting it to reinforce a culture of integrity in blended classrooms.
11th Oct 2020 - BusinessMirror

Mature students ditch lockdown for the virtual classroom

Canadian universities are reporting an increase in the number of mature students, as well as recent graduates enrolling in online studies. “Normally, our total registration in online and in-person courses [for spring/summer] is about 28,000,” says Gary Hepburn, dean of Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. “This spring, it reached over 30,000 in online courses alone.” The reasons motivating adult learners to return to school range from experiencing job loss and seeing lasting disruptions in their industry to taking advantage of the extra time at home to develop new or further expertise.
8th Oct 2020 - MacLeans


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Oct 2020

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Online Learning In COVID-era Receives Major Boost

With growing emphasis on virtual learning, online program enablement is more important than ever. Bengaluru: As more schools respond to Covid-19 exposure with hybrid or virtual learning this fall, educational technology providers focus on delivering interactive online learning that engages students. That is why Construct, a global leader in learning design, announced a new case study highlighting how one school district with nearly 20,000 students has moved to 100% virtual learning while maintaining student engagement.
9th Oct 2020 - The Taiwan Times

Lompoc Unified providing additional funding to classrooms to assist with virtual learning

The Lompoc Unified School District is using COVID-19 funds to help provide additional supplies for teachers and their classrooms. District officials say each classroom will be given $500 to use toward student supplies as virtual learning continues. “We recognize that distance learning presents multiple challenges. We believe that students need to be provided adequate supplies so they can fully participate in their lessons and we are grateful to be in this position to be able to provide,” said Superintendent Trevor McDonald in a press release. “Our staff continue to rise to the challenges of this new instructional model and have been adaptive and continue to focus on students. They have forged ahead and keep doing what is best for kids.”
8th Oct 2020 - KSBY San Luis Obispo News

Students and professors weigh in on the virtual classroom experience at UF

Two months into UF’s mostly online Fall semester, students and faculty alike are still struggling with the new virtual classroom environment. UF professors and students agree that it takes patience on both sides of the screen. With 65% of UF’s classes being held online this Fall, students and professors are scrambling to set schedules, struggling to maintain productivity and trying to cope with minimal social interaction.
9th Oct 2020 - Independent Florida Alligator

Luxury hotels are offering 'school-cation' packages' with tutors and poolside classrooms

In Pittsburgh the Kimpton Hotel is offering a virtual learning package that includes an on-site Chief Virtual Officer to assist kids Auberge Resorts, which has 19 properties, is offering in-person and virtual tutoring starting at $195 per 50 minutes Some resorts offer exciting physical education 'electives' including fly-fishing at Montage International's resort in Deer Valley, Utah. The Eden Roc Cap Cana resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic offers in-suite classrooms, bilingual 'children concierges' and Merengue dance lessons. The Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel in Montecito, California offers a poolside cabana classroom that cost $195 a day and swimming instead of gym
8th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

I’ve Been Watching My Kid’s Teacher on Zoom, and I’m Horrified

We have our 6-year-old child in a Catholic school, and Catholic schools are the few schools open for in-person learning in our county. The year started with distance learning and without much notice opened for in-person learning, with an option to continue distance learning if desired. For a variety of reasons (rushed reopening with some serious safety concerns in the plan, no smaller class sizes, mixing cohorts at extended care, being the first schools in our area to reopen for in-person, and someone in our family who’s considered high-risk), we have continued distance learning for the past four weeks (along with half of the 30 students).
8th Oct 2020 - Slate

Air Zoo museum in Portage offers virtual science education labs for children

The Air Zoo Aerospace and Science Museum is deploying virtual learning programs through its museum in Portage and across the country in an effort to expose kids and their parents to science education, the museum announced in a news release. The Air Zoo’s virtual programs are for children age 3 and up, and designed up to immerse kids in hands-on science education courses. Financial aid and scholarships are offered to help both individuals and groups that meet requirements and cover the cost of most of their educational programs, Air Zoo said in the release.
8th Oct 2020 - mlive.com

Godfrey Okoye University Develops Its Own Customised Virtual Classroom

Godfrey Okoye University has gone beyond the zoom technology in teaching and learning and developed its own online learning platform with an incredibly robust virtual classroom. The technology was developed and customised by the ICT Unit of the university under the Ag. Director, Mr. Chinedu Chibuzo, an alumnus of the university.
8th Oct 2020 - Vanguard

Mature students ditch lockdown for the virtual classroom

Sophie Gray was working as a journalist for a South Okanagan newspaper in British Columbia when the pandemic hit. “Sales were down, staff were laid off and it was very difficult to go out and find local stories,” she says. “There was no room for advancement at that moment; everything was stationary. It didn’t feel like you would be set back by returning to school.” She wound up leaving her job to pursue a full-time public relations certificate at Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies. “I think the pandemic pushed many people to realize that their career isn’t ideal or that it’s not what they really want long-term,” she says.
8th Oct 2020 - Macleans.ca

New platform aims to help teachers gauge student understanding in virtual classrooms

A new software platform, created by two U of T Engineering alumni, aims to make virtual classrooms more functional by providing real-time feedback and specific insights into how student understanding of mathematics is changing. Last March, Nived Kollanthara (IndE 1T7 + PEY) was living in New York City, where he volunteered part-time at a shelter, helping kids with their math homework. When the pandemic hit, he realized right away the impact it would have. “The kids I work with need extra, individual attention to help them succeed in the classroom,” he says. “I was worried about how they would be getting that in a remote environment.”
8th Oct 2020 - U of T Engineering News


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Oct 2020

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Coronavirus: Three universities move to online teaching amid rising cases

Three of the UK's biggest universities have moved to online teaching due to coronavirus outbreaks. More than 1,000 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at the University of Manchester (UM) since the autumn term started last month. The university has now joined with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and the University of Sheffield in announcing a move to online learning to protect the health of students and staff. It comes amid renewed calls for all universities to halt face-to-face teaching and for the government to "stop pretending" campuses are able to control the spread of the virus.
7th Oct 2020 - Sky News

York Catholic District School Board to combine in-person and online students into one class due to staffing problems

York Catholic District School Board says it is changing its teaching model for elementary students, combining in-person students with those in virtual learning into one class starting next week due to staffing problems. In a letter to parents on Wednesday, Interim Director of Education Mary Battista said the new hybrid model will see online students join face-to-face learners in their classroom through a live stream. “Given the various operational and staffing challenges faced in the current remote learning model, and the need to find a solution that is sustainable for the remainder of the school year, a decision has been made in the best interest of all elementary students,” Battista said. The director said the new model has benefits, which includes keeping remote students in their home with their friends, maintaining physical distancing in the classroom, and offering a seamless transition from in-class to remote learning or vice-versa.
7th Oct 2020 - CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

From elementary to high school: inside one Berkley family's virtual learning

Going back to school looks very different this year. For many students here and across the country, a lot of students aren't going anywhere, so what does virtual school from home look and feel like? We go inside one home in Oakland County to see what one family's "virtual classroom" looks like - crowded and stressful.
7th Oct 2020 - FOX 2 Detroit

In remote-learning era, Newark teacher evaluations go virtual

This fall, Newark principals will peer into classrooms through computer screens to watch teachers give online lessons. The virtual visits reflect the need to update classroom observations for the remote-learning era. Now, the district will judge teachers in part on the quality of their live video lessons and the online assignments they post. The online observations, which are new this school year, carry significant weight. Observations are the primary factor in teachers’ annual ratings, which help determine whether new teachers earn tenure and veterans keep their jobs. Because of the high stakes, the Newark Teachers Union negotiated with the district to revamp how administrators score teachers during observations to account for the constraints of online instruction.
7th Oct 2020 - NJ Spotlight

TDSB warns parents of 'significant' classroom changes as virtual learning increases by 4,500 students

The Toronto District School Board Is advising parents that some changes could be coming to their children’s elementary school classrooms as the board reassigns hundreds of teachers to virtual teaching and reorganizes classes accordingly.
7th Oct 2020 - CTV News


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Oct 2020

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Hundreds of teachers to be switched from in-person to virtual school as TDSB announces huge reorganization

Just weeks into a school term already marked by disruption, the Toronto District School Board is about to usher in some more. In a letter sent to families Tuesday evening, the TDSB announced that up to 324 elementary schools will lose some in-person teachers as they will be moved into virtual classrooms.
7th Oct 2020 - The Star

Toronto public schools to reassign more than 500 elementary teachers to virtual learning

Toronto public schools are reassigning more than 500 elementary teachers to virtual learning, which will shift thousands of in-class students into larger classes and mix cohorts amid rapidly rising COVID-19 case counts in the city. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) said on Tuesday that another 7,800 students last week chose to move from in-person classes to online learning, on top of more than 70,000 that registered at the start of the academic year (about 3,000 will switch from virtual school to in-person learning).
7th Oct 2020 - The Globe and Mail

Instructors aim to adjust to the virtual classroom

Transitioning from in-person classes to digital has not only been a change for students, but for the instructors as well. Instructors have had to make changes to how they teach in order to adjust to virtual lessons while giving students a quality education. Instructors are trying to make the best out of this pandemic by going above and beyond their abilities. They are having to learn how to build a similar environment to what they had in their classrooms. “The biggest challenge is really maintaining the kind of personal interaction that is very important in a literature class, I really miss that. At the same time, I found that zoom is better than I thought it was, but I still really miss the classroom and miss working with the students one to one and talking to them on a daily basis,” Dr. Steven Frye, English professor and head department chair, said.
6th Oct 2020 - The Runner Online

How teachers are coping during the pandemic school year

Even before the school year began, Jessyca Mathews felt drained. She has taught high school English for 20 years, but this year so much seemed unknown and unknowable. Because of the pandemic, her Michigan school district has chosen remote learning for students for the foreseeable future. But teachers are still required to teach from school, and when she returned to begin the year, Mathews, 43, was struck by the loneliness of this new reality and a sense of how much could be lost.
6th Oct 2020 - Washington Post

Eight Tricks for Making Remote School Easier

Now that many families are well into the fall semester’s remote-learning program, I wanted to know if anyone had advice for managing the school-from-home hassle. I’ve developed a few hacks of my own, but I reached out to dozens of parents, students and education experts to compare notes. Besides sharing some very useful tech tips, they also had some good non-tech suggestions to make life easier on you and your kids. Here you go:
6th Oct 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Local teacher spices up virtual classroom with cooking, robotics

One Windsor teacher is spicing up her virtual classroom by including some unique activities for students. John A. McWilliam Public School teacher Amanda Laforet has been posting short videos of her virtual classroom to Twitter, some of which show students cooking and washing their hands. "I think it's really important to keep showing the videos because I do think there's a lot of fear about what the virtual school looks like," Laforet told CBC News. "We know what traditional school looks like, everybody has been through the process, but we haven't been through the process of virtual school yet. I feel like it shows a little peek into what my virtual classroom looks like and I'm hoping that that does eliminate some of the fear around the virtual school."
6th Oct 2020 - CBC.ca


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Oct 2020

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DC Schools to Start Limited In-Person Learning, Virtual Learning Inside Schools

A limited number of D.C. Public Schools students can return to in-person learning starting in November, the chancellor announced Monday. Twice as many students will do virtual learning inside schools as will be in typical classrooms. Starting on Nov. 9, some families will have the option to return to schools in person, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said at a news conference. Students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade as well as students with “known opportunity gaps” will have the option to return. Families will continue to have the option to continue learning from home. “Learning at home is not working for every student. We particularly know that our youngest children are most challenged,” Ferebee said.
6th Oct 2020 - NBC4 Washington

What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in 2020 America

Teachers find themselves at the heart of the national crisis — responsible not just for children’s education and well-being, but also for essential child care as parents struggle to get back to work.
5th Oct 2020 - The New York Times

Positive reviews for Virtual Learning in Bradford

From Kindergarten to high school, most virtual learners in Bradford report positive experiences so far since the return to “school” schedules. While many students returned to the classrooms for face-to-face learning in September, a large percentage of students stayed home due to the unpredictable ongoing pandemic. Virtual students and teachers were left in the dark right up until a few days before online schooling began. Those who required technology for at home learning were distributed throughout the first week of online class. There were expected hiccups during the first week – failed login attempts to online education portals, frozen screens, and dropped internet – but teachers pushed through this first-time experience while students embraced the new wave of learning.
5th Oct 2020 - BradfordToday

How can students learn online if they don’t know the language? This city tackled the issue

Meet the Reyes Acosta family. Gabriela Acosta and her husband, Rodrigo Reyes, moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, from Central Mexico in 2013. Before a pandemic burst onto the scene, life was hard enough: Six kids. Navigating a world whose dominant language isn’t theirs. Now, Gabriela isn’t working. Her husband’s job is unstable. Add to that a new complication to maneuver: An unexpectedly online school system. Though the effect is hard to quantify, experts and educators say that distance learning likely worsened existing educational disparities. They worry that the country’s already disadvantaged students, including those who are learning to speak English, have fallen further behind. To Gabriela Acosta, 29, the campus closures and the financial stress “felt like a sudden, overwhelming loss of control,” she said in Spanish.
5th Oct 2020 - Seattle Times

Surprising outcomes as schooling goes ‘virtual’ in COVID times

Right through the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been hearing people cribbing and moaning about the deteriorating education scene after the schools were forced to shut down in March. Online schooling was generally vilified, and it was felt that the already poor state of school education in India was now in shambles. Memes, cartoons and jokes abound about the ineffectiveness of distance teaching, but even teachers need humour to endure hard times.
5th Oct 2020 - Deccan Chronicle

What South Africa's teachers brought to the virtual classroom during COVID-19

While celebrating this year's World Teachers Day, we should recognize how the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the key role that teachers already play in South Africa's schools. Before the pandemic, many teachers in the country had not received substantive formal technology training, either to support blended teaching and learning or to fully apply online learning. The decision by the Ministry of Basic Education to shut down schools in response to the pandemic forced teachers to adapt and innovate to ensure that learning continued despite the challenges faced.
5th Oct 2020 - Phys.org

Lubbock ISD virtual teacher shares lessons he’s learned this school year

Lubbock ISD says they will continue virtual learning for the rest of the school year, as other surrounding districts such as Lubbock-Cooper and Roosevelt ISD announced they would no longer provide online education. The last day for parents to decide how their child will learn was Friday. At this time, Lubbock ISD has not released how many students will go virtual or transition back to the classrooms. Fifth grade teacher Andrew Campama has six years of experience, but nothing like virtual learning before. He has 120 students from six different campuses
5th Oct 2020 - KCBD


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Oct 2020

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What South Africa's teachers brought to the virtual classroom during COVID-19

While celebrating this year’s World Teachers Day, we should recognise how the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the key role that teachers already play in South Africa’s schools. Before the pandemic, many teachers in the country had not received substantive formal technology training, either to support blended teaching and learning or to fully apply online learning. The decision by the Ministry of Basic Education to shut down schools in response to the pandemic forced teachers to adapt and innovate to ensure that learning continued despite the challenges faced. South African schools are clustered into quintiles ranging from one to five. This was done to ensure an equal and fair distribution of resources across schools. Schools in the lower quintiles are often based in under-served communities where resources are limited, while quintile five schools are well resourced.
4th Oct 2020 - The Conversation CA

Virtual classrooms present new learning curve for Saudi teachers

Saudi teachers have been facing their own learning curve after being forced to run lessons online in the wake of school closures due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Tutors from preschool to university level are having to come to terms with the new norm of remote learning but some have mixed feelings about the long-term prospects of virtual classroom teaching.
4th Oct 2020 - Arab News on MSN.com

MBA Classroom of the Future: Hologram Professors

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced business schools to move classes online and limit campus interactions. While some b-schools initially announced plans to fully open campuses, many quickly revised those plans and, instead, decided to focus on virtual and hybrid learning models. One b-school, in particular, has come up with a rather creative solution for the virtual learning environment: Hologram professors. The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin recently announced plans to launch the classroom of the future with a new 3D immersive video solution that projects a professor into the classroom as a hologram. The b-school has partnered with Austin-based Contextual Content Group to create and implement the video solution.
4th Oct 2020 - YAHOO!


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Oct 2020

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Virtual classrooms present new learning curve for Saudi teachers

Saudi teachers have been facing their own learning curve after being forced to run lessons online in the wake of school closures due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Tutors from preschool to university level are having to come to terms with the new norm of remote learning but some have mixed feelings about the long-term prospects of virtual classroom teaching. Since the start of the global health crisis, video meeting platform Zoom has been one of the most popular communication tools for people working from home. In June, the US tech company announced a 169 percent increase in its revenues on the previous year, while the number of daily users rose to 300 million.
2nd Oct 2020 - Arab News

Ministry of Education extends partnership with BTC to power virtual school year

In a statement, BTC CEO Garry Sinclair said: “Throughout this pandemic, BTC has remained committed to keeping our customers and our communities connected. For the first time in history, students are starting a new school year using a virtual classroom. “We are proud that the Ministry of Education continues to see the value of choosing BTC and One on One Educational Services as its virtual education partners. Almost a year ago, our Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation (CWCF) donated $100,000 to facilitate e-Learning, following the cataclysmic Hurricane Dorian. We are happy to do our part to ensure that thousands of our children, educators, and parents have access to online learning via our BTC Study platform.”
1st Oct 2020 - EyeWitness News


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Oct 2020

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Technologies of the New (Virtual) Classroom

2020 has been a unique year in just about every way, and this includes the nuts and bolts of how classes are taught. The traditional tools of education might be described as a chair, a desk, and a chalkboard; this is what one generally thinks of when one calls to mind a classroom. Now, e-learning is more prevalent, especially in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. What are the tools involved in e-learning? They are more high-tech, for a start. While the specific platforms vary from campus to campus, here is a look at some of the tools in the modern education toolbox.
30th Sep 2020 - Universe.byu.edu

Live online learning: not a silver bullet but a useful tool

Recent months have seen a boom in online learning, but that doesn’t mean live training faces extinction. It’s up to us, in the L&D profession, to shape the future of blended learning and ensure it delivers what the workforce needs.
30th Sep 2020 - TrainingZone.co.uk

The Positives of Virtual Learning That Nobody Is Talking About

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities across the world pivoted to virtual learning, and a host of negative consequences quickly followed. Virtual learning exhausts students, exacerbates social class differences and mirrors the gender inequities that exist in in-person classes. And yet for all its drawbacks, virtual learning has an equalizing power that is undeniable. More institutions of higher learning must leverage many of the features that virtual learning provides to reduce bias and increase accessibility and inclusion for students, and to improve learning outcomes in ways not possible in person. In a physical classroom, the professor is at the podium and students choose their seats in the classroom. This may result in unconscious biases in both the professor and students about various students’ (front row or back benchers) abilities and motivations, creating the harmful Pygmalion effect with disparate effects on learning outcomes.
30th Sep 2020 - UT News


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Sep 2020

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‘Roadschooling’ 101: Families Make Remote Learning Work in an RV

Patricia Winters and her family decided to take advantage of her husband’s remote work arrangement, so they bought a camper. In June, they left their Annapolis, Md., home for a trip out West, with plans to be back in time for school. “At the end of July, our school district decided to go virtual, so I said, ‘I guess we can keep going,’ ” Ms. Winters said. The family of five has logged 11,000 miles visiting 16 states and 14 national parks. But they weren’t fully prepared for the realities of school on the road, or “roadschooling,” as some families call it.
29th Sep 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

EDITORIAL: Teaching methods are evolving in 2020

The large number of students who are learning remotely, at home, creates quite a barrier between student and teacher. But it’s also true that in-person learning in the classroom is hampered to some extent by masks and, in some cases, plastic barriers that have been installed to prevent or slow the spread of the Covid virus. But teachers are finding ways to adapt and communicate with their students and keep them as engaged as possible under the new conditions of this pandemic school year. Daniel Crispino, Meriden's director of School Leadership at the elementary level, has noticed that teachers do less lecturing and more back-and-forth engagement as both they and their students have already become more comfortable with the technology of remote learning. “Where we were in early September to where we are now, it's shocking,” he said.
28th Sep 2020 - Meriden Record-Journal


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Sep 2020

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2 Maine schools switch to remote learning due to coronavirus outbreak

Two schools in RSU 57 have switched to remote learning due to an outbreak of COVID-19. Students at Massabesic Middle School and Massabesic High School will now be working remotely. In a letter sent out to RSU 57 parents, Superintendent Larry Malone, along the Massabesic middle and high school principals confirmed there are at least three cases associated with the middle school within a 14-day period. Three or more coronavirus cases is classified as an “outbreak” by the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
28th Sep 2020 - WGME

Schools Reopen to In-Person Learning, but Teachers Work From Home

In a back-to-school season full of surprises, the latest is that some students are returning to classrooms without teachers. A teacher may be immunocompromised and has permission to work from home, or a teacher may have been exposed to Covid-19. In some instances, school districts are opening classrooms to give children the chance to work from a place with Wi-Fi and resources, even as instruction remains virtual. In teacherless classrooms, students take virtual lessons while a proctor or substitute maintains order. The arrangement is cropping up in schools nationwide as districts look for creative ways to get students back into classrooms. In Denver, middle-school principal Kurt Dennis plans to have a small group of students in the same classroom with the same teacher all day when buildings open next month. That teacher will teach for one period and monitor students as they take virtual lessons in other subjects.
28th Sep 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Inside a virtual classroom: What a school day is like for Kansas City third graders

Katherine Hendrix sits alone in her third grade classroom at J.A. Rogers Elementary School, speaking to a TV filled with her students’ faces. “Good morning; you’re up early today,” she tells one boy as more boxes outlining students’ faces appear on the 65-inch-screen. She asks if he’s tired. A girl a few squares over eats yogurt. Hendrix, 34, asks if one student found his iPad yet. He said no. He’s borrowing his brother’s Chromebook, but he can’t figure out how to access his homework. He gets his 9-year-old brother, who tells Hendrix he knows how to use the laptop, but then immediately struggles.
28th Sep 2020 - Kansas City Star

A class of 100? COVID-19 plans overwhelming some teachers with huge virtual classes

With family members at high risk to COVID-19, Norma Hernandez felt she had no choice but to keep her three kids at home for the school year, rather than send them to school in person. It’s a decision most parents have had to contemplate this year, but the virtual option comes with worrisome trade-offs. In Hernandez’s case, her son's fourth grade class in a virtual program in Gilbert, Arizona, has as many as 55 students, an “overwhelming” load for his teacher, she said. "My son is lucky he has me at home," she said.
28th Sep 2020 - The Arizona Republic

Class sizes in UK may rise to 60 as schools struggle to cover for self-isolating teachers

Some schools are planning to increase their class sizes to up to 60 pupils so that they can continue to offer students an education this term, as fears grow of a looming teacher shortage. Headteachers are worried that a significant number of staff will need to self-isolate for long periods this winter as they struggle to gain access to tests for Covid-19, and that schools will soon run out of money to pay for cover from supply teachers. Vic Goddard, co-principal at Passmores Academy in Harlow and star of the Channel 4 series Educating Essex, has already set up his school hall like an exam hall so that a “masterclass” of up to 60 pupils could be taught inside by one teacher plus one or two support staff, if needed. “I can’t see us getting through this half-term without there being some major doubling up or tripling up of classes,” he said.
27th Sep 2020 - The Guardian


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Sep 2020

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New York City school principals vote ‘no confidence’ in Mayor de Blasio over reopening plan

Just two days before New York City schools are set to reopen for tens of thousands of elementary school students, the union representing school principals called for state education officials to step in and take the reins from Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose ambitious plan to reopen school buildings has faced fierce opposition. The Executive Board of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents more than 6,000 school principals and other school leaders, voted unanimously Sunday to declare a vote of “no confidence” in de Blasio, hoping to draw attention to the acute teacher shortages faced by schools across the city. “We’ve been calling out the staffing shortage all summer long,” said Mark Cannizzaro, president of the council. “I’m not confident right now that everyone has the teachers that they need.”
28th Sep 2020 - The Washington Post

One farmer finds answer to ESL students' virtual learning struggles

Virtual classrooms are the new normal for many students, but for non-native speaking English students, trying to get good grades can be challenging in the best of times. As classes turn virtual due to COVID-19, some students are being left behind. Valeria Gonzalez, 11, told Fox News that her school in Buckeye, Az., doesn’t offer a virtual English as a second language (ESL) program. All of her classes are taught by an English speaking teacher with no Spanish translation.
27th Sep 2020 - FOX 10 News Phoenix

Varsities will bloom online

Throughout the world, the decision to reopen university campuses has been a source of fierce controversy. The University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina and Michigan State University in the United States have been forced to suspend in-person classes following a surge in Covid-19 cases on campus. At the same time, opposing arguments, such as that of Brown University president Christina Paxson, emphasise a host of issues that students and universities will face if campuses remain closed, highlighting the difficulties remote learning presents for less privileged students. What does all this mean from the educational point of view? Just like the impact of earlier technological novelties, higher education will adapt and come out stronger with virtual learning. Rather than being disrupted, the institutions that survive this crisis will be augmented by the new technology.
27th Sep 2020 - New Straits Times

New virtual Chester Zoo visits launched as part of exciting educational workshops for kids

Brand new virtual zoo visits and animal workshops with experts are just part of an educational programme Chester Zoo has launched for youngsters. The zoo is offering a huge range of bookable educational activities for school groups, community groups and workshops for teachers, which include curriculum linked workshops at the zoo, at school and virtually through a brand new virtual visit programme
27th Sep 2020 - Cheshire Live

Women feel the squeeze of work, kids' remote learning

Reveles recently asked CVS, where she has worked for more than 20 years, to reduce her hours to 24 per week so that she could be home during the day to help her daughter while allowing her to keep some of the benefits that come with being a full-time employee. “I like my job and I am thankful for it, but I am a single parent and I can’t be there for my daughter,” she said. A CVS spokesman said the company was working with Reveles’ union to try to accommodate her request. Reveles is not alone. As the pandemic wears on and school begins across the country, women working in retail say they are being forced to choose between keeping their jobs and making sure their children can keep up with remote learning.
26th Sep 2020 - Minneapolis Star Tribune

The positives of virtual learning that nobody is talking about

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities across the world pivoted to virtual learning, and a host of negative consequences quickly followed. Virtual learning exhausts students, exacerbates social class differences and mirrors the gender inequities that exist in in-person classes. And yet for all its drawbacks, virtual learning has an equalizing power that is undeniable. More institutions of higher learning must leverage many of the features that virtual learning provides to reduce bias and increase accessibility and inclusion for students, and to improve learning outcomes in ways not possible in person.
26th Sep 2020 - Abilene Reporter-News

Calrossy Anglican School Tamworth to introduce 'eCalrossy' virtual classroom learning for distance education in 2021

A new system of distance learning is set to bring isolated kids closer than ever, by makinb virtual classrooms a reality
26th Sep 2020 - The Northern Daily Leader

Remote learning keeps children safe from the coronavirus, but it hampers their social skills development

It is the first day of school. There are no buses. No sounds of the bell ringing or morning announcements over the loudspeaker. There is no chatter, laughter, high fives or even elbow bumps between the students in the classrooms. Hallways and lockers are empty. The cafeteria floor is sparkling clean. This first day of school is different. It is too silent – no feelings of nostalgia and excitement. Meeting new students, new teachers, new friends, new experiences and new opportunities is just a distant memory.
25th Sep 2020 - PhillyVoice.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Sep 2020

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Toronto school board aims to have teachers for all virtual students by mid-to-late next week

Canada’s largest school board is now saying that some elementary students may not have a teacher for their online classes until mid-to-late next week. “We simply cannot hire teachers fast enough to meet the demand for virtual learning, a difficulty that other school boards in Toronto and across Ontario have also faced.”
24th Sep 2020 - CTV News

Music Education Teachers Say Virtual Recording Is The New Normal

Schools across the state are back in session with some students in brick and mortar classrooms and others attending online. But when it comes to music education, federal and state policy makers don't have much to say. So these teachers are turning to organizations like the National Association for Music Education for guidance on how to safely move forward with extracurriculars that could contribute to spreading the coronavirus. Caitlin Pearse, an elementary music teacher in Hillsborough County, said the students she’s teaching in person will stick with instruments like xylophones and small hand drums - but absolutely no singing.
24th Sep 2020 - WJCT NEWS

Commentary: Virtual learning has an equalizing power

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities across the world pivoted to virtual learning, and a host of negative consequences quickly followed. Virtual learning exhausts students, exacerbates social class differences and mirrors the gender inequities that exist in in-person classes. And yet for all its drawbacks, virtual learning has an equalizing power that is undeniable. More institutions of higher learning must leverage many of the features that virtual learning provides to reduce bias and increase accessibility and inclusion for students, and to improve learning outcomes in ways not possible in person.
25th Sep 2020 - San Antonio Express-News

Learnings for Tomorrow

The government has recently announced radical changes in the education system with the focus on enhancing the quality and components of education, which over a period of time have the potential to deliver a higher calibre talent that would enter the workforce. In this context, many have recognised digital technology as an effective enabler for creating transformative impact on education in the early stages of school education. With Covid-19, an estimated 1.2 billion students in 186 countries around the world have had to adapt to the new mode of learning in a very short span of time – something even the most ambitious futurologists would not have been able to predict. It’s a fact that currently majority of the educational institutions and educators are facing various challenges such as limited bandwidth, lack of training or familiarity with the systems to deliver effective learning, constraints of access to devices and inadequate preparation and unavailability of appropriate content as required for different target audiences. Some even fear that these may result in poor learning experiences. Therefore, it must be asked if schools and parents would want to continue with digital mode of technology when normalcy returns.
25th Sep 2020 - The Statesman

Digital skills academy tops the one thousandth graduate milestone

Scottish digital skills academy CodeClan has reached a milestone with the passing of 1,000 graduates. The students have all successfully completed courses at the academy which now operates in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Many are now back on campus doing the courses which include professional software development, data analysis and web development.
25th Sep 2020 - Insider.co.uk


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Sep 2020

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Video conferencing etiquette for virtual classrooms

The expert recommendations for the best video conferencing etiquette include: Test Equipment, Adjust Lighting, When to Mute, Where to Look, Modulate your Voice, Dress Appropriately and Keep Body Movements minimal
23rd Sep 2020 - Times of India

Tips to transform your child's virtual classroom

Most students are not returning to the classroom just yet. It is a challenging time for kids and parents, but many are making the most out of a tough situation. If you are looking to spruce up your child's virtual classroom, consider buying a trifold display board. It can be purchased at Target for about $3. Hang up positive words, maps, even add a pencil pouch or caddy to keep supplies organized. Remember not to stress if you cannot perfect the latest Pinterest project. Virtual learning is new to everyone. We will get through this together! WMAR-2 News wants to see your home classrooms. Tag us on social media so we can share your tips with other parents
23rd Sep 2020 - wmar2news.com

New York's DOE allows for Zoom classes to reach up to 70 STUDENTS

New York Public School virtual classrooms could see as many as 68 students signing onto Zoom classes, as per recently negotiated contracts from the city's Department of Education. The contracts made with the teachers union allows for remote classes to be twice the 34 student maximum for in-person classes for high school, the Wall Street Journal reports. 'I can handle a class of 25 kids online, but as it starts pushing to more and more, it becomes less manageable,' said Kirk Schneider, a teacher at the Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology in Manhattan.
23rd Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

Thousands of students are missing from Chicago’s virtual classrooms. Here’s the plan to find them.

Chicago Public Schools said that 49,000 students failed to log into classrooms on the first day of remote learning, a figure it has now winnowed down to fewer than 6,900 after expanded outreach efforts. The figures released at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting offer the first look at how many of Chicago’s 300,000 students the school district is still trying to contact. They are a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges that Chicago faces in connecting with students remotely. After school buildings closed in the spring, the district also reported thousands of missing students. Now, with a fresh start to the school year, officials detailed new protocols to find them, including tens of thousands of phone calls to vulnerable students, a mass flyering campaign led by Safe Passage workers, and security guards trained for home visits.
23rd Sep 2020 - Chalkbeat Chicago

Remote teaching making it harder to identify students who need extra help

One month into the school year, Linnet Early, a social studies teacher outside St Louis, has an anxious new ritual: scanning the Zoom squares on her computer screen at the beginning of each class to see which of her sixth-grade students are missing. It is usually quite a few. “I’ll have kids gone for a week, pop in for one class the next, then miss the second class that week,” said Ms Early, who has 100 mostly low-income students spread across eight classes, all online. “It’s hard to know what their struggles are, how to wrap your arms around it.”
23rd Sep 2020 - The Independent

The kids are all right; the teachers are taking lessons

I asked my students to fill out an exit card before leaving my virtual English class today. An exit card is a brief online form, and I asked them to share one good thing that happened this week. My students related their happiness at being able to see friends again, to leave the house, to be back on a schedule, their participation in sports and activities. Reading their responses reminded me how much this pandemic has taken from the youngest and most vulnerable in our city. It was also reassuring to see that for the most part, the kids are all right. Two weeks into the craziest school year I’ve ever experienced, I can’t say the same for teachers, administrators or schools. Last year’s online teaching feels like a dress rehearsal for the tumultuous start to the 2020-2021 school year, and I’m already exhausted.
23rd Sep 2020 - TheSpec.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Sep 2020

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Virtual learning: How to improve student participation

Mark Ndagijimana, a teacher at GS Ruhango Catholique, Southern Province, says that the virtual nature of the class can leave students feeling disconnected and disengaged from the material, therefore, knowing how to ensure all students participate fully in the classroom is essential.
23rd Sep 2020 - The New Times

Metro Tunnel welcomes students to the virtual classroom

Education Program Manager Cherida Longley said providing a Metro Tunnel experience to students wherever they may be during lockdown had been a focus. “We delivered our first series of remote sessions to Year 9s from Mullauna College, Mitcham,” she said. “Like many schools, their scheduled city experience week had to be cancelled, so we moved their bookings online” Cherida expects that with excursions on hold, the free remote learning sessions will continue to be popular. “Schools just make a booking inquiry as normal and let us know what they’d like us to focus on,” she said. “Once the booking is confirmed, the school just sends us a link so we can join their class online.”
23rd Sep 2020 - CDB News

The Virtual Classroom - Best Practices

Set the Professional Stage - Just because you’re not physically present in a classroom doesn’t mean your students don’t expect a professional atmosphere. Make sure that the space that you host the call in is neutral and well organized, with minimal opportunity for interruption or noise. Most people are surprised to learn that lighting also has a major impact on the quality of a video call lesson. Your student should be able to see you properly, without any shadows to obstruct their view. By securing appropriate lighting, you’re creating a feeling of trust between you and your student.
23rd Sep 2020 - trainingzone.co.uk

2020 Year of Crisis: The Virtual Classroom

The Covid-19 pandemic has shaped the way students learn. Technologies that have catered to virtual learning have seen a demand like never before. It has given rise to new startups and investment opportunities, as well as shone a light on major disparities in broadband access within the U.S. We explore the seismic shift from in-classroom to virtual learning; how Silicon Valley is rethinking the education ecosytem; and how technology can help or hinder learning access for all
22nd Sep 2020 - Bloomberg

As Schools Go Remote, Finding ‘Lost’ Students Gets Harder

Early data for the new school year suggests that attendance in virtual classrooms is down, possibly because students are working or caring for siblings.
22nd Sep 2020 - The New York Times

TDSB hires 350 teachers as it scrambles to fill classrooms for virtual school

The Toronto District School Board has hired 350 new teachers as it scrambles to meet a rising demand for online learning that has resulted in some students being left without a classroom. The TDSB had previously pushed back the start of online learning on two separate occasions due to higher than expected demand. On Tuesday, virtual school finally began for many students, one week after those who opted for in-person instruction began to return to classrooms.
22nd Sep 2020 - CP24

Teachers complain parents are appearing behind students in online classrooms half-dressed, smoking or drinking

Florida parents appearing half-dressed, drinking or smoking during their kids' virtual classrooms has prompted teachers at Boca Raton Elementary to speak up during a school board meeting this week. Edith Pride was one of the first to make a public comment on the matter.
18th Sep 2020 - KIRO Seattle

Inside Scarsdale High School -Signs, Distancing, Masks and Virtual Learners

September 18, 2020 marked the first day of school for students in Cohort A at Scarsdale High School. As students shuffled into school with masks wrapped around their faces, they followed stickers that showed them which direction to walk and to remain six feet apart. Many changes can be seen around the high school such as the new safety guidelines featured on signs all throughout the building. As one steps inside, one’s eyes are immediately attracted to the Old Commons, an area once filled with noisy students one next to another in the morning, sitting in tables preparing for their classes, and feasting on a protein bar or two before class started. Now, the lounge area has become filled with empty rows of seats separated from each other. As one enters into the classrooms, one can notice that the rooms all consist of the same layout, rows of chairs with several feet of distance between them. An empty chair is placed in the front of the classroom for the teacher to place his or her laptop for all virtual students to watch the lesson, while other teachers chose to display the virtual students on the smartboard.
18th Sep 2020 - Scarsdale10583.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Sep 2020

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School discipline enters new realm with online learning

Teachers know how to quiet a classroom. Good ones do, anyway. Counting to three, a sharp clap of the hands or a withering glare are all proven methods for getting most students to settle down. Sometimes a song or a smile does the trick. This school year, with millions of students learning via Zoom and other online platforms, some teachers have added a tech weapon to their calming arsenal: mute all. It has become the button of choice for teachers who want to muzzle mayhem and get on with instruction. Blocking out the disruptive noise, the teachers say, makes it easier for them to focus on the work and teach a lesson without having to stop to respond to arguments between students, bathroom break requests and class clown commentary.
21st Sep 2020 - The Washington Post

Little Bay Primary and Infant begins classes with satellite Internet service

Grade six students at Little Bay Primary and Infant School in Westmoreland were able last week to begin preparation for the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), thanks to satellite Internet service provided by ReadyTV. Little Bay is one of 101 rural schools expected to access the service in time for the official start of classes on October 5. Principal Keron King couldn't be happier, pointing out that the service will ensure that children can continue their education at a time when there has been disruption in traditional classroom learning due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He noted that in addition to facilitating teacher-student interaction outside of the classroom, it creates a digital space for children to work and connect “given the fact that we are living in a global village”.
21st Sep 2020 - Jamaica Observer

Getting Covid-19 Changed This New York City Family’s Outlook on Virtual Learning

Najib Craig, 16, is among the 46% of New York City students who won’t be going back into classrooms when part-time in-person instruction begins Oct. 1. That number has shot up from 26% in August, according to data released Monday by the city’s Department of Education. Najib’s family’s experience with coronavirus played a major role in his parents’ decision. It all started in March, when Najib’s father, Rikers Island corrections officer Albert Craig, was sitting in a chair in the prison and was overcome by a dizzying fog and a sudden weakness that made the diabetic believe his blood sugar was severely high. Later at home in Brooklyn, he developed a middle-of-the-night fever and headache, and was diagnosed with coronavirus within days. As he lay watching the city’s coronavirus death toll rise, the quarantined 53-year-old Mr. Craig was overcome with a potent fear: that he would spread the virus to his wife and three children.
21st Sep 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

The unexpected benefits of virtual education

Collaborating online might prepare students with the skills needed for modern careers. A growing category of jobs will require employees to work in geographically dispersed, virtual teams. Many students may have enough maturity, focus and self-discipline to learn digitally.
21st Sep 2020 - World Economic Forum

COVID-19 increases cause Kewaunee schools to go to all virtual classes

The Kewaunee School District became the latest in Wisconsin to implement all virtual learning after a growing wave of positive tests for the COVID-19 virus in the past week. This comes after the number of cases among students increased from three to 12 in the last couple days of last week, according to a letter sent to parents of Kewaunee students, and cases among staff rose from three to five, along with seven staffers in quarantine as of Monday. Also, a second teacher and a support staff member in the Luxemburg-Casco School District tested positive last week, which sent a total of 64 students in three primary school classes into quarantine.
21st Sep 2020 - Green Bay Press Gazette

Students at Milton Keynes-based school to learn remotely after teachers are told to self-isolate

Stantonbury International School has had multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the school meaning that Years 7, 8, and 9 are currently closed. The remainder of the school was previously open to Year 10, 11, and Sixth Form. But from today (21/9) a high number of teachers have been advised by Public Health England to self-isolate. This means that students in Year 10 and Year 11 must now learn remotely until the end of the month. "We are unable to teach the year groups that we have safely," said Alison Ramsey, Headteacher.
21st Sep 2020 - MKFM

Positive COVID-19 case at Battle Mountain High School sends 55 to remote learning

A student at Battle Mountain High School has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting five staff members and 50 students to transition to remote learning. Eagle County Schools, in a news release, said there is no current outbreak, just the single case. The student was last at the high school on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and followed face covering and social distancing guidelines. Eagle County Public Health is investigating the case and advised the school district to transition staff and students who were in the same classroom as the student who tested positive to remote learning beginning Monday.
22nd Sep 2020 - Vail Daily


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Sep 2020

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How do you teach performing arts when there are no performances? This school is learning

For Monica Sauer Anthony, adapting to the challenge of a virtual classroom started with a reenvisioning of what it even means to teach at a performing arts school. A choir can't really rehearse in a virtual classroom much less give a live performance. Neither can an orchestra. There's too much digital delay involved in streaming to get everybody synced up. When Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona schools to close in March because of the pandemic, Sauer Anthony was teaching Music History and Culture, and Beginning Woodwinds, Flute and Oboe Studies at Arizona School for the Arts in downtown Phoenix. As ASA began to make the switch to online learning, Sauer Anthony, who's since become Arts Director and Vice Principal of Student Services, said the faculty was trying to maintain as much of a sense of normalcy as it could.
19th Sep 2020 - The Arizona Republic

United Nations Warns Coronavirus Pandemic Could Push 24 Million Students Out of Schools

The coronavirus pandemic-driven disruption to education worldwide has the potential to cause at least twenty-four million students to drop out of school, according to Henrietta Fore, the executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund. As the novel coronavirus quickly spread around the world earlier this year, many schools began to rely more on virtual educational models to replace in-person learning. Education experts, however, have admitted that virtual learning is still a work in progress and shouldn’t be viewed as a perfect replacement for traditional classroom learning. According to Fore, more than 460 million students around the globe don’t have internet access, computers, or mobile devices to take advantage of virtual learning models.
19th Sep 2020 - The National Interest

Coronavirus cases: Milwaukee high school switches to 100% virtual learning

Students switched to 100% virtual learning after several cases of coronavirus surfaced at Pius XI Catholic High School in Milwaukee, but the students are not quarantined. Pius said the shutdown is all part of their reopening safety plan, a contingency that, when and if they had any positive cases they would switch to virtual right away to stop the spread.
19th Sep 2020 - WISN Milwaukee on MSN.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Sep 2020

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NYC again delays in-person learning for most students

New York City has again delayed the start of in-person learning for most of the more than 1 million students in its public school system
17th Sep 2020 - ABC News

The future of education: moving to virtual classrooms

Jan Alexa, research manager at IDC Europe, explains the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education and predicts how it may impact the way students are taught in future
17th Sep 2020 - Technology Record

How one Texas teacher is navigating virtual school during the pandemic

Spend a day with Westfield High School teacher Cris Hernandez, and you'll see the frustrations and uncertainties of virtual teaching. More than four weeks into the school year, he still can't tell if he's connecting with his students.
17th Sep 2020 - The Texas Tribune

Citing Safety Concerns, Education Austin Calls for Extension of Online Learning

Education Austin, the union for Austin Independent School District teachers and staff, is claiming victory after calling for an extension of the online learning period amid the coronavirus pandemic. The union on Wednesday tweeted, “The superintendent will file for a TEA waiver ‘to extend the opportunity to remain in a virtual capacity for an additional 4 weeks.’ We organized, and the district heard us loud and clear: the safety of our students, staff, and community is our only priority.”
17th Sep 2020 - Spectrum News

Higher education was already ripe for disruption—then, COVID-19 happened

Back in the spring, when COVID-19 was emerging around the world and leading to widespread shutdowns, schools at all levels had to adapt quickly. Classes went online. Students were sent home. Everyone did their best to get comfortable with teaching and learning over video conferencing apps like Zoom.
17th Sep 2020 - Phys.org

Tutoring program going virtual due to COVID-19

A tutoring program called Grade A Plus, which offers free tutoring from MU students, is moving online this year. This program involves students from the University of Missouri that volunteer to tutor students in grades K-12. This year, it has over 30 college student volunteers who will be working with the younger students. These college students consist of sophomores and juniors within the College of Education preparing for roles as classroom teachers, counselors and special education leaders for the elementary and high school level.
17th Sep 2020 - KOMU 8

UT-Austin Rolls Out Holographic Professors Amid Coronavirus

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the virtual classroom is a brave new world. Extending the new reality further, the business school at the University of Texas at Austin is poised to beam holographic professors at students to further ensure physical distancing safeguards. The McCombs School of Business has contracted with locally based Contextual Concept Group to create a new 3D immersive video that combines in-person, hybrid and online teaching to deliver an interactive distance learning experience, officials said in an emailed advisory.
17th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Sep 2020

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At Some NYC Public Schools, Even In-Person Instruction will be Online Only

Prompted largely by staffing shortages, at least a half-dozen schools are moving all their instruction to the internet — even when students are sitting in the classroom.
16th Sep 2020 - The City

MIT moves business school classes online for a week in response to student gatherings

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is moving all business school classes online for a week in response to two gatherings of students at public parks, officials said Wednesday night. There have been no reported cases of the coronavirus among the MIT Sloan School of Management students who participated or among the “thousands of students and staff tested since Monday,” MIT said in a statement. “Our internal discipline processes have been engaged and we continue to gather facts,” the university said. The gatherings took place outside “and are not known to have resulted in any cases” of COVID-19, MIT said, but the business school’s dean “nevertheless has made clear to students that this behavior is unacceptable. Out of an abundance of caution, all MIT Sloan classes will be fully remote through Tuesday, Sept. 22.”
16th Sep 2020 - The Boston Globe

Judge says private school in California must stop in-person classes

A private school in California that has flouted state and county health orders during the coronavirus pandemic must immediately stop in-person teaching, a Fresno County judge has ruled. The Fresno Bee reports that Judge D. Tyler Tharpe in a 10-page decision granted Fresno County’s request for a preliminary injunction against Immanuel Schools in Reedley, Calif.
16th Sep 2020 - American School & University

Coronavirus in Oklahoma: University of Central Oklahoma professor partners with CMA to bring virtual music lessons to US classrooms

Lani Garner, assistant professor in the School of Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, recently helped facilitate Unified Voices for Music Education, a series of music lessons and tools for music teachers to use in virtual classrooms. Unified Voices for Music Education is a national initiative hosted by the Country Music Association Foundation. Garner was a facilitator for the elementary music sessions of Unified Voices for Music Education, according to a news release. Unified Voices for Music Education is a collective effort of music educators from across the country in response to challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
16th Sep 2020 - Oklahoman.com

Virtual learning harder for those with disabilities

As school districts across the state deliberated over whether to bring students back to the classroom or teach them virtually, social media message boards filled with comments from North Carolina parents with strong opinions on all sides. But for Brooke Rose, there was no ideal option for her family in Wake County, which is holding virtual classes.
16th Sep 2020 - North Carolina Health News

Drew: How to Decide Between the Virtual or Traditional Classroom

With the reopening of schools in America, parents are faced with one of the most difficult decisions they may have in their child(ren)’s lifetime. Do they choose the option to turn their home into a classroom for virtual learning or do they opt to allow their child to return to school for a more traditional in-person classroom? Many school districts have made the decision temporarily for parents by conducting virtual learning for the first six to nine weeks, but what happens afterwards? There are some serious decisions parents must consider to determine whether to homeschool using virtual learning or allow your child(ren) to attend their school in a traditional manner (in-person). When making your decision about school, you may need to consider other things beyond academics such as school meal programs, social services, extended day childcare, extra-curricular activities, soci
16th Sep 2020 - Birmingham Times


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Sep 2020

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High school switches to virtual learning after 99 students, staff quarantined for COVID-19

Manila High School students will spend the rest of the week working from home after 99 students and staff members were quarantined for the coronavirus. Superintendent Jason Evers stated in a news release Monday that 7-12th grade students would pivot to blended learning beginning Tuesday, Sept. 15. “We had a few students test positive over the weekend and today,” Evers said. “That resulted in quite a few students and staff being quarantined for close contact. Currently, we have 99 quarantined before the numbers come in for the positive case today. That number is expected to increase considerably after all of the tracing is completed.”
15th Sep 2020 - KAIT

Digital divide: 'My children's classroom is our car'

During the coronavirus pandemic, life has turned to the internet. But not everyone has it. That’s why Jamie Gould has found herself driving her two children out to a parked school bus on the side of the road to access WiFi so they can make it to virtual class. They spend eight hours of their day working from inside the family van, with no access to a bathroom and with the car running for air conditioning. In the US, about 13% of households lack access to broadband internet. But in rural America - where service is often unavailable or too expensive - it’s nearly 25%. That’s about 42 million people throughout the country who can’t easily get connected.
16th Sep 2020 - BBC News

A class of 100? COVID-19 plans overwhelm some teachers with huge virtual classes

Family members were at high risk of COVID-19, so Norma Hernandez said she had no choice but to keep her three kids at home for the school year, rather than send them to school in person. It’s a decision most parents have had to contemplate this year, but the virtual option comes with worrisome trade-offs. In Hernandez’s case, her son's fourth grade class in a virtual program in Gilbert, Arizona, has as many as 55 students, an “overwhelming” load for his teacher, she said. "My son is lucky he has me at home," she said. While some students returned to classrooms around the country, others remain at home and could stay in the virtual classroom for the next year or even longer because of health concerns.
15th Sep 2020 - USA TODAY

Positive coronavirus cases move some Port Huron classrooms to virtual learning

Students and teachers at three Port Huron Area Schools buildings will move to remote learning for a 14-day period after multiple students tested positive for COVID-19 in the district, according to a letter posted to the district’s Facebook page. The letter states that the St. Clair County Health Department identified a small number of cases at Port Huron Northern, Fort Gratiot Middle School School and Keewahdin Elementary School.
15th Sep 2020 - mlive.com

At least 24 million students could drop out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic, UN says

“At the height of Covid-19,” 192 countries shuttered schools, leaving 1.6 billion students without in-person learning, said Henrietta Fore, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund. “At least 24 million children are projected to drop out of school due to Covid-19,” she added. The reopening of schools has become a hot-button issue, particularly in the U.S., where President Donald Trump has pushed to reopen schools regardless of how widely the virus is spreading in the community.
15th Sep 2020 - CNBC

First Kentucky school district to reopen in-person classes switches to virtual learning

One of the first Kentucky public school districts to reopen to in-person classes is switching to virtual learning after a spike in COVID-19 cases, including an unofficial positive test of a school employee. Green County Schools students, who returned to school Monday, will learn from home until at least Sept. 8, district officials said Friday. "We have had a great week in our school system and are unaware of any student cases, but the increase in community cases has caused us to reach our threshold for transitioning into the 'red phase' of our reopening plan," the district wrote in a Facebook post.
15th Sep 2020 - Courier Journal

School, but an ‘undead version’: Students, parents and teachers in Northern Virginia adjust to online learning

One week into remote schooling, students, parents and teachers throughout Northern Virginia — where all major public school districts are conducting online-only learning — are slowly adjusting to their new, virtual reality. The first week of school-from-a-distance saw no massive technological or privacy failures, according to interviews with more than two dozen educators, parents and students. Just a whole lot of bizarre. “School is back,” texted one Fairfax parent. “But it seems in a kind of ‘undead’ version.”
15th Sep 2020 - The Washington Post

Coronavirus: Teachers are isolating but still teach - by video

Imagine being in your classroom, aged seven, with your teacher being beamed in from her home by video-link. At Heathfield Primary in Darlington that's exactly what's happening. Mrs Craghill is teaching her class of seven- and eight-year-olds by video-link. Someone in her household tested positive for the virus, so she is having to self-isolate - but her lessons continue.
12th Sep 2020 - BBC News


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Sep 2020

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After Covid-19, millions of girls may not return to the classroom. We can help them

Crises like the Covid-19 outbreak reveal the frailty of our systems and the strength of our promises. Beyond the health and economic effects, our world now faces a growing education emergency – and our response will impact generations of children. Most countries around the world have closed their schools in response to the pandemic at some point this year. While this disruption to education has far-reaching effects for all, the impact is particularly detrimental to the most disadvantaged students and their families, especially in poorer countries. The educational consequences of coronavirus will last beyond the period of school closures, disproportionately affecting marginalised girls.
14th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Quarter of university students unhappy with remote work, poll finds

Students began returning to campus for the start of term today after months of remote learning, as a survey suggested nearly one in four are not positive about the quality of digital teaching. Eleven per cent of students say they do not feel they have access to online course materials whenever they need them, according to the poll by Jisc, the education technology not-for-profit organisation. Guidance released by the Department for Education last week recommended that universities offer a mix of face-to-face tuition and online lessons as the “default position” when campuses reopen.
15th Sep 2020 - London Evening Standard

A class of 100? COVID-19 plans overwhelming some teachers with huge virtual classes

With family members at high risk to COVID-19, Norma Hernandez felt she had no choice but to keep her three kids at home for the school year, rather than send them to school in person. It’s a decision most parents have had to contemplate this year, but the virtual option comes with worrisome trade-offs. In Hernandez’s case, her son's fourth grade class in a virtual program in Gilbert, Arizona, has as many as 55 students, an “overwhelming” load for his teacher, she said. "My son is lucky he has me at home," she said.
14th Sep 2020 - USA TODAY

5 ways to support online homeschooling through the coronavirus pandemic

This fall, some elementary and high school students will continue with online learning due to COVID-19. When classrooms went online due to COVID-19, this marked not only a major transformation in kindergarten to Grade 12 education, but a shift in parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Schools communicated primarily online via email and social media (or sometimes the phone) to keep in touch with parents, and every family had to determine to what extent supporting remote learning was possible.
14th Sep 2020 - The Conversation CA

Another N.J. school district switches to remote classes after student tests positive for COVID-19

Schools in at least 6 N.J. districts announce schedule changes over student, staff COVID-19 cases. Find all of the most important pandemic education news on Educating N.J., a special resource guide created for parents, students and educators.
14th Sep 2020 - NJ.com

Classroom attendance strong under virtual model

Online classrooms have resumed for districts across the state this week, with several reporting attendance above 90%. Following Gov. John Carney’s August announcement that schools could open with hybrid learning — a mixture of in-person and remote instruction — it was up to districts and charters to determine what was best for them. Decisions were varied, but regardless of whether students are at their desks or learning from home, there is a greater reliance on virtual learning for the fall.
14th Sep 2020 - Delaware State News

The future of the classroom is online

There is a silver lining, the global lockdown has helped to highlight the importance and necessity of online education in the global academic discourse, with vigour like never before. Of course, there are a plethora of deeper problems, more pronounced in the developing countries, like the digital divide and exclusion, underinvestment and poor infrastructure. The viability of the online mode of teaching as a substitute for face-to-face methods is in question. What is extremely important here is the meaningful debate itself; without which the challenges faced by the online education so far were left ignored and, thus, scopes untapped.
14th Sep 2020 - The Kathmandu Post

Meet the students who say school remote learning in the pandemic is a big win

Since the country entered its unprecedented distance learning experiment this spring, there’s been a growing contingent of students who’ve found themselves actually enjoying their cyberspace syllabus more than the physical version. “I’m an introvert who deals with a lot of social anxiety,” said Maude, a 20-year-old special care counseling student in Quebec who has been taking remote classes since March and into the new school year. “In an online classroom, I don’t have to be around people or feel apprehensive about asking the teacher questions. Instead, I’m as calm as I can be, in my safe space at home.” While teachers, parents, and experts have voiced concerns over how digital school will impact students’ development, many have pointed out that some students are thriving in the new environment. “I can’t say enough about how this closure has changed my entire approach to teaching because I see how it has been an amazing respite for so many students,” said Rosie Reid, California’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, in an interview with Edutopia.
14th Sep 2020 - Vox.com

Kicking off virtual fall teaching — with a little help from McGraw

While Princeton students have just begun the fall semester, their professors have been working for months to reimagine how classes are taught in our new virtual world.
14th Sep 2020 - Princeton University


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Sep 2020

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Emotions run high as schools return fully on Monday for the first time in six months

Kicking a ball about with friends at breaktime was something Blyddwyn Hurford took for granted. Back at school again after months of Covid-19 disruption the 15 year-old says he appreciates it more than ever - the friends, face to face lessons and footy in the yard. “People are just in a really happy mood to be back. It’s great. I was quite bored at home. I couldn’t meet my friends, there was no face to face learning. I play prop for the school team. I missed rugby and football and everything really. “It is different now. A lot of work has gone into making it safe and I feel safe. "We are in a bubble of 160 in our year group in one part of the school but we can kick a ball about at lunchtime. That’s great.”
13th Sep 2020 - Wales Online

LISTEN: Covid classroom - distance learning

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette education reporter Dave Perozek chats with two K-12 school administrators who specialize in distance learning: Shay Hopper, coordinator of the Springdale School District’s Virtual Innovation Academy, and Amy Johnson, head of school at the Arkansas Virtual Academy.
13th Sep 2020 - Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Peel school board delays online school launch after thousands switch to virtual learning

Peel District School Board is delaying the start of its online school after thousands of students switched from in-person classes to virtual learning. In a letter sent to families on Saturday, the school board said over 64,000 students are now enrolled in its online school, an increase of 10,000 in the last week. “Due to this recent increase in online enrolment, we require additional time to staff online classes and reconfigure timetables to ensure an equitable and successful start for all staff and students online,” the letter reads.
13th Sep 2020 - CTV Toronto

Summer parties, teacher shortages push suburban schools to scrap COVID-19 reopening plans

Colleges aren't the only schools that have had to close their doors soon after reopening. And in some cases, school officials are laying the blame for their changing plans on families in their communities, where graduation and end-of-summer parties prompted spikes in positive COVID-19 cases. That's what happened in the Carle Place School District in Long Island, New York, where Superintendent Christine A. Finn announced school would start with remote learning last Wednesday rather than in person. "We have no choice but to put the safety of our staff and students first," she said in a letter that connected many of the new positive COVID-19 cases in the community to attendance at parties where some who tested positive had close contact with students.
13th Sep 2020 - USA TODAY

'It's exhausting': American families stumble through first weeks of virtual school

Meredith Kablick sat next to her five-year-old son Peter at home in Cheverly, Maryland, as he logged on to a Zoom video call for his first week of kindergarten at a French immersion school. Like thousands of parents in the United States this week, the registrar assistant was supervising her child’s virtual schooling while working full-time. As with many schools from coast to coast, classes in the Washington, D.C., suburb reopened online to avoid the risk of COVID-19 infection. Chaos marked the first days, said Kablick, a mother of two. Her son and 17 classmates, many unaware of how to mute themselves on the video call, fought to concentrate on their teacher speaking a foreign language with the sound of barking dogs and bickering parents in the background.
12th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Sep 2020

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Column: Looks like Lake County schools finally have a handle on virtual teaching

Give Midwesterners a second chance and they’ll get things right. Case in point, remote learning. Most parents, and many teachers, will agree the forced switch to virtual classrooms last spring was a dismal failure, rocky at best, as Lake County schools were shuttered by the governor’s coronavirus edict. Students thought it was a joke -- one north county high school district allowed them to submit assigned online work by 1 p.m. the following day -- as educators struggled mightily after being thrown into the brave new world of online instruction. “No one was trained to teach this way,” Karen Warner, spokesperson for High School District 113 in Deerfield and Highland Park told James Norman in a front-page News-Story earlier this week. “The teachers do not have extensive experience in teaching in a remote environment, and students are not accustomed to remote learning.”
10th Sep 2020 - Chicago Tribune

What it's like teaching remotely in an empty classroom

Teachers at one international school are delivering lessons in empty classrooms - with students watching live from home
10th Sep 2020 - TES News


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Sep 2020

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Ottawa Catholic School Board vows students won't fall behind despite hiccups with online learning

In day two of the Ottawa Catholic School Board's virtual learning school, some students still aren't able to log on. The board is asking parents for their patience as it works out technical problems with the virtual program. Seven-year-old Bray Martin still hasn't been assigned a teacher, his mom says.The board citing glitches as one of the reasons for its online delay. "For parents with young children, the log-ins, the passwords, the e-mails that may bounce back," says Andrea Green, virtual school principal. Other issues include administration; new teachers; and connecting students from different home schools into the same virtual class.
10th Sep 2020 - CTV News Ottawa

Global Classroom initiative connects faculty and students with partners abroad

One new initiative, the Global Classroom, has overcome the challenges and uncertainty of the pandemic to launch this fall at IU Bloomington. This program takes a class already being taught by an IU faculty member and pairs it with a complementary parallel course taught at a foreign partner university. The two faculty members collaborate to design a project that students from both universities work on together virtually over the semester.
10th Sep 2020 - IU Newsroom

Columbia students overcome technical glitches in virtual classrooms

Columbia Public School students and their families continued Wednesday to struggle through their first week of virtual learning at home. School district leaders banned students from attending class in school buildings because of a high number of COVID-19 cases in Boone County. School administrators said most students were adjusting to technical glitches as they completed day two of their school year. Columbia Public School students spent their first days of school getting technical assistance with their devices while attending classes. High school students used laptops while students in kindergarten through eighth grade used iPads.
9th Sep 2020 - krcgtv.com

Chesterfield, Hanover families share different virtual learning experiences

One day after server capacity issues caused widespread connection problems for Chesterfield County students trying to log on for their first day of virtual learning, multiple parents and school officials said day two went more smoothly. Kimberley Johnson, who has two students in Chesterfield schools, said she heard some families still experienced issues logging on, but day two was a “breeze” for her family compared to day one. “Yesterday was quite a bit different... we didn’t get online until probably second or third period for some things. Everyone just did their best,” Johnson said. The beginning of every school year comes with a hiccups, Johnson said, and with more than 60,000 students and 8,000 employees, many Chesterfield families thought issues with virtual classroom were inevitable, she said.
9th Sep 2020 - wtvr.com

Thousands of students going to virtual classrooms

A total of 11,400 students in the Greater Essex County District School Board and 5,200 in the Windsor Essex Catholic District School board are registered for virtual classes. Teachers are reaching out to students this week to walk them through the school day and ensure they can log in to class.
9th Sep 2020 - Windsor Star on MSN.com

University of Wisconsin moves to all-online classes amid growing COVID-19 case count

It's the most significant step by the university to curb a virus caseload that has surpassed 1,000 infections in mere days.
9th Sep 2020 - Star Tribune


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Sep 2020

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Sturgeon Bay first graders to learn virtually following positive COVID-19 test

First grade classrooms at Sturgeon Bay's Sawyer Elementary will move to virtual learning for the next two weeks following a positive COVID-19 test. District superintendent Dan Tjernagel says a staff member was made aware last week of a relative who tested positive for the virus, whom the staff member had seen the previous weekend.
9th Sep 2020 - Fox11online.com

Lane College transitions to virtual learning after 18 students test positive for COVID-19

Lane College closed its residence halls, stopped in-person classes and converted to virtual learning until Sept. 21 because 18 students tested positive for the coronavirus, causing those in contact to also have to quarantine for 14 days. The Friday announcement said the college does not have enough space to quarantine everyone who may have been in contact with the students who tested positive. The 18 positive cases or students unable to return home may quarantine on campus in the residence halls. Lane College President Logan Hampton reiterated that the 18 positive cases were not the problem; the challenge was trying to quarantine all the people the 18 students had been in contact with.
8th Sep 2020 - The Jackson Sun

Character-Building Still Possible in Virtual Classroom

Teachers can still shape students' character to transform them into future-ready citizens in a virtual classroom, according to India-based software development company Zoho Corporation. Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim aims to strengthen character education in addition to literacy and numeracy. The minister believed encouraging exemplary qualities such as creativity and co-operative skills would prepare students to face future challenges. Nurturing positive character traits, however, can be challenging amid the Covid-19 pandemic as classes shift to the virtual realm.
8th Sep 2020 - Jakarta Globe

Thousands of students going to virtual classrooms

More than 16,000 students in the Windsor-Essex region will flip open their laptop or some other device next week and launch into a completely virtual new school year. No back-to-school clothes or backpacks necessary, just grab a seat at the dining room table.
8th Sep 2020 - Windsor Star

Virtual learning, near-empty classrooms, many Delaware students return to school

In the hallway of Seaford Central Elementary School, teachers directed students to their new classrooms on Tuesday. But there were no hugs or high-fives on this first day of school. No catching up with friends in the hallway or standing around a neighbor’s desk. Instead, teachers bent down to third-grade heights to bump elbows with students filing in. Squinted eyes and raised eyebrows offered up the smiles covered by masks. Photos covered the wall of one hallway, showing what teachers and staff looked like with and without masks. Natasha Waters’ projector displayed a typical first day of school message – “Welcome to fifth grade!” – as her students found their way to their desks.
8th Sep 2020 - Delaware Online

First Day Of School: In Person Learning, Virtual Classrooms and Hybrid Models

Many kids across the metro Detroit region are heading back to school this week. This new school year is unlike any other as communities across the country are still managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools are welcoming students back to the classroom, other districts are offering some mix of in-person and virtual learning and a lot of schools are going virtual-only to keep kids safe during a global pandemic. Listen: What does the first day of school look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic?
7th Sep 2020 - WDET


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Sep 2020

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Refugee Families Face Unique Struggles With Online School

Samuel Lavi knew he'd have to find unique ways to stay connected to refugee families when the coronavirus pandemic shut down Valencia Newcomer School. Parents and students speak more than a dozen languages, and they'd need help navigating the technology around remote learning. So the gregarious teaching assistant, himself a Congolese refugee, created group chats on the WhatsApp messaging app in Swahili and some of the other six languages he knows. To ensure parents who can't read or write could participate, Lavi taught them to record and share small audio clips. With remote classes now underway at the K-8 school for refugee children in Phoenix, Lavi helps students connect from home with loaned iPads so they can learn English before transferring to mainstream schools.
7th Sep 2020 - Voice of America

More than 19,000 Columbia Public Schools students begin virtual classes on Tuesday

More than 19,000 Columbia Public Schools students begin virtual classes on Tuesday. The Columbia Public Schools Board last week made the decision to have the district go virtual rather than start the year with students attending class in-person. Board members said they approved their all-virtual learning plan because there were too many coronavirus cases throughout the school district. This method of learning is tricky for all involved. Administrators, staff, faculty, students, and families are all preparing for the start of school in an entirely new way.
8th Sep 2020 - krcgtv.com

UCA online learning professor gives advice for teacher, student success

As Arkansas begins it’s third week of school, some districts have already switched over to online learning due to coronavirus. Last week the Searcy County School District, Cross County School District, Pulaski County Special School District and Earle School District had campuses temporarily transition to online learning due to multiple employees being quarantined for potential coronavirus exposure.
7th Sep 2020 - KATV

How one Nashville charter school is navigating virtual school for the whole semester

Intrepid College Prep decided early that instead of figuring out when students will return to classrooms this fall, they simply wouldn't come back. Students who attend the middle and high schools that make up the charter network in Antioch will learn from home virtually through the entire semester. This plan, school officials say, leaves room for teachers to hone their craft and put their all into virtual learning — all while keeping students and staff safe in a part of Nashville with some of the highest concentrations of COVID-19 cases. For virtual learning to be successful this semester, the school has to be intentional about building relationships and connecting with students, school officials say. Otherwise, students might get behind — or worse, students might get lost altogether.
7th Sep 2020 - The Tennessean

Pandemic preschool: How to navigate sending your kid into an unfamiliar building with masked strangers

To keep kids, families and staff safe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that child care programs implement an array of new safety measures amid the pandemic, such as reducing class sizes, intensifying cleaning protocols, taking children’s temperatures each morning, requiring kids and staff to wear face masks, staggering drop-off and pick-up times, spreading nap mats out six feet apart, ending family-style mealtimes and more. Many states and counties have additional guidance. "For so many of the parents I talk to, it’s a scary time. The uncertainty is stressful," said Dr. Erica Lee, a psychiatrist at Boston Children’s Hospital. "Kids are really resilient, and they follow their parents' and teachers' cues. The more calm and predictability we can create for them at home and at school, the better kids will do."
7th Sep 2020 - USA TODAY

Colleges and universities trying to manage COVID-19 on campuses

With a rise in COVID-19 cases on college campuses around the country, some people suggest shutting things down and sending students home. Local health experts say that may do more harm than good. The University of Alabama system reports between August 28th and September 3, 846 UA students tested positive for the virus in Tuscaloosa. The university says it’s seeing a decline in daily averages since its last report. On September 3, UA reports student positives had dropped to 65 for the day. University officials say nothing has gone wrong with its approach to combating the virus and spread. Some have asked should campuses close to try slow the spread further? UAB’s Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo and others caution against that.
7th Sep 2020 - WBRC FOX6 News

Districts adapt to virtual learning during COVID-19 situation

As area school districts have begun the 2020-21 school year in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of students in the Amarillo area are back in the school building for in-person instruction. But for the students who are learning remotely, either by choice or because they are in quarantine, districts are having to adjust on how to approach virtual learning in a more in-depth way than in the spring. According to respective district officials, Canyon Independent School District currently has eight percent of its students participating in virtual learning, River Road ISD has 18 percent virtual students and Amarillo ISD has 20 percent virtual students.
7th Sep 2020 - Amarillo Globe-News on MSN.com


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Saudi e-learning portal ushers in 'new normal' with virtual classrooms

Classes in Saudi Arabia will be held online for at least the first seven weeks of the new academic school year as part of a drive to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, with an estimated 6 million students and half a million teachers across the Kingdom signing in to the new Madrasati platform to join virtual classes every morning.
7th Sep 2020 - Arab News

Beating Covid Blues: Online classes and new stars of social media

Post Covid-19 outbreak, there is hardly a sector, especially education, which has remained immune to change. The pandemic’s spread saw online classes replacing the traditional method of schooling. Albeit being a stopgap arrangement, the virtual class provides a firmament to several teachers to showcase their talents. Sai Swetha, of ‘Thanku cat’ fame, is a classic example of this. “There was this general impression that a teacher’s job is pretty simple. But the online class has made people realise what it takes and the toil involved,” Sai Swetha said.According to her, teachers are multi-talented since they have to dovetail skills like storytelling, singing, drawing and dancing to teach children.
6th Sep 2020 - The New Indian Express

What I’ve Learned From Teaching Online

“Let’s read,” I told the students in my writing class, trying to invoke the authority of my own high-school literature teacher. I was hoping they would unzip their backpacks, pull out the books and start reading. I had become a visiting teacher at a university in Karachi, Pakistan, a couple of years before the pandemic, and I was struggling. It felt nice to be called a professor, but I was reluctant to call my students, “my students.”
6th Sep 2020 - The New York Times

How schools are using technology and new techniques for virtual learning

For many schools, the sudden switch to completely virtual learning has been a challenging adjustment. Some education professionals say online classrooms fall short in facilitating engagement when compared to in-person class environments. Virtual learning can also be isolating for students — especially those with special needs or mental health issues. Physical-distancing measures have also become a hindrance to extracurricular activities, especially artistic endeavours such as music. This is why Sandi Chasson, a teacher at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, developed ePrograms: a new online learning platform designed to support youth through online group master classes. Hosted by seasoned professionals in each subject, the classes cover everything from clarinet playing to cartooning.
6th Sep 2020 - Post City


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University of Arkansas reports 399 active COVID-19 cases; officials focusing on testing

The University of Arkansas has reported 434 coronavirus cases since welcoming students back to campus on Aug.10. Currently, they're reporting 399 active cases. Thursday, Washington County reported the highest number of new cases in the state, with 81% of the cases coming from the 18 to 24 age group. Mark Rushing, associate vice chancellor for university relations, said any positive case is a concern, but not a surprise. He said the campus community includes 32,600 people, and some transmission will be likely throughout the semester.
4th Sep 2020 - KATV

Coronavirus angst as Canadian schools start to open

Canadian children are trickling back into classrooms but the return is off to a rocky start with dozens of students in one province already in isolation amid Covid-19 scares and teacher and unions filing labour challenges.
3rd Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Hamilton Southeastern to bring pupils back into classrooms after online-only instruction

One of the first schools in central Indiana to start the fall semester with online-only classes will soon open its classrooms to welcome students. Hamilton Southeastern School Board voted Thursday night to have prekindergarten through Grade 4 to return to the classrooms on Tuesday. Two weeks later, students in Grade 5 and higher will return to the physical school. Half of the students will go to school in person Monday and Tuesday, while the other half will go into the classrooms on Thursday and Friday. They will alternate Wednesdays. About 15% of students are expected to continue receiving virtual education.
3rd Sep 2020 - WISHTV.com

San Diego State University Closes Classrooms Over COVID-19

San Diego State University on Wednesday halted in-person classes for a month after dozens of students were infected with the coronavirus. The 200 course offerings, including lab classes, that were taking place in-person will move to virtual learning. The decision will be reassessed after the four-week period. On-campus housing will remain open. “Before the end of the four weeks, we will reassess,” SDSU spokeswoman Cory Marshall said. The university, the third-largest in the state, has more than 35,000 students but only 2,600 students have been living on campus since the fall semester began Aug. 24. All of the students on campus were enrolled in the limited in-person classes. Most of the university’s classes were being held online.
3rd Sep 2020 - gvwire.com

Make virtual classrooms 'go the distance'

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, institutions of higher education around the country are grappling with instructional delivery for the fall 2020 semester and beyond. Many traditional, on-campus schools are transitioning to some form of distance-learning approach, where all or part of the learning is done remotely. As we think about moving into this new normal, there are several key issues to consider, including how to engage learners, creating a sense of community, using the online environment to expand opportunities, and ensuring student success.
3rd Sep 2020 - Baylor College of Medicine News


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THD preparing risk assessment after 20% of Oklahoma school districts report COVID-19 cases

On Wednesday, more than 140 school districts across the state have been hit by COVID-19. Sometimes, hundreds of students are impacted by just a few cases. It’s a nightmare for everyone involved. “COVID can spread swiftly and contact tracing can reveal hundreds [of exposures],” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. “Enid Public Schools, 600 today in quarantine.” Hofmeister said it’s not just single coronavirus cases that are impacting school districts in Oklahoma, but all the students and staff who have to quarantine after coming into close contact with them.
3rd Sep 2020 - KTUL

Resign or Return? The Dilemma for Classroom Teachers in COVID-19

As some school districts order campuses to reopen, teachers are facing the decision whether to quit their jobs or return to the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. The debate has led some teachers unions to file lawsuits against states where schools have been ordered to begin in-person learning again. Educators say it can be difficult to remain safe even with masks, physical distancing, and surface sanitization.
2nd Sep 2020 - Healthline

San Diego State University closes classrooms over COVID-19

San Diego State University on Wednesday halted in-person classes for a month after dozens of students were infected with the coronavirus. The 200 course offerings, including lab classes, that were taking place in-person will move to virtual learning. The decision will be reassessed after the four-week period. On-campus housing will remain open. “Before the end of the four weeks, we will reassess," SDSU spokeswoman Cory Marshall said.
2nd Sep 2020 - Bradenton Herald

Classes take different form due to COVID-19 for Fall 2020

Under normal circumstances, the first day back to school would consist of most students flocking towards education buildings ready to greet their teachers and peers as a new semester begins. The small percentage of students taking online classes also begins with virtual greetings from the comfort of home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this scenario is flipped with the majority of students at Madison College taking forms of online classes and the minority taking in-person classes.
2nd Sep 2020 - The Clarion

Coronavirus: 70% of parents who responded to TDSB elementary registration choose in-person option

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has released details surrounding the registration preferences of parents and guardians for children for the upcoming school year in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and a large majority of those who responded indicated support for in-person options. In a statement released by the TDSB on Wednesday, officials said they contacted the parents of more than 173,000 elementary students and more than 74,000 secondary students by telephone or email to choose in-person or virtual learning.
2nd Sep 2020 - Global News


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COVID-19 pandemic brings sea change to law schools as classes shift online

A new school year can often bring apprehension and anxiety for students, as thoughts go through their head of what their next eight months will look like as they walk among the trees and ivy-covered walls of campus. But this year law students are being faced with a new reality — coping with a massive shift to online learning as universities from coast-to-coast continue to adjust to the new realities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian law schools have largely embraced a hybrid of online and in-person courses, with some making their course offerings completely virtual, using platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom. McGill University law school dean Robert Leckey said his faculty has prioritized the incoming first-year class “for the limited in-person activities we are able to do.”
2nd Sep 2020 - The Lawyer's Daily

Columbia Public School parents cope with decision to go all virtual learning

Some parents were upset Tuesday over the Columbia Public School Board’s decision to have most students start the year online instead of attending class in person. Board members said they approved their all-virtual learning plan because there were too many coronavirus cases throughout the school district. Columbia Public Schools administrators sent a letter to parents saying they were grateful for patience, flexibility and understanding as students stay out of school buildings during September. District leaders were not giving advice to working parents because they said each family situation was different.
2nd Sep 2020 - krcgtv.com

Colorado College shifting to remote learning after more 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 all three of its 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
2nd Sep 2020 - The Denver Post

21% of Parents Had to Reduce Work Hours Because of Remote School, Survey Finds

As many parents experienced in the spring, remote learning asks a lot from them, too. Not only do many children need assistance with school work and scheduling but, at the very least, they require basic supervision, which means an adult must be at home to help. To that point, 21% of parents said that they had to change or reduce work hours due to changes in school or child care as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report from Country Financial. Not only do many children need assistance with school work and scheduling but, at the very least, they require basic supervision, which means an adult must be at home to help. To that point, 21% of parents said that they had to change or reduce work hours due to changes in school or child care as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report from Country Financial.
1st Sep 2020 - NBC New York

JMU announces it will move classes online

James Madison University in Harrisonburg announced it is moving classes online. On Tuesday, the school made the decision to switch instruction virtually. According to a press release from the university, JMU will transition to primarily online learning, with some hybrid instruction for accreditation and licensure requirements, graduate research and specialized upper-class courses requiring equipment and space, through the month of September. Classes will take place as scheduled for the remainder of the week unless students are otherwise notified by their instructors. In-person classes will transition to online no later than Monday, Sept. 7. The release also says that residents will be asked to return home by Sept. 7 unless they seek an exemption to stay.
1st Sep 2020 - WHSV

USDA extends free meals into the fall for kids learning virtually or in classrooms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending its pandemic-related program for free meals for children into the fall. Under Congressional funding appropriated to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA will allow summer meal program operators to provide free meals through as late as December 31. The extension should help ensure that kids are getting nutritious meals whether they are in the classroom or learning through virtual classes, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement released Tuesday.
1st Sep 2020 - WJLA

Government preparing to give formal education status to remote and virtual classes

Meanwhile, the federal government in Kathmandu is taking one decision after another regarding virtual learning apparently unbeknownst to the fact that millions of students like Sandeep and Suraj, who are based in rural parts of the country, cannot attend remote classrooms. There are around 7 million students in the school system from pre-primary to grade 12 levels, studying in 36,000 public and public schools across the country. After assessing that the resumption of schools and colleges was not possible immediately, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had introduced a set of guidelines for virtual classes, set to come into force from June 16. The guidelines envision engaging students in the learning process online or through television and radio.
1st Sep 2020 - The Kathmandu Post


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No in-person classes at Chico State due to spike in COVID-19 infections

California State University, Chico canceled its limited number of in-person classes Monday and told students in an urgently toned message to vacate campus housing by the weekend after nearly 30 people tested positive for the coronavirus days after the fall semester started. University President Gayle Hutchinson announced in a statement Sunday that the in-person classes it offered when the semester started last week will switch to virtual-only for the duration of the fall semester. She asked students to leave on-campus housing by the coming Sunday because nearly all on-campus residences have at least one positive case and "there is concern the numbers will only increase."
1st Sep 2020 - ABC7 San Francisco

Back To School Butterflies, Anxiety Turning Into Excitement As Students Begin Virtual Classes

The butterflies were flying in the classrooms and in the bedrooms as teachers and students gathered for the new school year in the Carlynton School District. A week later the butterflies have moved on and, “From what I’ve heard back from teachers and from students, even though it’s a virtual environment they are excited to see their friends, they are excited to see their teachers, and they’re excited to learn,” says Carlynton Superintendent John Kreider, Ph.D..
31st Aug 2020 - CBS Pittsburgh

Salisbury University Classes Back in Session Online and In-person

"Today is the first day of school and it is one of the best days of the year always," said Salisbury University President Charles A. Wight. As of last week, Salisbury University had a positivity rate of less than one percent. School leaders say they want to keep it that way. "Our classrooms have been reconfigured to keep all the students six feet apart, all the h fac systems have been reconfigured to add high-efficiency filters to keep the air nice and clean and safe," added Wight. Before heading back to campus students faculty and staff had to undergo a COVID-19 test. To stop the spread of the virus, students received a safety kit which includes a mask and thermometer.
31st Aug 2020 - WBOC TV 16

Pupil distancing hits teaching quality, teachers warn

Nearly three-quarters of teachers have said they could not teach to their usual standard when schools opened more widely in July, according to a new report. The study, The challenges facing schools and pupils in September 2020, carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NfER), found that 74 per cent of teachers did not feel able to teach to their usual standard in July. Distancing means teachers are unable to set group work, move around the classroom or help pupils fully, report warns.
31st Aug 2020 - TES News

UM-Flint starts year mostly online with limited in-person classes to fight coronavirus

University of Michigan Flint students returned to class Monday, Aug. 31 -- most of them in front of a computer screen. The majority of courses will be taught remotely, with some in-person classes taking place on a limited basis, according to the university’s plan for the start of school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees are encouraged to work remotely if at all possible, and events and activities will mostly occur in a virtual format.
31st Aug 2020 - MLive.com

An unusual model to bring virtual learning ‘to life’

For most students, the virtual learning experiment forced on schools in the spring, when schools closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, was less than successful. Most school districts weren’t ready to move from in-person learning to online lessons virtually overnight. And now that the 2020-2021 academic year is starting again with remote instruction for most students, it’s an open question about if and how much online offerings have improved. In this post, David Kirp, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, writes about an unusual approach to bringing virtual learning “to life.”
29th Aug 2020 - The Washington Post


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Cuomo Says Colleges Must Temporarily Move To Remote Learning If Covid-19 Cases Spike

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) tightened public health regulations for colleges and universities Thursday, announcing if a school has 100 Covid-19 cases or an outbreak equal to 5% of the campus population, it is required to transition to remote learning for two weeks while the situation is evaluated.
27th Aug 2020 - Forbes

'I'm extremely nervous': US grapples with in-person or virtual classes

All five kids were scheduled to meet their homeroom and classroom teachers over Zoom at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, the second day of online orientation in the Los Angeles Unified school district, the second-largest school district in the US with more than 600,000 students. Ruiz, an activist with Speak Up, a parent advocacy group in Los Angeles, found herself running around the apartment trying to introduce herself to her children’s teachers, “letting [them] know that I am home and that I am present, but I can’t stick with one child the whole time. I’m bouncing back and forth between each one,” she said.
27th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Here’s What America’s Covid-Era Classrooms Look Like

This will be a school year unlike any other, that much is clear. Educators, parents and students across the country are returning to in-person and virtual classrooms shaped by the coronavirus pandemic. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for educators in 2020. Decisions on reopening are largely being made at the local level, leaving administrators to rely on conflicting guidelines from federal and state agencies or from public health experts. In some cases, the details about how to reopen are being ironed out days before students are scheduled to arrive. Amid this confusion, teachers are doing their best to prepare in-person and virtual classrooms to keep students safe and engaged. We asked educators across the U.S. to tell us how the coronavirus is changing their classrooms.
27th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

Coronavirus: No plans to fine parents who keep kids off school

Education chiefs in Hertfordshire do not intend to take formal action against concerned parents who continue "to keep their children away from school amid concerns about the spread of Covid-19, it has emerged. Increased hand-washing, teaching pupils in "bubbles", one-way systems and staggered start-times, are among the measures designed to stop any spread of Covid-19 when schools reopen next week. But education officials in Hertfordshire recognise that parents may still have concerns about the virus.
27th Aug 2020 - Watford Observer

Students Share How They Made Their Remote Classrooms Actually Cool

With more and more universities making the (probably wise) decision to go fully remote this semester because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students across the country are strapping in to spend more time than ever at their at-home desks, transforming them from places to occasionally study to the spots where they’ll take all their classes this fall.
27th Aug 2020 - VICE UK

'It’s going to be a different experience': preparing for online learning at uni

The 2020-21 academic year is going to be like no other. Shaken up by coronavirus, campuses have spent the summer rapidly redrawing their curriculum in anticipation of a “blended” approach that combines online learning with classroom teaching where possible. “It’s going to be a very different experience, especially for students who haven’t been to university before,” says Sana Ali, wellbeing officer at the University of Leicester’s students’ union. That means your tech choices are more important than ever – so do your research before buying a laptop.
27th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

How to Help When Your Child Is the New Kid in a Virtual Classroom

This school year is going to be downright bizarre. There is a lot of new in our new normal to adjust to—especially if, in addition to everything else, you’re also the new kid in what is suddenly a virtual classroom. Being new to the class is exciting and stressful during non-pandemic days, but how do you help your new student acclimate when their classroom doubles as the family’s dining room?
27th Aug 2020 - MSN Money

UNICEF: A third of world's children missed remote learning

The U.N. children’s agency says at least a third of children couldn’t access remote learning when the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, creating “a global education emergency.” At the height of lockdowns meant to curb the pandemic, nearly 1.5 billion children were affected by school closures, UNICEF said. “For at least 463 million children whose schools closed due to COVID-19, there was no such a thing as remote learning,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said. “The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global education emergency,” she said in a statement. “The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come.”
27th Aug 2020 - ABC News


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5 ways university education is being reimagined in response to COVID-19

With the new academic year beginning shortly, students, faculty and staff returning to higher education or arriving for the first time face uncertainty. There is anxiety about a fall term like no other. Those of us responsible for ensuring the futures of post-secondary students have endured months of existential fears about student and employee health and safety, the efficacy of online teaching and virtual learning and what it all means for enrolment and revenue. Enough already. Our responses to the pandemic are helping us reimagine the future of higher education.
25th Aug 2020 - The Conversation CA

Teacher comes out of coronavirus-forced retirement to help remote learners understand calculus

A Michigan teacher might not have thought he’d be heading back to a classroom so shortly after early retirement but the events of 2020 changed the plans Frederick Reusch originally had. The 72-year-old teacher had planned to stay in a traditional classroom until he was not physically able to do so, WZZM reported.
25th Aug 2020 - KIRO Seattle


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Science teachers in UAE learn how to take experiments to virtual classrooms

Nearly 130 science and math teachers in Abu Dhabi learned innovative teaching techniques at a recent two-day webinar. Sessions with live demonstrations and experiments guided them on how important hands-on classroom activities can be translated into effective virtual seat works. The webinar, titled 'Milestone Lessons', were organised by the Abu Dhabi chapter of Science India Forum - UAE, a volunteer organisation. Among the speakers were experts from the Mumbai-based Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT). Educators joining from India, Brijesh Pare, D.V. Prabhu and Anand Mandhian, elaborated on the challenges faced by teachers and how to adapt to changing circumstances.
25th Aug 2020 - Khaleej Times

Hawaii again postpones reopening because of coronavirus

Last week, Gov. David Ige postponed lifting entry rules until Oct. 1 at the earliest. The governor plans to replace the 14-day quarantine with COVID-19 testing for people entering the state. Initially, he was going to roll out the plan in August, and then September. The reopening kept getting pushed back as the number of cases increased. Mufi Hannemann, president of the Hawaii Tourism & Lodging Assn., an organization representing 800 hotels and related businesses, says winter visitors will have a less crowded island experience, one different from other years. “We’ll try our best to give you that quality spirit of aloha that we’ve always been known for,” he said. “Don’t take us off your list yet.”
24th Aug 2020 - Los Angeles Times

In Mexico's televised 'return to classes,' parents turn to state schools

Millions of students returned to classes virtually in Mexico on Monday after a hiatus lasting months caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has sparked an exodus from private schools. Mexico has yet to publish official data, but private-school bodies consulted by Reuters said almost 2 million students at all levels were expected to quit private schools because of the crisis to join an already overcrowded public system. The lack of both in-person teaching and access to facilities has left many parents unwilling to shoulder private-school costs. “We’re facing a tremendous crisis,” said Alfredo Villar, head of the National Association of Private Schools. “Many schools are running out of people and will very likely have to close.”
24th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Springfield sticking with plan for teachers to work remotely, despite state recommendation to instruct from c

The city’s superintendent of schools said Monday that Springfield will stick with plans for teachers to stay out of their classrooms this fall despite a state recommendation for educators to provide remote instruction from their schools. Superintendent Daniel Warwick said the remote learning system for students and teachers was approved by the School Committee and is the “more prudent” measure to protect students and staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
24th Aug 2020 - MassLive.com


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COVID-19 and the Class of 2021: Pensacola seniors reflect on unprecedented year ahead

On her first day of kindergarten in 2008, Devina Hall sat behind a little desk and posed with a playful expression as a photographer snapped her photo for the News Journal. Now 17, Hall once again has her photo in the News Journal. Only this time, it's ahead of the first day of her senior year at Pensacola High School. Looking ahead to the first day of school, Hall told the News Journal last week that she — like many seniors going into the first day of their last year of high school during a pandemic — feels similarly to how she did on her first day of kindergarten: a little fearful. "I'm scared some people might not be wearing their masks. Some people have been out of town and come here, and they won’t tell you," Hall said. "Some people just don’t care like that.”
23rd Aug 2020 - Pensacola News Journal

Schools start with quarantines, confusion and a lack of coronavirus details for many parents

Quarantines, closures: Confusion reigns as schools reopen - Frightening calls from the school nurse. Waiting in vain for word from school officials. Canceled sports practices. Marching bands in quarantine. For countless families across the country, the school year is opening in disarray and confusion, with coronavirus outbreaks triggering sudden closings, mass quarantines and deep anxiety among parents.
23rd Aug 2020 - PennLive

Miami professors’ living rooms now classrooms under coronavirus threat

Nearly 20,000 Miami University students are now learning online instead in classrooms in response to the coronavirus threat. For Associate Professor Jeff Kuznekoff, that means big changes for his living room. Kuznekoff, a communications instructor, has a infant boy at home and decided to take a safer option for his family of teaching from home rather than in his usual classroom.
23rd Aug 2020 - Hamilton Journal News

How coronavirus crisis reinvented online learning as a necessity

Pandemic has led to a regional surge in education-technology startups in the Middle East. Governments regionwide have launched initiatives to support remote learning and working
23rd Aug 2020 - Arab News

Keeping students safe in Denver area schools as coronavirus lurks is a delicate dance

It’s been less than a week since a handful of school districts in the metro area began the delicate dance of bringing children back to the classroom amid a global coronavirus pandemic that has to date infected approximately 55,000 people in Colorado. Against that backdrop comes the grim recognition that this may be a routine too difficult to choreograph and too complex to execute in the long run, as COVID-19 outbreaks at schools around the country — including last week’s positive COVID-19 test of a teacher in a Westminster school and infections of two students at a Fort Lupton high school — force education officials to reverse course and send kids back home to learn online.
22nd Aug 2020 - The Denver Post

Covid-19: UAE students prefer digital learning to classrooms

Things are different this year, as majority of students and parents are opting for virtual learning over on-site learning. And the shopping list for those who choose classroom learning also will see some difference with hand sanitisers, masks and gloves being the new entries to back-to-school purchase list. According to a recent Khaleej Times poll, 61.45 per cent of the students prefer e-learning while 38.55 per cent of pupils want to opt for in-school classes. A survey conducted by the Ministry of Education among parents also showed similar results with 59 per cent supporting distance learning in the first term of the new academic year.
22nd Aug 2020 - Khaleej Times

Gwinnett schools to bring some students back to classrooms next week

Under a phased plan, some students will begin returning to school to Wednesday. At a Board of Education meeting Thursday, many teachers voiced objections to in-person classes while Gwinnett County still has a high COVID-19 case rate. They say it isn’t safe or healthy for them —or their students. “We can admit that digital learning is not an ideal learning environment,” Everton Blair, the only board member to voice opposition to the reopening plan, said at the meeting. “But even if half of [students] show up, it’s impossible for them to social distance on buses and social distance in the classroom.”
21st Aug 2020 - Atlanta Journal Constitution


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UNC begins testing as coronavirus cases spike, while N.C. State switches to virtual classes

North Carolina State University will switch all of its undergraduate classes online after clusters of coronavirus cases were found on campus this week, adding to the chaos of students scrambling to find new housing as more colleges shut down. It was another sign of the challenge facing universities that have tried to hold some classes in person, with residential life — and student behavior — apparently making it more difficult to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. At the nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which had already announced an abrupt shift to virtual learning earlier this week, the chancellor said undergraduate classes would be canceled Monday and Tuesday to allow students time to move off campus as the number of cases continued to rise.
20th Aug 2020 - Washington Post


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Glasgow primary school class told to self-isolate after pupil tests positive for Covid-19

An entire class of Glasgow primary children and their teacher have been told to self-isolate after one pupil tested positive for coronavirus. Families at St Albert’s primary, Pollokshields – which reopened for the first time since lockdown exactly a week ago – were contacted earlier on Wednesday by public health officials and told to quarantine for 14 days. Each child in isolation has also been issued with an iPad so that lessons can be taught remotely. It is understood that there are between 20 and 25 pupils in the class. A spokesperson for Glasgow city council said “robust” infection control measures were in place at the school, adding: “There is currently no evidence of transmission within the school itself.”
19th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

Notre Dame becomes latest university to suspend in-person classes

The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday suspended in-person classes and moved them online for at least two weeks after seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, the latest university to roll back campus reopenings. Notre Dame University President John Jenkins announced the decision after the prestigious Catholic university near South Bend, Indiana, reported a spike of 80 positive test results on Monday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 147 since Aug. 3, according to the university’s website. The results from 418 tests represented a positivity rate of 19 percent at the school with overall positivity at around 16 percent since Aug. 3.
19th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

School outbreaks wreck Trump's plans for return to normal

President Donald Trump hoped schools and colleges would reopen their doors this fall, marking the retreat of the coronavirus pandemic and the start of an economic revival just months before the presidential election. Metastasizing outbreaks are shattering those hopes. Thousands of kids and coeds are getting sick, along with their teachers, triggering mass quarantines, campus closures and last-minute switches to online learning. Virus-proof kids who are “virtually immune” to the scourge — that was what the president promised. A few days into the new school year, that prediction hasn’t held together. “His promises have proven to be false,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat whose home state has seen coronavirus infections in 87 percent of the counties as of Monday, thrusting more than 2,000 students and nearly 600 teachers into quarantine.
19th Aug 2020 - POLITICO

4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prep Your Kids – and Your Home – for Virtual Learning

Students are gearing up for a school year unlike any other, with the coronavirus keeping thousands of kids out of a traditional classroom. For parents, the idea of remote learning can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. "They're wondering how this is going to work, especially when they're working from home," said Ann Dolin, a former Fairfax County teacher who went on to found Educational Connections, a tutoring service in the D.C. area. Dolin has four things you can do right now to prepare your child for a smooth transition into virtual learning.
19th Aug 2020 - NBC4 Washington

Saudi Arabia prepares world's largest virtual classroom amid pandemic

Across 20 television channels and online, the Saudi Ministry of Education is preparing to launch the largest virtual school in the world as classes resume despite the ongoing global pandemic. Education Minister Hamad Al Sheikh on Wednesday announced the kingdom’s plan for virtual schooling in a press conference held in Riyadh. “The ministry benefited from the last [academic] year’s experience as a basic starting point. Distance education and e-learning are no longer an option, rather, it is a necessity that all societies need,” he said. “The government … believes that education is the focus of change in the kingdom and its people, it is the source of community development for all ages and distance education is part of this development in the educational process.”
19th Aug 2020 - The National

Broward students are back to the books and the virtual classroom

Broward public school students started the new school year at the same place where it ended last year, from home, online. Due to the high COVID-19 positivity rate in South Florida Broward students will be remote learning for the foreseeable future.
19th Aug 2020 - Miami Herald


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'They put us all in danger': UNC-Chapel Hill 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.
19th Aug 2020 - NBC News

Michigan State University Switches To Remote Learning: Here Are The Latest College Coronavirus Updates

A number of institutions of higher learning are already dealing with dangerous and disruptive coronavirus outbreaks shortly after reopening for in-person classes, with three large universities abruptly switching to remote learning this week.
18th Aug 2020 - Forbes

Fauci says virtual classrooms better in parts of country hard hit by COVID-19

Easing in with virtual classrooms would be better in parts of the country that have a coronavirus infection positivity rate of more than 10%, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert, said on Tuesday. Fauci said that the default position should be to try and reopen schools for the psychological health of children, but added that a unilateral approach to reopening schools could not be taken. “To make a statement on one side vs the other and take the country as a whole won’t work — we’re so heterogeneous with the infections,” Fauci said in a virtual conference hosted by health information website Healthline. Some U.S. schools have closed almost as quickly as they welcomed back students as the nation tries to reopen while the level of new cases per day remains high in many states.
18th Aug 2020 - Reuters UK

Coronavirus today: Another $100 million devoted to broadband access for schools, governor hopeful on case trend

Governor Hutchinson took his daily coronavirus briefing to Blytheville today. He touted expanded spending on broadband access. He announced the Legislative Council had approved an additional $100 million in spending on expanding broadband access in rural areas, on top of $24 million dedicated previously. He said Earle was the latest city to get a grant — of $1.8 million. And he said 380 WiFi “hotspots” had been distributed for schools in Mississippi County. He said he was hopeful that schools could continue in regular classrooms, but he hoped the state would be prepared to be sure access was equal for all students if events force schools to switch the virtual classes.
18th Aug 2020 - Arkansas Times

How to Navigate Online College Classes as a Student With Disabilities

Brian Flatley, associate director for the Student Access Office at Adelphi University in New York, says the support offered there “didn’t really change, however the method of support did change” during the spring semester. Flatley points to closed captions and transcriptions for online lectures, software that takes notes from audio recordings, and technology that describes graphics, charts and other elements to the visually impaired as examples of accommodations provided to students at Adelphi last spring when classes went fully online.
18th Aug 2020 - WTOP


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UNC Chapel Hill to move undergraduate classes fully remote amid outbreaks of COVID-19

A week after its first day of classes, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced it will be shifting all undergraduate classes remotely amid several outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus. Starting Wednesday, all undergraduate in-person instruction will go digital for the rest of the fall semester, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Executive Vice Chancellor Robert A. Blouin said in a letter to the school on Monday. The school leaders said the "current data presents an untenable situation." In the past week, from Aug. 10-16, the campus' positivity rate increased nearly fivefold, from 2.8% to 13.6%, officials said. During that period, there were 130 new confirmed cases in students and five in employees, according to the school's COVID-19 dashboard.
18th Aug 2020 - ABC News

Lab-based teaching re-imagined using augmented reality

The Department of Chemical Engineering is transforming the delivery of lab-based teaching using Microsoft HoloLens technology and augmented reality. Chemical engineers at Imperial have been transforming how they teach practical lab skills to students based remotely, as part of the new multi-mode offering for students in the new academic year. New and returning chemical engineering undergraduates will have the opportunity to use augmented reality (AR) to complete lab-based experiments, using Microsoft HoloLens technology to connect and interact from wherever they are in the world.
17th Aug 2020 - Imperial College London

‘Who are we willing to sacrifice?’: teachers’ fears grow as US schools plan reopenings

During a school board meeting in July over school reopening plans, Louise Radloff, the county school board chair, was caught on a hot mic telling another member, “I could strangle him”, in reference to another board member arguing in favor of starting school virtually. She has since apologized. Opponents’ fears are justified. Gwinnett county has reported more than 20,000 Covid-19 cases, with local infections rising over the past few weeks. Worried teachers have been holding caravan protests against in-person school reopenings.
17th Aug 2020 - The Guardian

After two delays, Zachary classrooms open to students; half the students are on virtual plan

After two delays, Zachary schools on Monday opened their doors to students for the first time since March, when facilities closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The school year was originally slated to begin Aug. 6. The Zachary Community School Board decided to push that date back to Aug. 10 to give staff extra time to prepare for teaching with extra safety precautions in place. Then, when several teachers had to quarantine because of coronavirus exposure, the start date was postponed once again.
17th Aug 2020 - The Advocate

CDC warns COVID-19 rates in children are 'steadily increasing' as they return to schools

Children accounted for 7.3 percent of all US coronavirus cases as of August 3 Officials said the juvenile transmission rate may have been low in the spring and early summer because of lockdowns and school closures. But that rate is expected to rise as more students return to schools this fall. More than 5.36 million coronavirus cases and 169,489 deaths have been reported in the US as of Sunday
17th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail


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Make online class more interactive; this way, they can complement physical classrooms post Covid

The entire class would have learnt about organ systems, with students collaborating in groups while also interacting as a class; all the while, the teacher plays a facilitatory and a supervisory role in knowledge exchange. From issues of access centred on digital connectivity, devices and literacy to the fact that it can’t replicate the social-emotional component of classroom learning, there are a fair number of criticisms of online learning. However, if education hasn’t surrendered completely to the pandemic and the need for distancing, it is because of online/on-air teaching. So, the effort has to be towards addressing its lacuna. Access simply needs enough administrative will to deal with; it is the limitations of technology that will prove challenging. Online education can never replace the classroom experience, but Sal Khan of the Khan Academy, writing in The New York Times, discussed ways to enrich the virtual classroom experience.
17th Aug 2020 - The Financial Express

‘A national crisis’: As coronavirus forces many schools online this fall, millions of disconnected students are being left behind

For all the talk of Generation Z’s Internet savvy, a stunning number of young people are locked out of virtual classes because they lack high-speed Internet service at home. In 2018, nearly 17 million children lived in homes without high-speed Internet, and more than 7 million did not have computers at home, according to a report prepared by a coalition of civil rights and education groups that analyzed census data for that year. The issue affects a disproportionately high percentage of Black, Latino and Native American households — with nearly one-third of students lacking high-speed Internet at home. Students in Southern states and in rural communities also were particularly overrepresented. In Mississippi and Arkansas, about 40 percent of students lacked high-speed Internet.
16th Aug 2020 - The Washington Post

An Arizona School District Canceled All Its Classes After Teachers Staged A Sickout Over Coronavirus Fears

A school district in Arizona that was set to open for in-person teaching on Monday was forced to cancel all classes after teachers staged a “sickout” to protest unsafe working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. "We have received an overwhelming response from staff indicating that they do not feel safe returning to classrooms with students," Gregory Wyman, superintendent of the J.O. Combs Unified School District, said in a letter to parents on Friday. "In response, we have received a high volume of staff absences for Monday citing health and safety concerns," Wyman said.
16th Aug 2020 - BuzzFeed News

Many private schools are planning to open in person as public schools are stuck online

In between fielding emails from parents about his school’s plan to reopen, Bud Tosti spent Tuesday unloading 120 desks at St. Katharine of Siena School in Wayne. “You can’t socially distance with tables,” Tosti, the Catholic elementary school’s principal, said after swapping desks into six classrooms. As public schools across the region have increasingly moved to reopen with online-only instruction, many private schools are pressing ahead with plans to bring children back to classrooms, saying they are taking precautions and can open safely.
16th Aug 2020 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Coronavirus response | Day care facilities scramble to accommodate virtual learners

Through the spring and summer, the YMCA has hosted 50 to 60 children, but as the fall draws closer and plans have changed for school districts across the area, Scott and his organization are planning something bigger. The local YMCA hopes to open at least five sites in Champaign-Urbana and a few others throughout Champaign County to host at least 200 K-5 students as they participate in remote learning. The students will be in classrooms with no more than 10 children and two adults. “We’ll set up (six) mini schools, if you will,” Scott said. “Obviously, we won’t have the same level of education as a school would, and, you know, 10 kids per room is going to make it easy for us to keep them distanced and safe. But we’re going to provide places where we can keep the numbers way down and we can keep them spaced out.”
16th Aug 2020 - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

COVID-19 rates in children are 'steadily increasing' and now account for 7.3% of all US cases, CDC warns - while top doctor urges kids returning to school to wear masks as ...

The CDC released new guidance on coronavirus in children on Friday. It showed that the number and rate of infections among children have been 'steadily increasing' between March and July. Children accounted for 7.3 percent of all US coronavirus cases as of August 3. Officials said the juvenile transmission rate may have been low in the spring and early summer because of lockdowns and school closures. But that rate is expected to rise as more students return to schools this fall. More than 5.36 million coronavirus cases and 169,489 deaths have been reported in the US as of Sunday
16th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail


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Georgia school with photos of packed hallways will curb in-person classes after coronavirus outbreak

About half the students at the Georgia high school, where a crowded hallway filled with maskless teens was captured on images and video that went viral, will return to classes next Monday under a new plan to mitigate crowding amid a growing count of novel coronavirus cases. The Paulding County School District announced Wednesday that students will return to North Paulding High School classrooms next week for in-person instruction, even though the school has reached 35 positive cases since students returned to class, according to a letter sent to parents and guardians obtained by a WXIA-TV reporter. The school in the Atlanta suburb of Dallas was shoved onto the national stage last week when at least two students shared pictures and video of a crowded hallway filled with their mostly maskless peers. The students were suspended for posting the images, a decision that was later reversed. The school shuttered its doors this week cleaning after six students and at least three staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus over the weekend.
13th Aug 2020 - The Washington Post

Coronavirus: What will going to university be like during a pandemic?

With results for A-level students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland published today, thousands of teenagers will find out if they’ve received a spot at a university. But with the continuing coronavirus pandemic, university is likely to be a bit different this year. There are many challenges facing UK universities - student and staff health and welfare, living arrangements, and how to do a socially distanced Freshers week. Here are just some of the ways university might change
13th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

Grand Blanc parents react to new virtual learning plan

COVID-19 is reshaping back to school plans across the region, for many there won't be an early morning bell or a bus ride with friends. That's the reality for families in Grand Blanc after the district voted unanimously to postpone in-person classes causing mixed emotions in the community on social media.
13th Aug 2020 - nbc25news.com

Audit slams Michigan oversight of remote learning as districts embrace it

As hundreds of thousands of Michigan schoolchildren gear up for “all virtual” classes amid the coronavirus pandemic, an audit released Thursday found the state can’t guarantee their effectiveness. The report from the Michigan Office of the Inspector General sharply criticized the state’s handling of existing online courses, saying education officials don’t have enough information on student performance and attendance of virtual classes. Without changes, auditors said there is a “potential negative impact that the absence of a well-developed evaluation strategy could have on advancing the achievement of virtual learners in traditional public schools.”
13th Aug 2020 - Bridge Michigan

Grandmother and educator believes virtual learning will help teach students about responsibilities

A former educator said she’s prepared to help navigate her three grandchildren through the virtual classroom. COVID-19 created a strange world for us all, especially for those in education. “No, I haven’t had to deal with anything like this,” said Dr. Oneida Wade Ingram. Ingram spent around 30 years of her life as an educator in Dooley County. She has many other titles under her belt which includes being listed as a substitute teacher now in Sumter County.
13th Aug 2020 - WTVY

Half of Pentagon's schools in US will do virtual learning

Despite President Donald Trump's push to open all schools, half of the Defense Department's schools in America will not open for in-person learning as the country struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic. In stark contrast, only two of the department's 68 schools in Europe will be operating remotely, underscoring the dramatic difference between the widespread outbreak in the U.S. and the success other countries have had in bringing it under control. Defense Department schools in the Pacific region will also be split, with 26 of the 45 facilities open for in-person learning. Trump on Wednesday repeated his call to reopen schools, and again pushed Congress to steer future coronavirus funding away from schools that don't open this fall. Most of the nation’s largest school districts, however, are planning to start the year with remote instruction.
13th Aug 2020 - YAHOO!

Oldham County Schools to heed Beshear's request and start upcoming year virtually

Oldham County Schools will heed Gov. Andy Beshear's request and start the upcoming academic year with virtual learning instead of in-person classes. Superintendent Greg Schultz told OCS parents in a message Tuesday afternoon that students who were planning start the 2020-21 school year on Aug. 24 with in-person classes will instead begin from home with nontraditional instruction, or NTI. Students who had planned on enrolling in the district's Virtual Learning Academy, or VLA, will also start Aug. 24, while preschoolers begin Aug. 31, Schultz said. VLA students must stick with the option until the end of the trimester on Nov. 12, when they could can to switch to in-person learning or continue on with virtual learning.
11th Aug 2020 - Courier Journal


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Return To The Classroom: How COVID-19 Has Affected Private Schools

Although students at Anne Arundel County public schools will continue to learn virtually because of COVID-19, many private schools will bring kids to the classroom this fall. Private schools are in the unique position of having smaller class sizes, carpools and the ability to meet all social distancing guidelines set by the Maryland State Department of Education for non-public schools and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) Many parents are transferring their students to private schools to get their education in person. “Since public schools announced their decision to go virtual, we have seen a real increase in our enrollment,” said Jamey Hein, head of school at St-Martin’s-in-the-Field Episcopal School. “We have been bringing in those families in these last few weeks. We were going to have an enrollment of about 160; we are looking at an enrollment of around 190 to 200 come September. Some of our public school families are looking to us to have their child educated face to face.”
13th Aug 2020 - pasadenavoice.com

How to Make Remote Learning Work for Your Children

When schools and day cares shut down in March, no one thought it would last more than a few months. But in the United States, the Covid-19 pandemic is nowhere near under control. That makes in-person schooling an iffy proposition in many parts of the country. Even if your school plans to have students on campus for at least part of the school year, it’s wise to prepare for repeated shutdowns, closures, or quarantines when children, teachers, and staff test positive for Covid-19. Remote learning is here to stay, so we spoke to several edtech experts about identifying possible obstacles and aiming for reasonable goals.
12th Aug 2020 - WIRED

New Jersey Gives Schools an All-Remote Option

Gov. Philip D. Murphy is giving New Jersey districts the option to offer all-virtual classes when school resumes next month, relaxing his original requirement that teachers provide some in-person classroom instruction. The policy shift comes as the state’s powerful teachers union for the first time publicly called for an all-virtual start to the school year given the risks still posed by the coronavirus.
12th Aug 2020 - The New York Times

In Class or Virtual: Allergy Families Grapple with School's Return

“It took a lot for me to send her to a public school, period,” says Garver, explaining that she worried that her daughter’s multiple food allergies would not be taken seriously. The mother of two had worked closely with the school to make staff aware of Lia’s food allergies, and to get safety measures in place, such as added supervision for her daughter during meal time. By first grade, Garver was getting more comfortable with her daughter being in the classroom – and then the pandemic hit. At the end of the drive-by graduation parade route, a staff member handed Garver an envelope from the school nurse. Inside was a letter advising that, due to Lia’s asthma and multiple food allergies, if the pandemic persisted, it would be better for the 7-year-old to stick with the online curriculum for the fall. If she wanted to return to the classroom, a doctor would need to clear it.
12th Aug 2020 - Allergic Living

Trump claims remote learning 'is not the answer' in a bid to get schools open by the fall

Trump was speaking at the White House on Wednesday when he touted schools reopening, asserting remote learning 'is not the answer.' 'It is interesting because one thing we've learned during this horror show of the virus is that virtual is not as good as being there,' he said. Also during Wednesday's remarks, President Trump boasted about providing various school districts with up to 125million reusable masks
12th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

The coronavirus has sparked a surge in interest in cyber charter schools | Opinion

Pennsylvania’s 14 public cyber charter schools have been in the news lately as thousands of families seek to enroll their children for the new school year. Parents are choosing public cyber charter schools, because we know how to educate students online. We have been teaching children in virtual classrooms for 20 years now. We know what works. We know what doesn't work. As innovators in public education, our cyber charter leaders want to help all schools with their virtual education programs. Specifically, we want to make sure every brick-and-mortar school – district, private or charter – can educate students online if schools are closed again this fall.
12th Aug 2020 - pennlive.com

Making online learning work for students

Conducting schooling activities online has constrained several aspects of students’ learning process, especially in the socio-emotional development area. Yet, amid the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have had no choice but to make do with the virtual learning platforms available in order to maintain children’s and teachers’ health. One of the schools that continues to conduct its classes online is Sinarmas World Academy (SWA) in Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD), South Tangerang city, Banten. SWA board chairman Anton Mailoa said that although the BSD area was a safe zone, but the school had students from various areas in Greater Jakarta, including those that were red zones for the coronavirus outbreak.
12th Aug 2020 - Jakarta Post

14 Students Choose Online Only At Lookout Mountain School; Some Teaching Will Be Outdoors

With school beginning, there are a lot of changes, Commissioner of Schools Brooke Pippenger told the Lookout Mountain, Tn., Commissioners on Tuesday afternoon. Changes from the Hamilton County Board of Education have been coming daily and different information is coming to the school throughout the day, she said after spending some time at Lookout Mountain School. The school will open using Hamilton County’s hybrid phase 2 plan, which will include both in person and online learning.
12th Aug 2020 - The Chattanoogan


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Coronavirus spurs enrollment explosion for Pa. cyberschools

To say interest in K-12 cyber education for this fall is exploding is clearly an understatement. PA Cyber, a cyber charter school based in Beaver County, is receiving 1,000 inquiries about its programs each week. The school already has reached its 11,677-student limit – 2,000 more students than it usually has enrolled at the start of school – and has thousands of names on a waiting list. Over on the other side of the state, PA Virtual Charter School in Montgomery County has implemented a lottery system for the first time in its 20-year history. The number of enrollments it had at the end of July is three times the number it had at the same time last year.
12th Aug 2020 - PA Post

Coronavirus: Online learning is here to stay, says global education survey

To say interest in K-12 cyber education for this fall is exploding is clearly an understatement. PA Cyber, a cyber charter school based in Beaver County, is receiving 1,000 inquiries about its programs each week. The school already has reached its 11,677-student limit – 2,000 more students than it usually has enrolled at the start of school – and has thousands of names on a waiting list. Over on the other side of the state, PA Virtual Charter School in Montgomery County has implemented a lottery system for the first time in its 20-year history. The number of enrollments it had at the end of July is three times the number it had at the same time last year.
11th Aug 2020 - The National

Teachers, students head back to virtual classrooms

In a back-to-school day unlike any other before it, the first group of Santa Clarita Valley K-12 students and teachers returned to the classroom via a distance learning format Tuesday. The William S. Hart Union High School District and the Castaic Union School District booted up their computers and online programs for the first day of the school year. The Saugus Union School District is set to start classes Wednesday; the Newhall and Sulphur Springs Union school districts are set to resume Thursday. For the first to return, starting in an online teaching environment was a new experience for teachers who weren’t involved in the previous year but, naturally, it’s being treated as a learning opportunity.
11th Aug 2020 - Santa Clarita Valley Signal


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COVID-19 is widening the education gap. This is how we can stop it

Coronavirus-induced school closures in the US has removed a safety-net for many, going beyond education. Virtual classrooms are highlighting social inequalities, be it differences in home furnishings or a lack of internet to even join the call. Just as important as how virtual the autumn 2020 term should be, is the question of how inclusive it can be made.
10th Aug 2020 - World Economic Forum

Is this new online-only private school the future of education?

Virtual classrooms, pastoral care via Zoom: as a new online-only school opens up, is this a better option for children post Covid?
10th Aug 2020 - Telegraph.co.uk

Coronavirus: Frontier Elementary student tests positive, classroom moves to temporary virtual learning

An elementary school student who attended Frontier Elementary Aug. 6 and 7 tested positive for coronavirus, Superintendent Dan Sichting confirmed Monday. In response, the student’s classroom was switched to remote learning for Monday and plans to return to in-person teaching Tuesday, Sichting said. The student is asymptomatic and was tested after he was in contact with a person who tested positive, Sichting said. Frontier School Corp. restarted the school year Aug. 6, offering both an in-person and virtual option for students. The elementary school is located in Brookston, about 14 miles north of Lafayette. Frontier Junior/Senior High School and school district office are four miles north of there, in Chalmers. Students and teachers in other classrooms at Frontier Elementary and at Frontier Junior/Senior High School were not in contact with the student, Sichting said, and continue to operate for in-person classes.
10th Aug 2020 - Journal & Courier

Gov. Andy Beshear recommends virtual learning for Kentucky schools until Sept. 28

Citing fresh concern over the state's COVID-19 cases and positivity rate, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that Kentucky schools should now wait to resume in-person classes until Sept. 28. The Democratic governor had recommended in late July that schools postpone in-person instruction until at least the third week of August. In giving his new recommendation for K-12 schools, Beshear said Monday that the state had taken "good steps" to fight COVID-19 but that "we do not have control of the virus."
10th Aug 2020 - Courier Journal

'A lot to learn': 27-year teacher goes digital during coronavirus

Twenty-seven years of teaching have boosted Kristin Barrus’s confidence inside the classroom. “I could teach standing on my head on any normal school day,” the sixth-grade teacher recently told EdNews. But 2020-21 isn’t any normal school year. K-12 leaders and health officials are still wrestling with how to safely reopen Idaho’s schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. Trustees in the state’s biggest districts last week responded by delaying the school year and voting to go fully online.
10th Aug 2020 - Idaho EdNews

Iowa teachers 'working feverishly' to create online curriculum in time for start of school

Educators in Eastern Iowa have spent their summer creating virtual classrooms for students enrolled in online learning to avoid exposure to COVID-19 in schools. While online education in the spring was reactive as schools hastily closed because of the coronavirus in mid-March, online learning for this fall is proactive, said Ty Haren, a sixth-grade Wickham Elementary School teacher in Coralville, who has spent the past several months creating an online Language Arts curriculum for kindergarten through sixth-grade students in the Iowa City Community School District. “This isn’t our preferred way of doing things, but at the same time it’s asking the question of what are the health needs of our families, students and teachers,” Harem said.
10th Aug 2020 - The Gazette

Rabbi-dad starts online US Jewish day school to help families through pandemic

“Are you worried about sending kids to school physically next year?” Rank wrote. “If you’re interested in Jewish education amidst all this, let’s talk; I’m building a network now.” At the time, Rank may have sounded like a pessimist: Many summer camps hadn’t even been canceled yet. With the disease appearing to be in retreat in most places, the idea of an online fall semester seemed far-fetched. But now, with the disease widespread and schools across the country reopening online, Rank looks more like a prophet. And the conversation he began that day has yielded the outlines of an online Jewish elementary school program: Yesod, or foundation in Hebrew.
10th Aug 2020 - The Times of Israel


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London school 'must have back-up plan in case of second coronavirus lockdown'

London schools must have a back-up plan in case of a new lockdown, an education technology adviser said today. Simon Carter, director at RM Education, said schools should have a “hybrid approach” of classroom and remote lessons, and teachers need more training in using technology for distance learning. He said: “Schools and colleges must have an effective continuity plan. In the event that we see another lockdown here in London and the closure of schools, teachers require a clear understanding of what to do; and the different methods of remote learning.
8th Aug 2020 - Evening Standard

COVID-19 Roundup: UNC holds firm on reopening; Hopkins and UMass pivot; Syracuse suspends nondistancing students

Johns Hopkins University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst were among the latest institutions Thursday to rethink their plans for the fall. "We write today with a profound sense of regret and intense disappointment to share the news that we will not be able to return in person to campus this fall as we had hoped," Johns Hopkins president, provost and vice president for student affairs wrote to undergraduates late Thursday. "With the full support of the board of trustees, we have come to the difficult but necessary decision that the fall semester will be entirely online for our undergraduates." The administrators "strongly" urged students who had planned to come to Baltimore for the fall "not to do so," said virtually all campus facilities would be closed, and announced a 10 percent reduction in fall tuition.
9th Aug 2020 - Inside Higher Ed

Increase in COVID-19 cases prompts change of plans for Madison County Schools

Madison County Schools announced a change in its back-to-school plan. On Aug. 5, the district announced it would be changing from its initial goal of Plan B to online instruction. This comes after one school in the county has already reported a COVID-19 outbreak. Wednesday's announcement stated that the county had seen a 50% increase in positive cases over 10 days, including an infant and a school-aged child who tested positive, and one death in the community
9th Aug 2020 - WLOS

At the elite Shipley school in Bryn Mawr, money is no object in coronavirus-reopening plans

For the price of $24,000 to $40,000 per child in tuition, here is how one of the most prestigious private schools in suburban Philadelphia is planning to get around the problem of a coronavirus pandemic that is forcing the shutdown of in-class instruction at many public schools this fall. Spoiler alert: The kids get to go to class. In person. Every single day of the week. The Shipley School is aiming for this lofty outcome through a staggering array of if-then statements and contingency plans shared with me a few days ago by head of school Michael Turner. By the end of our one-hour-long talk, it felt as though I had just interviewed a logistics chief of a major corporation. Every education administrator has been scrambling. But only a few have the resources of a place like Shipley, a fact that in and of itself, is both breathtaking and distressing.
9th Aug 2020 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Parents look to private schools for in-person instruction as school districts announce online starts

As more schools announce online starts for fall amid the pandemic, parents are looking to private schools for face-to-face instruction. Private schools across the U.S. have reported an uptick in interest from families as local public schools roll out online or hybrid fall plans. Parents say they need their children to be in-school so they can be engaged while parents work.
9th Aug 2020 - CNBC

The Latest: Hawaii schools to open year with remote learning

Hawaii officials say the state’s public school students will begin the academic year with remote learning only, after a spike of coronavirus cases. Gov. David Ige said Friday that all public students will spend the first four weeks of the school year learning online from home. Officials had originally planned to start the year with a mostly hybrid model in which students would alternate between online and in-person classes. The state will go to the hybrid approach in September if community transmission of the virus is brought under control. Oahu has seen the majority of new cases in recent weeks, filling up hospital beds and spurring officials to close beaches, parks and hiking trails.
8th Aug 2020 - ABC News

Are families ready for online instruction? | Coronavirus

The workstations in Lydia Santiago’s home classroom are arranged where her six kids will learn best, she said. The dining room table. The couch. The beanbag chair. And for one particularly athletic child, the trampoline out back. “I’d rather have the kids seated comfortably where they want to learn than force a place on them,” Santiago said.
8th Aug 2020 - Santa Fe New Mexican

‘Learning pods’ could help NC families with online education

This year, that stress is compounded by the massive societal and institutional changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns about the safety of students and teachers. In-person learning has been delayed in many districts, leaving parents who work outside the home seeking solutions. There are also concerns about the socialization skills children miss when all their learning is virtual. An increasingly popular idea being embraced by parents in the Triangle and across the nation is the “learning pod” solution, a system in which parents form cohorts to take on a small number of kids and guide them through virtual instruction. This solution not only leaves parents free to focus on their jobs, it allows kids to study alongside other kids.
8th Aug 2020 - San Francisco Chronicle

Kentucky teachers union says COVID-19 positivity rate too high to resume in-person classes

Kentucky's teachers union said Friday that the state's public schools should not resume in-person instruction until COVID-19 positivity rates at the state and county levels fall and remain below 4%. "By every objective measure, and without public schools being open at all during the last few months, the coronavirus situation in Kentucky at this moment is far worse than it was in March," the Kentucky Education Association said Friday in a statement. "If we all believed it wasn't safe to operate schools then, how can it possibly be safe to reopen now?" KEA said schools should not resume in-person instruction until, "at the minimum," the infection rate for both the state and the county in which a school district is located "fall below 4% and both remain below 4% for 21 consecutive days as measured by a 7-day rolling average." "Districts must also consider other factors unique to their own communities," KEA said, "such as the infection rate among school-aged children and whether the Department of Public Health supports their reopening plan."
7th Aug 2020 - Courier Journal


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John Hopkins switches to virtual fall semester as pandemic worsens, urges students not to return to Baltimore

Johns Hopkins University will hold its fall semester entirely online for undergraduates, a reversal of plans and the latest sign of the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. School officials strongly urged students not to return to Baltimore. They also acknowledged the change of plans — coming just weeks before classes resume — would create a real hardship for many families and announced efforts to ease that burden.
6th Aug 2020 - The Washington Post

Fearing coronavirus and missed classes, many parents prefer mixing online and in-person school, poll finds

Most American parents think it is unsafe to send their children back to school given the risks of the novel coronavirus, and more than 80 percent favor holding school at least partly online, according to a Washington Post-Schar School survey conducted by Ipsos. But parents also express serious concerns with online schooling and many are drawn to systems that mix the two. The mixed feelings reflect deep and widespread anxiety among parents as they approach the end of a summer break that has produced no national consensus on how to balance the risks of the virus against the academic, social and economic impacts of keeping schools closed.
6th Aug 2020 - The Washington Post

'Hoping it goes well': Students among first to return offer lessons for reopening schools

Abigail Alexander shuffled through a stack of papers, trying to find instructions for logging in to her school-issued laptop. The 10-year-old chatted with her best friend, a fellow fifth grader, about who is in their classes this year at Head Middle Magnet Prep and what period they have a specific teacher. Their conversation Tuesday sounded like a typical one between excited, anxious students on the first day at a new school – except this year is like no other. Abigail was seated in the dining room of her North Nashville home while her two younger foster siblings played around the table. Her friend was on FaceTime, the phone propped up against the side of Abigail's laptop.
6th Aug 2020 - USA TODAY

Georgia school starts 1st day of classes, within hours student tests positive for coronavirus

An elementary school in Georgia opened its doors to students on Monday for the first day of the 2020-21 academic year — also the first time since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March. Hours later, a Grade 2 student tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the classroom at Sixes Elementary School in Cherokee County to close and the teacher and 20 other students to quarantine for two weeks.
6th Aug 2020 - Global News


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Impact of coronavirus on projects supporting student mental health: sharing of emerging practice

"The impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition" is the first report published through the two-year programme and has been developed to contribute to the emerging body of practice exploring and responding to the impact of the pandemic. The report’s findings are drawn from interviews conducted with project leads, project staff and project partners. The interviews were conducted shortly after the March 2020 lockdown restrictions were put in place and were limited only to those projects funded by the OfS. Its findings will be useful more widely for universities, colleges, and other stakeholders in understanding and responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
5th Aug 2020 - FE News

Columbus teacher taking break from the classroom, offering virtual learning help

Parents are not the only ones weighing their options for this upcoming school year. One Columbus teacher said she is taking a break from the classroom this year. However, she won’t be taking a break from teaching altogether. “I’m excited that I can do this for people. I can help them,” said Khelsi Stone who is certified to teach K - 5. Stone, who taught kindergarten and second grade in Columbus, said something was telling her to take a break from the classroom and take this year for herself amid the pandemic. “To take this year for my mental health, to breathe, and to make sure that I’m 110 percent ready for the kids,” Stone explained.
6th Aug 2020 - WTVM

US coronavirus: Quit my job, or risk serious illness? Parents and teachers face grueling decisions as schools reopen

About 260 employees at Forehand's school district have already been infected or exposed to coronavirus, Gwinnett County Public Schools said. At least one teacher has resigned after being denied the option to teach from home. "I have a lot of fears. The community spread is still very high," Forehand said. "I have asthma. My 2-year-old son is showing indications he as well has asthma." Like virtually all teachers, Forehand said, she wants in-person learning to resume as soon as possible -- once it's safe to do so. But "right now, I am actually afraid for my life," she said. "And I'm not going to be able to teach any children if I am having to take extended medical leave, or if I die."
5th Aug 2020 - CNN on MSN.com

Teacher who was charged $2,000 for resigning COVID-19 concerns launches online school

An Arizona teacher has left his job during the novel coronavirus pandemic after his district required all educators to return to the classroom for virtual learning. Tavious Peterkin, from Surprise, Arizona, was scheduled to begin his first year at Dysart Unified School District. Peterkin has been teaching for 15 years and was hired to teach band and choir. Peterkin said he was told to prepare to teach virtual learning inside the classroom starting in August, and face-to-face instruction would begin sometime in October.
5th Aug 2020 - GMA

Coronavirus US: Georgia class shuts down as student infected

Teacher and 20 students from a second grade class at Sixes Elementary School in Cherokee County have now been ordered to quarantine. More than three-quarters of Cherokee County's 42,000 school students returned to classes on Monday to commence the 2020-21 academic year. Mask-wearing is only optional, and images of students failing to social distance at various schools have caused alarm among parents. Several other school districts in Georgia are also on alert after multiple employees tested positive to COVID-19. Meanwhile, a student in Indiana was also diagnosed with the virus after interacting with classmates on the first day back at school
5th Aug 2020 - Daily Mail


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COVID-19 boosts digitization of higher education in Bangladesh

At the start of this year, most universities in Bangladesh lacked basic learning management systems and digital infrastructure. So, when institutions were required to close because of COVID-19, educators could no longer teach. The country’s University Grants Commission (UGC) rose to the challenge and introduced policies requiring all universities to go digital, to make teaching and learning activities accessible online—including admissions. Within four months, digitization was mainstreamed. An average of around 3,800 classes are held online daily with more than 220,000 students in attendance. Thus far, a total of around 203,200 classes have been conducted to more than 9.2 million attendees by 10,200 faculty members.
5th Aug 2020 - World Bank Group

Staying secure online as children return for virtual learning amid COVID-19 pandemic

As a parent, are you really prepared to protect your child from online scammers and hackers? More students will be online than ever before this Fall with virtual learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. That could set your student up to fall victim to online hackers. In the cyber world anything is possible, and the hackers know it. Students at Gulf Shores City Schools and at Baldwin County schools are all issued computers or iPads to take home. This Fall, close to 10% of the students at Gulf Shores City Schools have chosen online learning instead of going to the classroom.
5th Aug 2020 - NBC 15 WPMI

How Teachers Can Build Communities In Online Classrooms

Answer by Frank Spors, Associate Professor at Western University of Health Sciences: Establishing a sense of community or belonging in the classroom is important to developing trust among students and with their instructors, which goes a long way to fostering student engagement and learning success. In a face-to-face in-class environment, several factors affect the sense of community and impact student morale and learning.....
4th Aug 2020 - Forbes

Mobile area teachers becoming online tutors to help struggling virtual students

Tracy Borner-Washington knows her way around any classroom. She spent 20 years teaching in both public and private schools in Mobile. “When COVID-19 hit back in March, it just became clearer to me that my purpose was to offer services on another type of platform,” she said. Borner-Washington started an online tutoring company called Innovate Preparatory Academy and Educational Consulting Center. She hired several current and retired teachers to tutor struggling students virtually after hearing parents’ concerns about virtual classroom challenges. “They are concerned about some barriers to learning with the kids learning from online,” Borner-Washington said.
4th Aug 2020 - NBC 15 WPMI


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As COVID-19 rate rises, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts calls for remote start to 2020-2021 sch

Another Massachusetts teachers union is calling for school districts to start remotely, citing the slow rise of COVID-19 rates, testing delays and lack of proper ventilation in school buildings as red flags. The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, a union of 23,000 educators, raised concerns about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, which Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders called a “slow creep” during last week’s news conference. As of Sunday, the state’s positive test rate over seven days rose to 2.2%, in part due to increases over the weekend.
3rd Aug 2020 - MassLive.com

Coronavirus: How pandemic pods and zutors are changing home-schooling

When the number of coronavirus cases began to rise in the San Francisco area in early July, mother of one Lian Chikako Chang started a Facebook group to support local families and teachers who were suddenly facing the prospect of schools not opening in person as planned in mid-August. The "Pandemic Pods" group, which aims to help with childcare and schooling needs, grew to more than 30,000 members within three weeks, as areas across the US were hit by Covid-19 spikes and more schools decided to stay shut. "Families were left scrabbling for solutions," says Ms Chang. "Most parents have to work, and most jobs are not compatible with home-schooling".
3rd Aug 2020 - BBC News

San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel asks district leaders to keep campuses closed until it’s safe

San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel asking for virtual-only instruction for at least the first nine weeks of school
3rd Aug 2020 - KSAT San Antonio

What are the chances of getting infected with COVID-19 at a school?

You may think of this incident as a coalmine canary this week. The very day, in fact only hours after Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana opened, it found its first COVID-19 case. An infected student unknowingly walked the halls and sat in classrooms before the school enacted its “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol,” which isolated the student and started contact tracing among teachers, staff and classmates. The New York Times calculated the likelihood that an infected student could arrive at any given county school in the country. The static screenshots I am including below do not do justice to this brilliant work. These maps are interactive, so go to the Times’ page and look at counties in your area.
3rd Aug 2020 - Poynter

What Could School Be Like in the Fall? Summer School in Detroit Offers a Preview

When public schools here opened for summer instruction, protesters blocked school buses and challenged the opening in a lawsuit. In-person learning was too risky, they said, amid the pandemic. On July 21, a judge ordered the school district to test all in-person students for Covid-19. Only three students—less than 1% of those attending in-person classes—have tested positive, according to school authorities and the Detroit Health Department. Detroit’s foray into in-person summer school offers a glimpse of what students and parents may face when more schools reopen in the fall as the pandemic continues.
3rd Aug 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Reopening schools amid COVID-19: A mix of in-person attendance, remote learning and hybrid plans

Every state’s education department is releasing a roadmap to safely reopening schools. This roadmap is only a guidance and it is not mandated, or state required. Local school districts have the authority and flexibility to make decisions that best accommodate their communities. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed executive orders, directives, and guidelines issued by either governors or education and health departments to create a list of restrictions and safety recommendations for resuming in-person instruction in every state
3rd Aug 2020 - USA TODAY


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Victoria schools: how Covid-19 lockdown will affect education, remote learning and childcare

As Melbourne moves into stage four restrictions and regional Victoria to stage three, learning and childcare will look different throughout the state.Schools across the state will return to remote learning while on-site supervision will be offered for students who need it
2nd Aug 2020 - The Guardian on MSN.com

Schools' plan B for autumn Covid spike: online lessons for all

Schools are getting ready to carry on teaching pupils at home in case a second wave of the coronavirus prevents them from reopening in the autumn. They are drawing up a plan B even though Boris Johnson insisted last week that it was a “national priority” to have all pupils back in classrooms in September. If children do return, some secondary schools and teaching unions have demanded that they wear masks in lessons. Robert Halfon, the Tory chairman of the education select committee, said children and parents should not be forced to endure more “catastrophic failures” of the kind made during the lockdown.
2nd Aug 2020 - The Times

IIM Lucknow to start virtual classes on August 4 over Covid-19 concerns

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow will start classes on the virtual mode for the new batch (2020-22) from August 4 to overcome the covid-19 challenge, which has disrupted conventional classroom teaching since March 2020. The online classes will begin for the incoming 36th batch of Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) and of Post Graduate Programme in Management in Agri Business Management (PGP ABM). Recently, IIM Calcutta also announced that it would start online classes for its students on August 10.
2nd Aug 2020 - Business Standard

YourSpace: Virtual learning is a safe option now, say Pune readers

The coronavirus situation has forced the shift towards online classes. Is online education the best way to assess a child’s academic progress? What are the pros and cons of brick-and-mortar and virtual classrooms? Readers share their take on the ‘homebound’ form of education
2nd Aug 2020 - Hindustan Times

Victoria shuts down schools and brings back remote learning in bid to control coronavirus outbreak

Melbourne goes into Stage 4 lockdown from 6pm on Sunday and rest to Stage 3 Curfew bans anyone being out 8pm-5am unless working or on medical grounds Premier Daniel Andrews announced schools will be closed to control outbreak Students will go back to at-home learning for the duration of the six-weeks
2nd Aug 2020 - Daily Mail

An Arizona superintendent on safely reopening schools: 'It's a fantasy'

The governor has told us we have to open our schools to students on August 17th, or else we miss out on five percent of our funding. I run a high-needs district in middle-of-nowhere Arizona. We’re 90 percent Hispanic and more than 90 percent free-and-reduced lunch. These kids need every dollar we can get. But covid is spreading all over this area and hitting my staff, and now it feels like there’s a gun to my head. I already lost one teacher to this virus. Do I risk opening back up even if it’s going to cost us more lives? Or do we run school remotely and end up depriving these kids?
1st Aug 2020 - The Washington Post


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Coronavirus: Hundreds more families homeschooling after lockdown

More families are choosing to homeschool their children since New Zealand came out of the coronavirus lockdown. Ministry of Education figures show a surge in homeschooling applications since alert level 4 in March, with 552 received between then and May. Three hundred applications were received in June – the highest recorded in any month this year. In February, when school started, only 174 applications were received.
30th Jul 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

Survey data reveal impact of COVID-19 on perceptions of online education

If the world weren’t in the grip of a pandemic, the choice to study online, in person or something in between would be roughly the same among men and women, according to recent survey results. Factoring in COVID-19, however, paints a different picture -- one where women are much less likely than men to choose to study in person, and much more likely to pick a fully online education option.
30th Jul 2020 - Inside Higher Ed

Canberra universities welcome students to real and virtual classrooms in semester two

The University of Canberra campus is slowly coming back to life as students and academics prepare for the start of semester two in the COVID-19 world. When coursework begins on Monday, there won't be the usual large lectures and tutorials teeming with students. There will be hand sanitising stations and extra cleaning of shared spaces. Deputy vice-chancellor academic Professor Geoff Crisp said large lectures and classes that would exceed four people per square metres would be delivered online while smaller classes that could respect physical distancing rules would go ahead on campus.
30th Jul 2020 - The Canberra Times

University of Guam to offer most courses online

Due to surges in COVID-19 cases, the University of Guam will offer most courses online for the upcoming semester. “In certain cases, limited-contact hybrid courses will be available and, only when it is absolutely required, face-to-face classes will be offered,” Anita Enriquez, senior vice president and provost at the University of Guam, said in a memo. The university instituted enrollment caps for online classes and will continue standardized courses through Moodle, a free learning management system. Faculty and staff will complete professional development via an online module, according to the memo.
30th Jul 2020 - Pacific Daily News

Coronavirus: NYC reveals more health and safety protocols for schools

After announcing a plan earlier this month to reopen schools partially in-person, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza have now shared more details on their health and safety protocols, including testing and tracing measures. Students and staff who are feeling sick will be required to stay home and asked to get tested if their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. If there is a confirmed case in a classroom, all students and teachers in close contact with that person will have to self-quarantine for 14 days, and the classroom will transition to remote learning during that time. A school will close and go fully virtual for 14 days if a link is unable to be determined between at least two cases.
30th Jul 2020 - ABC News

Bracing for COVID-19 in school, Phillipsburg approves hybrid start to year with coronavirus protections

The 2020-21 school year is set to begin with a hybrid of in-class and online instruction in the Phillipsburg School District due to the coronavirus. The board of education on Thursday night approved the detailed return-to-school plan crafted by Superintendent Gregory Troxell with input from focus groups, committees and questionnaires.
30th Jul 2020 - lehighvalleylive.com


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Round 2 of online school: How to get your remote learning act together for fall

USA TODAY consulted with four homeschooling experts to help parents transform their home into a more ideal classroom environment. What can you buy to optimize your kid's academic performance? How can you help them through this experience? Scroll through to see what tips and tricks can help you get your remote learning act together for kids of all ages. Back to school: How to salvage special back-to-school moments amid a pandemic - Reviewed: Considering homeschooling? Here's what you need to know
29th Jul 2020 - USA TODAY

Denver Public Schools delays in-person learning to at least mid-October for most students

Denver Public Schools is again delaying the start of in-person classes over concerns about COVID-19, extending remote learning for most students through at least mid-October, the district announced Wednesday. Most of the more than 93,000 students who attend schools in Colorado’s largest district will take classes virtually through Oct. 16, though small groups of children deemed to be high priorities for in-person instruction may return to schools after Labor Day. The extension of remote learning through the first quarter of the school year comes after considering Denver’s rate of COVID-19 infection as well as a belief that “we’ll need to return to this (online-only) option during the school year in response to changing health conditions,” Superintendent Susana Cordova wrote in a letter to school leaders Wednesday obtained by The Denver Post.
29th Jul 2020 - The Denver Post

COVID: US schools open or not, students of colour bear the brunt

As schools are set to reopen across the country in various forms, Black and Latino children will be disproportionally affected, regardless if schools remain physically closed or if they reopen. According to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), children of colour are more likely to fall behind the longer they stay home from school because they have limited access to critical resources and their parents have more health and economic fears - raising concerns that the pandemic will only exacerbate inequities in American society.
29th Jul 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Boomer grandparents can give working parents a virtual hall pass for kids' online school

As Doodle and I got into a screen-centered rhythm for how to sequence assignments and when to take breaks, elsewhere in the under-furnished house, we could hear his mother and father participating in video meetings with their colleagues. I watched his sweet face computing sums on his personal math links, and marveled at how social justice awareness illuminated his lessons, prepared by his remarkable teachers back in Brooklyn. The young educators pre-recorded short videos while he and his classmates were sleeping; on the videos, I often heard ambulance sirens outside their apartments.
29th Jul 2020 - USA TODAY


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Teacher's association says in-classroom learning isn't safe yet

The Utah Education Association says it is not safe to return to in-person learning in the fall. The association says they had been working on plans for a safe return to school, but with COVID-19 cases where they are, they don’t think there’s a way to do it safely. They want to the state to start the year learning online. “We’re not expendable. We can’t be having an experiment going into this school year," said Heidi Matthews, president of UEA.
29th Jul 2020 - KUTV 2News

FEATURE--Pandemic turns smartphones from luxury to must-have as India's schools go online

Neither he nor his wife have ever been online, and so far only their children have been making use of it. With no clear sign of schools reopening soon, internet access has become a must for children to follow classes, prompting more low-income families to scrape together the money to buy a cheap or second-hand smartphone for the first time. And with a school population of some 240 million, it could prove a boon for sales of low-cost devices to new users, industry analysts say, noting signs of an increase in purchases of used handsets in rural areas.
28th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

A quarter of CT students went MIA when COVID closed schools. Could holding live, online classes lure them back?

The pandemic has complicated that model. With many expecting schools to close again this upcoming school year as the virus rages around the country, educators must figure out how to lure online the 137,000 children throughout Connecticut who either didn’t participate in remote learning at all or did so minimally after school buildings closed last March.
28th Jul 2020 - The CT Mirror

Private tuition is thriving with schools closed during COVID-19

UK schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic, and parents turned to private, online tutors to help educate their children. Sign-ups to become tutors have rocketed during the COVID-19 crisis, and parents are using online tutors to plug the gaps in home teaching. Business Insider spoke to tutors to find out what it's been like to teach children online — and to discuss whether online tuition will last after lockdown.
28th Jul 2020 - Business Insider

Amid COVID-19, schools can opt for hybrid return in fall

After school districts were required to submit detailed reopening plans to the state last week, Gov. Ned Lamont has told districts that instead of full in-person learning models, they can opt for a hybrid model this fall. Lamont and state Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced the change at a news conference Monday while answering questions from reporters after announcing results from recent surveys about back-to-school expectations. The news took some local school officials by surprise, they told The Day on Tuesday, as districts had been told to plan for a full reopening, as well as planning for the ability to quickly pivot between a hybrid learning model — or a combination of in-person and virtual learning — and out-of-school virtual learning, depending on how COVID-19 transmission rates fluctuate.
28th Jul 2020 - The Day


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Guatemala teacher pedals classroom to students during coronavirus pandemic

Each day, the 27-year-old pedals among the cornfields of Santa Cruz del Quiché to give individual instruction to his sixth-grade students. On a recent day, 12-year-old Paola Ximena Conoz wiped her glasses as she waited for Ixcoy to set up just outside the door to her home. They greeted each other warmly — though without contact. Ixcoy deployed the mop that measures the distance between him and his students. Standing behind the plexiglass window of his tricycle, he produced a pizza box. The day’s lesson: fractions. Ixcoy is known universally as “Lalito 10,” a childhood nickname that stuck. He tries to visit each of his students twice a week.
27th Jul 2020 - America Magazine

Education & COVID-19: New Jersey still prioritizing in-person learning as abnormal school year nears

New Jersey officials are urging school districts to prioritize in-person instruction this fall, a push that falls in line with updated recommendations issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virtual learning ideally should compliment classroom learning, Gov. Phil Murphy stressed Monday. Still, he acknowledged the school year will be abnormal due to protocols designed to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
27th Jul 2020 - PhillyVoice.com

Cecil County Schools Will Begin Fall Semester Online; Some Small Groups Of Students Will Get Face-To-Face Learning

Most public school students in Cecil County will begin the 2020-2021 school year virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cecil County Public Schools announced on Monday they will begin a “virtual classroom model” for students on September 1. Small groups of students “based on the needs of children” will be able to take part in face-to-face instruction beginning the following week.
27th Jul 2020 - CBS Baltimore


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School heads and teachers in Croatia satisfied with online classes

At the start of this month the Ministry of Science and Education conducted two surveys on the efficiency of online classes during the coronavirus outbreak, which showed a generally high level of satisfaction with remote classes, the ministry said earlier this week. One survey covered school heads and the other teachers and expert assistants, and both returned positive results. The survey for school heads was carried out after the school year was over, in late June and early July, with 1,106 primary and secondary schools responding to it, which is about 85% of all schools in the country. The survey for teachers and expert assistants was conducted in virtual classrooms. It covered 3,791 respondents, whose participation was voluntary and anonymous.
26th Jul 2020 - Croatia Week

Tennessee teachers call for schools to start online amid ongoing coronavirus spikes

Tennessee teachers are calling for schools to reopen for online instruction only next month amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis across the state. Nashville's teachers union, the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association, is hosting a mock funeral procession, or "die-in," Monday evening "mourning the loss of effective leadership," according to the group's Facebook page. The group is demanding that students and teachers not go physically back into classrooms until each county has gone at least 14 days without new confirmed COVID-19 cases.
26th Jul 2020 - Tennessean

‘Home-Schooling Won’t Kill Us. Covid-19 Might.’

“Of all the American institutions the pandemic has shut down, none face pressure to reopen quite like schools do,” Sarah Darville writes in this week’s Sunday Review. In the past few weeks we’ve heard from multiple contributors, columnists and the editorial board about whether or not schools should reopen for in-person classes this fall. And in the thousands of comments on these pieces, parents and teachers weighed the dangers and the repercussions of continued virtual learning.
26th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Virtual Summer School gets New Zealand's perspective of Covid-19

The deputy director for general data and digital at New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has said the coronavirus pandemic in the country has been a “wild ride” but there is “still a lot more to do”. Speaking on day two of the Digital Health Virtual Summer School, Shayne Hunter spoke to attendees in an early morning session about New Zealand’s digital response to Covid-19. Hunter said that though the country has seen “very few deaths” and that social distancing was very limited, it could not become complacent. “It has been a wild ride but there is still a lot more to do,” he said. Hunter explained how early emphasis was placed on having a data platform which could help make sure the country had an “early warning for potential outbreaks” as well as digital inclusion which saw free internet being provided in homes and free mobile data for medical use. New Zealand also developed a contact-tracing platform which they created by taking “an existing platform for bowel screening and re-platforming it”.
24th Jul 2020 - Digital Health

Rise of the 'Zutors': private Zoom tutors spark controversy as virtual school year looms

As US school districts finalize plans for the fall semester and classes in some districts are set to remain online, some parents have begun teaming up to form “pods” with other families and arrange their own forms of education. The arrangements come in different forms, from Katz’s expensive, boutique service to families considering renting apartment space to serve as a home base for DIY “microschools”, to less formal arrangements that enlist the help of virtual tutors who can supplement online instruction for a couple of hours a week. The rise of these arrangements is a testament to the desperate worry of many parents over their children’s health and academic development amid unprecedented school closures. But it has also raised questions about whether these kinds of arrangements exacerbate longstanding patterns of segregation and inequity in education.
23rd Jul 2020 - The Guardian


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More virtual classrooms? House OKs ‘Return to Learn’ bills in late-night session

One month out from the typical start of the school year, Michigan House Republicans passed “Return to Learn” legislation Wednesday night on partisan lines amid safety and district funding concerns from Democrats.
24th Jul 2020 - MLive on MSN.com

CPS students will get the option to do remote learning in the fall, schools CEO says, but opponents are still pushing for all-virtual classes

Outside the Chicago Board of Education’s Loop office Wednesday, teachers taped poster boards to the backs of chairs to represent what they worry classrooms could look like if schools open in the fall. One imaginary student had a coronavirus infection in the spring. Another didn’t have health insurance. A classmate was an asymptomatic carrier who had passed the temperature check. “We’ve got a student here who lost a family member to COVID,” narrated Gustav Roman, an English teacher at Kelly College Prep. “We’ve got … a student in a temporary living situation, who we’re supposed to be supporting.”
24th Jul 2020 - Chicago Tribune on MSN.com

Distinctive tradition meets industry-leading innovation at Harrow School Online

Never has the school embodied that winning combination more convincingly than now, with the launch of a new fully online school: Harrow School Online. Though it has been in development for years, this industry-leading school is particularly appealing as the world embarks on a ‘new normal’ in the wake of COVID-19. With uncertainty surrounding what school life will look like in September, this online option provides the stability and security of receiving a first-class education at home – crucial when preparing for high-stakes examinations.
23rd Jul 2020 - Tatler

Here’s what virtual classes in Ann Arbor could look like for 2020-21 school year

Though Ann Arbor Public Schools students will tune into their classrooms from home using iPads and laptops to start the new school year, district officials promise they’ll still receive a rigorous, high-quality education. Each day will be structured with a block schedule with times when students will log on for classes, and curriculum will meet requirements for grade completion and graduation
23rd Jul 2020 - MLive

COVID-19 & Remote Learning: How to Make It Work

Few schools in the United States will get through the 2020-21 academic year without some form of remote learning, for some portion of the student body, for some period of time. Until an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is widely available and distributed, the possibility of viral spread will pose an obstacle to many forms of in-person interaction, particularly in indoor spaces such as school buildings. Health officials’ recommendations for social distancing in classrooms will limit the number of students who have the option to head to school every weekday. And safety concerns from parents, teachers, and other staff members will keep many people at home even if school buildings are permitted to reopen in some capacity.
22nd Jul 2020 - Education Week


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As Georgia Governor Calls To Reopen Schools, Largest District Will Teach Online Only

Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia is one of a growing number of K-12 school districts around the country deeming it too dangerous to teach students in person when classes restart this fall. The school district — the state's largest — announced earlier this week that it would transition to all-virtual learning, reversing its previous plan to hold a mix of in-person and virtual classes. Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said the change came down to prioritizing safety – and that will guide any decision to revert to in-person learning. "I think we all understand that face-to-face instructions is always a preferred model, but that needs to be done at this time with a pretty good assurance that students and staff will be safe. And we did not feel like that was the case," he told NPR in an interview Wednesday.
23rd Jul 2020 - NPR

British pupils 'struggled to continue learning at home'

A majority of British children struggled to continue learning at home during the lockdown, a report says. The Office for National Statistics research found that of the 52% who struggled, three-quarters of parents gave a lack of motivation as a reason. The research, based on weekly household surveys between April and June, also found women's well-being was being more adversely affected than that of men. It also showed wide disparities in what families were able to do. The ONS researchers carried out nationally representative surveys of more than 12,000 people in Great Britain between 3 April and 7 June about their experiences of home-schooling during the coronavirus pandemic.
22nd Jul 2020 - BBC News

CPS students will get the option to do remote learning in the fall, schools CEO says, but opponents are still

Outside the Chicago Board of Education’s Loop office Wednesday, teachers taped poster boards to the backs of chairs to represent what they worry classrooms could look like if schools open in the fall. One imaginary student had a coronavirus infection in the spring. Another didn’t have health insurance. A classmate was an asymptomatic carrier who had passed the temperature check. “We’ve got a student here who lost a family member to COVID,” narrated Gustav Roman, an English teacher at Kelly College Prep. “We’ve got ... a student in a temporary living situation, who we’re supposed to be supporting.” The mock school, shared in a livestreamed panel on the Chicago Teachers Union Facebook page, was one of several actions designed to draw attention to two central issues as the board convened its monthly meeting Wednesday: Schools reopening in the fall and police on campus.
22nd Jul 2020 - Chicago Tribune

‘It feels like it’s never going to end’: Weary D.C.-area parents brace for more all-virtual school

The announcements came rapid-fire over the course of the day Tuesday: First, Fairfax County Public Schools and Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia said they were switching to all-virtual schooling in the fall. Hours later, Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland followed suit. The districts’ decisions will cumulatively shape the fate of more than 438,000 children and their families. The regional shift follows a national trend, as massive school systems throughout the country have recently debuted plans to start the school year online, defying pressure from President Trump and citing rising coronavirus cases. Some parents, let down by the announcement, nonetheless acknowledged it was the right call
22nd Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Despite Trump threat, growing number of school districts move to virtual learning to start academic year

The increase in new coronavirus infections and rising hospitalizations in many states has left school administrators weighing the best format for educating students for the upcoming school year, whether through in-person instruction, virtual learning or a blended model. The Trump administration is pressuring school systems to open for classroom learning five days a week and has warned that federal funding could hinge on whether they do so. While the president cannot cut funding already approved by Congress, the administration can attach conditions for K-12 schools to receive future federal assistance. But that threat hasn't stopped dozens of school districts from moving to virtual instruction when they reopen in the fall.
22nd Jul 2020 - CBS News


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Harris County recommends schools stay closed to in-person instruction until October

The message from county Judge Lina Hidalgo and Harris County Public Health Dr. Umair Shah did not issue a mandate, unlike what other county health officials have done, and instead "strongly urged schools to follow new Texas Education Agency provisions allowing an 8-week online instruction waiver." “We continue to urge all in our community to stay home except for essential activities. The faster we bring the virus under control and bring the 'curve down,' the sooner schools will be able to reopen safely and stay open," Hidalgo wrote in a letter to school superintendents, that also acknowledged that schools provide many social services such as "much needed food assistance to many low-income families.
22nd Jul 2020 - WOAI

Amid Coronavirus, Parents ‘Pod Up’ to Form At-Home Schools

Wary of sending their children back into classrooms, some families are joining into pods to teach kids; other parents look online to replace or supplement in-person instruction.
21st Jul 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

COVID-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of higher education

Very few people would have predicted that universities would face such a paradigm shift – with predominant virtual teaching and remote working bursting onto the scene – as a consequence to a global pandemic.
21st Jul 2020 - World Economic Forum

Appleton's public schools could be all-virtual or hybrid come fall, district's letter to parents says

The Appleton Area School District released a proposal for what returning to school could look like in the fall. Two models are outlined in the letter sent to parents Friday. One would send early childhood through fourth-grade students to school in-person five days a week, while grades 5-12 would use a hybrid option, attending in-person two days a week and virtually three days a week. The other model would have all students begin the school year fully virtual. District spokeswoman Kylie Harwell declined to elaborate on the plan until after the school board work session on July 27, at which the board is set to consider the plans as well as review the results of two surveys sent to parents about what they'd prefer to see come fall.
21st Jul 2020 - Post-Crescent

"Online classes are critical for underprivileged children during COVID" |

Shukla Bose, Founder and CEO of the non-profit Parikrma Humanity Foundation, however opposed the government ban on classes, even though her own students come from deprived backgrounds. Parikrma Foundation’s schools cater to over 1800 students from slums across Bengaluru, with the aim of providing quality education and helping the children break out of poverty. At the time the government banned online classes, Parikrma schools were already holding these classes. Shukla even made a strong case for digital classes to the government-appointed expert committee on online education. Why did she lobby for online education even as most of her own students and teachers would find the medium unfamiliar and inaccessible? Because “learning cannot stop”, says Shukla. “As COVID-19 will remain for some time, will we allow learning to get paralysed? Is learning only for affluent classes who can afford online classes in private schools?”
21st Jul 2020 - Citizen Matters, Bengaluru

Lockdown 2: The reality of returning to remote teaching

One teacher in Australia explains what it's been like to go back to remote teaching after further coronavirus outbreaks
21st Jul 2020 - TES News


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America wants to reopen schools? Here’s how to learn from Israel’s mistakes

Rushing to get kids back into the classroom this spring was one of the reasons infection rates skyrocketed in Israel – offering a teaching moment to the world
21st Jul 2020 - Haaretz

'Ethically troubling.' University reopening plans put professors, students on edge

Academics across the country are dismayed. At Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), for instance, faculty published an open letter decrying the “limited amount of input faculty, staff, and graduate employees have had on decisions related to our safety.” At Georgia Tech, faculty released a similar letter saying the university’s reopening procedures “do not follow science-based evidence”—and that “no faculty, staff, or student should be coerced into risking their health and the health of their families by working … on campus when there is a remote/online equivalent.”
21st Jul 2020 - Science Magazine

Khan Academy founder explains how to keep kids learning even when schools are closed

The founder of Khan Academy told CNBC that online instruction cannot fully replace in-person class — but said there are ways to maximize the benefit for students. “We’re not going to be replicate school, even when the school is doing a perfect job so people shouldn’t expect that,” Sal Khan said on “Closing Bell.” But for core subjects such as math, Khan said interactive video lessons and the right digital programs can provide real benefits to learning.
20th Jul 2020 - CNBC

Covid-19 impact: How coronavirus crisis opened gates to new educational opportunities in India

In mid-February, when the coronavirus was penetrating into the roots of our country, all the organizations and companies permitted their employees to work from home. Meanwhile, educational institutions became ambiguous about their regularity and started pondering over to manage their students and other academic stuff. As every difficulty is an opportunity to learn something new, online teaching emerged as a solution in this cumbersome time. Why are online classes so important for India? According to All India Survey on Higher education 2018-19 by Ministry of Human Resource development, there are 993 Universities, 39931 Colleges and 10725 Stand Alone Institutions in India. Therefore, in a country with a maximum of young population, keeping them engrossed with productive work was very challenging. Soon the institutions figured out the ways to train and equip their teachers with software for online teaching.
20th Jul 2020 - India Today

Teachers have concerns on returning to classrooms, virtual classes

What will East Texas school classrooms look like when teachers and students eventually do return? Some educators have worries about continuing with virtual classes and the learning atmosphere for students, as well as the possible dangers to teachers and students returning to classrooms. With the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly getting a second wind, educators and relatives of students worry about returning to classrooms , even under safety protocol. "We don't want our children and our teachers to be exposed to this virus," said retired Longview teacher Jann Salyer. "As an educator and a parent I understand that challenges and concerns schools districts, teachers and parents are facing," said Port Arthur teacher Tatiana Morales. It's a balance of teachers plying their profession, educating young minds, against the current risks of returning.
20th Jul 2020 - KTRE


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Texas officials offer schools option to hold online-only classes until November

Texas officials on Friday announced that schools can continue online-only learning until November as the state sees climbing cases of the novel coronavirus. AP reports that the changes were announced just hours before Texas set another daily record for COVID-19 deaths, 174, as well as more than 10,000 new cases of the virus as the state sees a growing outbreak. Previously, state officials had given districts the option of remote learning for three weeks and then having in-person classes. Most schools will also require masks and social distancing when they reopen. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tweeted after the announcement that "the health [and] safety of students, teachers [and] parents is the top priority."
19th Jul 2020 - The Hill

Denver Public Schools will not have in-person classes to start the fall semester because of coronavirus

Colorado’s largest school district appears to be the first in the state to rule out in-person classes right away
19th Jul 2020 - The Colorado Sun

Factbox: Which U.S. schools are going online and which are reopening classrooms

With the new school year fast approaching, some U.S. districts have announced plans to reopen for students who want to attend in-person class, while others will only offer online instruction or a mix of classroom and remote learning. Still others have yet to decide what to do as classes are normally due to resume in August or September. Here is a sample of what some of the largest school districts are doing:
19th Jul 2020 - Reuters UK

N.J. city’s mayor takes strong stand against ‘irresponsible’ school reopening during coronavirus uncertainty

As districts around the state devise plans to reopen schools in September during the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor of Plainfield has taken a strong stand against students returning to classrooms, calling in-person instruction “irresponsible” and a threat to the health of students and staff.
19th Jul 2020 - NJ.com

How Should Colleges Reopen? There’s No Easy Answer

How parents and students feel about the fast-approaching specter of college reopenings this fall has been debated — perhaps exhaustively — in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic. Can we do it safely? Should we send them back at all? Will young adults wear masks and abide by social-distancing guidelines? To get a better sense of the other side of the equation, we asked Bloomberg Opinion contributors who are also educators for their views on getting back in the classroom, whether physical or virtual.
19th Jul 2020 - Bloomberg

Texas deaths hit record, schools get OK for virtual classes

Texas on Friday gave public schools permission to keep campuses closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall as the state scrambles to contain one of the largest resurgences of the coronavirus in the country. California also issued strict guidance that makes it unlikely that many schools will resume in-person instruction this fall, raising the likelihood of empty classrooms in the country's two biggest states despite President Donald Trump's demands that schools welcome back students at the start of the school year.
17th Jul 2020 - KPRC Click2Houston

How unschooling, the hands off alternative to homeschooling, works

Unschooling is a broad term that encompasses a range of labels, definitions, and practices, unique to each person or family. But at its core, it’s the opportunity — and often for new unschoolers, the challenge — for children to explore their own interests rather than adhere to the criteria and curricula predetermined by school boards or other entities. Unlike the traditional homeschool model which often seeks to mimic the classroom or follow a defined curriculum usually with parents acting as teachers, with unschooling, children take the lead. Adults, sometimes parents, but not always, typically offer support, assistance, and guidance when needed.
17th Jul 2020 - Vox.com

Commentary: This is the face of Generation COVID-19

As international aid dries up, the world’s most disadvantaged students may find themselves left behind when it comes to education, say Abiy Ahmed and Gordon Brown.
19th Jul 2020 - CNA


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Welcome to the coronavirus-proof classroom: Israel’s first virtual school

As the coronavirus continues to thrive, Israel may soon have its first fully online school. Starting in the fall as the new school year begins, the virtual institution plans to offer a full curriculum to students from seventh grade through twelfth grade, with no physical building or use of textbooks. The virtual school, so far dubbed “Z-School: School of the Generation Z,” is the brainchild of Moshe Kinley Tur-Paz, the director of the Kadima Mada educational network and former head of Jerusalem’s educational administration, and Paz Cohen, the CEO of Anu – Making Change, a social hub, and former parents association chairman. The two are in talks with philanthropic foundations and investors to raise 7 million shekels ($2 million), and are in talks with the Education Ministry to obtain certification to enable the school to access ministry funding. Education Ministry officials confirmed that the initiative is under discussion.
16th Jul 2020 - Haaretz

A parent's guide to online school: 9 questions to ask to vet your back-to-school choices

A growing number of districts, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta and Austin, Texas, plan to start the year with online-only instruction amid a surge in coronavirus cases. In Richmond, Virginia, schools will be online for the first semester. Prince George's County Schools in Maryland called for all students to learn online until at least February of next year. Many other districts plan a mix of in-person and remote learning – and many ask parents to choose an instruction model for their children. How can parents tell if what their school has planned for online learning is any good? Here are nine questions to help you vet the quality of your school's virtual learning program.
16th Jul 2020 - USA TODAY

California to release rules for reopening schools on Friday as coronavirus cases mount

California Governor Gavin Newsom will release new guidelines for opening schools as coronavirus cases continue to mount in the most populous U.S. state, his office said Thursday. The guidelines, to be released on Friday, come amid an intense debate across the United States about whether it would be safe to send children and teachers back into the classroom amid an ongoing pandemic. The discussion has taken on a political tinge, as Republican President Donald Trump urges a return to regular school schedules, while many Democrats urge a more cautious approach, such as a continuation of virtual lessons. In California, numerous school districts, including Los Angeles Unified, the state’s largest, have already said they would begin the school year with remote learning.
16th Jul 2020 - Reuters

HCPSS Students Will Not Return To The Classroom This Fall

Students enrolled with the Howard County Public School System will not be returning to the classroom this fall. Thursday night, the Howard County Board of Education met and approved a virtual first semester, which will run from Sept. 8 through Jan. 28, 2021. School officials will finalize and submit the HCPSS return to learn plan to the Maryland State Department of Education for approval, which is due by Aug. 14. Officials followed three priorities when making the decision: Safety and well-being for students and staff. High quality instruction for all students. Resource availability, including funding.
16th Jul 2020 - Patch


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'It is not safe to return to the classroom.' Teachers union lobbies for full distance learning

After two months of negotiations, the Palo Alto Unified teachers union is urging the district against reopening schools this fall and instead is asking for a return to full distance learning. In an open letter to the school board and top district leaders, the union cited a list of concerns about the logistics, risks and limitations of in-person instruction, as well as the local spike in coronavirus cases. Santa Clara County reported 192 new cases of the COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing its total to 6,725. "While we have been negotiating since May in good faith about how to structure a return to school, we have increasing concerns whether this can be done while maintaining the health and safety of our students and staff as this pandemic shows no signs of going away," the union wrote. "As much as we love our students and miss teaching in person, it is not safe to return to the classroom at this time."
16th Jul 2020 - Palo Alto Online

Iowa City schools will start school year online only as COVID-19 cases rise in Johnson County

Decision to keep students at home 'will have cascading effects,' interim superintendent acknowledges
15th Jul 2020 - The Gazette

HISD to begin 2020-2021 academic school year online for 6 weeks

Houston ISD students won't be heading into the classroom anytime soon. All students will begin the school year virtually when classes begin on Sept. 8. HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan made the announcement Wednesday on the district's Facebook page. Online instruction will continue for six weeks through Oct. 16, according to Lathan. She said the decision was based on the increased number of COVID-19 cases in Houston and Harris County. "Given the threat of COVID-19, we will not put the health and safety of our students and staff at risk," she said during a briefing hours after the announcement was released.
15th Jul 2020 - KTRK-TV

Some Teachers Head to Virtual Summer School to Learn How to Teach Remotely

Remote classes are continuing this summer, including classes for educators who are working hard through their summer break to try to get a better handle on virtual teaching. “Everybody is trying so hard to be prepared going into the fall, and to give students the best education possible, whether it’s remote, whether it’s in the classroom, or whether it’s both,” said Kim Kaplan, a practicum coordinator at Lasell University.
15th Jul 2020 - NBC10 Boston

Clayton Schools parents prefer virtual classes amid pandemic

An overwhelming majority of Clayton parents and district staff told the south metro Atlanta school system in a recent survey that they prefer at-home instruction over coming into school buildings if the spread of the virus continues to worsen, Superintendent Morcease Beasley said Tuesday.
15th Jul 2020 - Atlanta Journal Constitution

RCS parents can choose in-person or virtual classes this school year

Parents in the Richmond Community Schools system who don't feel comfortable having their kids in the district's buildings because of the novel coronavirus pandemic can choose to enroll in a new virtual learning option instead this school year. That choice between traditional in-person instruction and the at-home program is one of the major changes included in RCS' reopening plan that was approved unanimously by the board of trustees Tuesday. Parents have until July 21 to fill out a form on the district's website to request that their children use virtual instruction. Any requests that come in after that date will be subject to availability.
15th Jul 2020 - Palladium-Item

With Rising COVID-19 Cases, Teachers at Santa Barbara Unified Call For Remote Classes

A parade of teachers called on the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education to start the academic school year with remote learning. The district, just five weeks before the start of the Aug. 18 semester, has not yet cemented a plan for how to teach students. About three weeks ago, the board approved a hybrid model, but with the recent large increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates, and school districts across the nation, including Los Angeles Unified School District moving to online-only in the fall, district officials are scrambling to figure out what to do.
15th Jul 2020 - Noozhawk

LA Public Schools Will Start Year Online, as Virus Rises in State

Los Angeles and San Diego public school districts said Monday they will begin the year online, as California grapples with mounting Covid-19 cases and the WHO issued cautionary statements regarding coronavirus and kids.
13th Jul 2020 - Wall Street Journal

Online tutoring improves disadvantaged school pupils performance and wellbeing in lockdown

A Bocconi University and Harvard program also raised disadvantaged pupils' aspirations, wellbeing and socio-emotional skills, showing that the educational gap can be addressed even with limited resources
15th Jul 2020 - EurekAlert


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A Teacher Who Contracted COVID-19 Cautions Against In-Person Schooling

As school districts consider how to approach learning this fall with no sign of the coronavirus slowing, the virus has already had devastating consequences in one rural Arizona school district. Jena Martinez-Inzunza was one of three elementary school teachers at the Hayden Winkelman Unified School District who all tested positive for COVID-19 after teaching virtual summer school lessons together from the same classroom. Martinez's colleague and friend, Kimberley Chavez Lopez Byrd, who taught in the district for nearly four decades, died. "She was very dear to me. She's one of my closest friends," Martinez told Morning Edition.
14th Jul 2020 - NPR

'I'm scared': In Detroit, a city hit hard by COVID-19, reopening classrooms sparks protests

While the district says it took safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and stressed that no students or teachers were forced to participate in face-to-face instruction, the first two days of classes were met with protests. Activists blocked school buses from leaving a bus depot. A civil rights lawyer, who used the word “genocide” to describe the effect of the district’s decision because the student population is 96 percent Black or Latino, says she plans to seek an injunction to close the schools. The head of the city teachers union called in-person summer school a “mind-boggling decision.” And some parents expressed grave reservations about whether their children would be safe.
14th Jul 2020 - NBC News

Wake County student calls for online classes as Gov. Cooper decides reopening plan

As the state awaits a decision on school reopening plans, nearly 1,500 people signed a high school senior’s petition calling for the Wake County Public School System to adopt an online-only school reopening plan, instead of proposed in-person approaches. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he will announce his school reopening plan Tuesday at 3 p.m., after delaying the original announcement set for July 1. If Cooper says schools have to operate fully online, every North Carolina School district will have to cooperate.
14th Jul 2020 - WRAL.com


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Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in The Fall

California’s two largest public school districts said on Monday that instruction would be online-only in the fall, in the latest sign that school administrators are increasingly unwilling to risk crowding students back into classrooms until the coronavirus is fully under control. The school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego, which together enroll some 825,000 students, are the largest in the country to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. The decision came as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced some of the most sweeping rollbacks yet of California’s plans to reopen. Indoor operations for restaurants, bars, wineries, movie theaters and zoos were shut down statewide on Monday, and churches, gyms, hair salons, malls and other businesses were shuttered for four-fifths of the population.
14th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Houston teachers union wants virtual start to school year until coronavirus numbers drop

The union representing Houston teachers is calling for a virtual start to the school year until the number of new coronavirus cases drop. Members of both the Houston Federation of Teachers and Houston Educational Support Personnel spoke Monday, calling on leaders of the Houston Independent School District and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to do more to ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff.
13th Jul 2020 - KPRC Click2Houston

In 3 days, 11% of Wake students apply for 'virtual academy'

In just three days, 11% of the students in Wake County – 18,000 of the average enrollment of about 162,000 – have applied for consideration in the planned Virtual Academy, the district's answer to remote learning amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Virtual Academy will provide all core classes online for students as an option for those at higher risk for coronavirus infection or whose parents don't feel comfortable sending them back to school yet. Wake County will use those application numbers to determine how many students are interested and how many teachers will be needed.
13th Jul 2020 - WRAL.com

New York Gov. Cuomo says he won't use kids as 'guinea pigs,' outlines school reopening rules

School reopenings will be dictated by the state's regional reopening plan, Cuomo said. President Trump has been pressing for schools to reopen in the fall. Schools in regions that are in phase four of New York's reopening plan are eligible to hold in-person classes this fall. New York City is the only region in the state that's not yet in phase four of its reopening plan.
13th Jul 2020 - CNBC

MPS' reopening plan: Virtual learning to start and a gradual return to the classroom

The plan calls for students to return via virtual platforms on Aug. 17 or Sept. 1, depending on their school calendar. The online phase is projected to last 30 to 45 days, after which students would alternate two days in school and three online at home, and then fully return to classes once that was deemed safe.
13th Jul 2020 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


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COVID-19: Pelosi says Trump 'messing with' children's health on school reopenings

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of "messing with" children's health on Sunday (Jul 12) and said federal guidelines on reopening schools amid the coronavirus outbreak should be mandatory. The Democratic House of Representatives leader sharply criticised the Trump administration for advocating a return to school in the fall as coronavirus infections surge across the country, particularly in states that reopened their economies earliest during the pandemic.
13th Jul 2020 - Channel NewsAsia Singapore

Victoria's coronavirus lockdown means it's back to remote learning for thousands of students. Here are some tips that could help

After an extra week of school holidays for many students in Melbourne, the Victorian Government has confirmed it's back to remote learning for prep to year 10 students in locked down parts of the state from July 20. When schools across Australia first began moving to remote learning back in April, the ABC spoke to a number of education experts and parents about what worked (and what didn't) for them. So from ideas for play to structuring your day, here's a survival guide to homeschooling… if you're one of the parents who needs it again.
13th Jul 2020 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

More Colorado families consider online education as COVID-19 risks loom over upcoming school year

When growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus triggered the abrupt shuttering of Colorado schools in March, families and faculty were forced to finish the academic year from the confines of their homes. The transition wasn’t easy for many. Parents had to double as caretakers and teachers, while students tried to adapt to a revolving door of online classroom solutions. Educators needed to find new ways to engage with students practically overnight, as districts doled out laptops and internet hotspots to ensure families had the technology to connect virtually.
12th Jul 2020 - The Denver Post

Foreign students in NC fear online classes mean deportation

Although most North Carolina universities — including Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State — still plan to bring students back to campus for some in-person classes starting next month, international students are fearful of what could happen if classes move entirely online. They would be forced to leave the country, according to new guidelines announced this week by federal immigration authorities.
12th Jul 2020 - Times Colonist

In D.C. wards hit hardest by covid-19, sending kids to school is a risk some parents won’t take

At Capital City Public Charter School in Northwest Washington, three students’ parents have died after contracting the coronavirus. Many more grandparents and relatives of the school’s nearly 1,000 students, most of whom are black or Hispanic, have been killed by the virus. So when Capital City surveyed families this month to determine how to reopen in the fall, the response was clear: Most said they would prefer to continue full-time with virtual learning. They just weren’t ready to go back.
10th Jul 2020 - The Washington Post

Texas reopening schools leaves teachers frustrated, worried about health

Many Texas Education Agency employees are working from home, but the agency is requiring schools to open five days a week for in-person instruction this fall. Teachers say that mandate has grave implications for their health.
10th Jul 2020 - The Texas Tribune

Almost half of Fort Worth ISD parents have asked for online classes amid COVID-19

Fort Worth parents are divided on whether they want their children to go back to school in person or continue learning online. Parents were given the option to choose how they wanted their children to learn amid the novel coronavirus pandemic when they registered them for the 2020-21 school year. So far, 57% have said they’d like in-person instruction and 43% want virtual instruction, said Clint Bond, a spokesman for the Fort Worth school district. Nearly 12,000 students have registered for the school year, scheduled to start Aug. 17, Bond said.
10th Jul 2020 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

How the coronavirus pandemic is changing virtual science communication

Researchers flocked to join Skype a Scientist after COVID-19 closed their labs. The squid biologist who founded it explains how the science-communication platform has adapted.
9th Jul 2020 - Nature.com


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Metro Schools to begin school year remotely as COVID-19 cases surge

Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said earlier this month that they'd hoped students would be able to return to class on August 4th. However, she said they had also been preparing for the possibility that it wouldn't happen. “This decision was not made lightly, but the risks to the health and safety of students and staff are too great at this moment for us to begin the school year with in-classroom instruction,” said Dr. Battle. “I am confident that our teachers and support staff will be up to the challenge of providing a great education that meets the academic and social-emotional needs of our students in a virtual learning environment.”
10th Jul 2020 - News Channel 5 Nashville

Clayton Schools look to virtual classroom as COVID-19 rates soar

Clayton County Schools will likely offer virtual-only classes in the new school year if Georgia’s coronavirus infection rates continue on their current trajectory, the district’s superintendent says.
9th Jul 2020 - Atlanta Journal Constitution

What are the CDC school guidelines Trump wants changed amid COVID-19? These are the highlights.

Separated desks, staggered schedules and isolation rooms for sick students. Trump tweeted Wednesday that he disagrees with the CDC's "very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools" as the coronavirus pandemic continues, and Vice President Mike Pence said the agency would be issuing new guidelines next week. However, Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC, said Thursday no change was coming but that instead "additional reference documents" would be issued. To better understand any possible update, USA TODAY reviewed several documents and guidelines on the CDC's website of the guidance already issued to K-12 schools.
9th Jul 2020 - USA TODAY

Parents in Williamson County will have choice of virtual or classroom learning this year

Williamson County Schools has announced parents will have the choice to send their kids back to the classroom or virtual learning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge. In a statement to parents, WCS says the decision came after 23,000 parents were surveyed along with feedback from staff and medical professionals. The statement adds "While many families look forward to an on-campus return to school, others prefer to keep their children home during this pandemic due to the risk that will accompany any on-campus program. Recognizing those concerns, we plan to provide instruction on our school campuses, and we will be offering the WCS Online Program as an option for families this school year."
9th Jul 2020 - WZTV

Beauregard School Board releases virtual education options

Beauregard Parish schools, like many across the Lake Area and nation, transitioned to an online classroom when the pandemic hit. With less than a month away, Beauregard Parish Superintendent Timothy Cooley said they are trying to make the best determination for the upcoming school year. “We would love to come back face-to-face and have our students in the classroom and have them with teachers on the campuses,” Cooley said. “In the event, we are in a phase where we can’t do that with all of our students, we have been discussing a hybrid model.” Cooley said they are creating a plan that would allow their elementary school students to come back to campus for in-person classes.
9th Jul 2020 - KPLC


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How covid-19 changed the rules of classroom teaching

As the classroom has shifted to the virtual realm—mostly for schools in urban centres, where most students are likely to have better access to the internet—teachers have turned into disembodied voices. The school, as the physical space we knew it to be, has shrunk to the size of electronic screens. Instead of walking down the aisles, ensuring discipline and checking the progress of their students, teachers now appear as thumbnails, while chalk-and-board lessons unfold on PowerPoint. Most alarmingly perhaps, their performance is no longer privy to the eyes of their students alone. Parents and guardians, too, can now sit in on their lessons and judge their merits.
8th Jul 2020 - Livemint

School reopening plans are now part of COVID-19 politics. Teachers fear for their safety.

Teachers' unions concerned about the health and safety of students and staff have balked at that order, with one Florida union official calling it "catastrophic." The state continues to set records for daily new infections. Districts, meanwhile, face another alarming prospect: If millions of students elect to return to class while millions of teachers don't, it could create a staffing shortage unlike anything seen in modern times. Nationwide, 1 in 5 teachers said they were unlikely to return to school if their buildings opened this fall, according to a USA TODAY/Ipsos poll in late May.
8th Jul 2020 - USA TODAY

Call for teachers to work in schools even if students learn from home

The president of the Victorian Principals Association says teachers should be allowed to return to work on school campuses in term three, as the state government considers a return to remote learning. Anne-Maree Kliman said staff would do a better job of teaching students remotely if they were not also confined to their homes.
8th Jul 2020 - The Age

Martin County teacher: Full capacity schools aren't safe

But how do Martin County teachers feel about going back to school in the fall? Kim Davis, a veteran teacher of 20 years, said the coronavirus has changed everything. She and many of her colleagues have been losing sleep over the coming school year. "Schools at full capacity do not make for a safe environment, for the students [and] for us," said Davis. As a parent, Davis won’t be sending her daughter back to high school in person. She is choosing the online option. "To be honest with you, I think most of us are trying to figure out how we would not contract the virus all day," said Davis. "Our staff and students are our No. 1 resource, so their safety is our priority," said Julie Sessa, the coordinator of risk and employee benefits for the Martin County School District.
8th Jul 2020 - wflx

With No End in Sight to the Coronavirus, Some Teachers Are Retiring Rather Than Going Back to School

So Christina Curfman—who has an autoimmune disease that makes her more vulnerable to COVID-19—consulted her doctor, weighed the risks of returning to school and decided to retire early after 28 years of teaching. At 55, she’s eligible for partial retirement benefits and will take home less pay than if she had worked for a few more years, but the decision gave her peace of mind.
8th Jul 2020 - TIME

Coronavirus Is Blowing Up America’s Higher Education System

With the coronavirus upending the service model and the economics of universities across the country, it is not at all clear how flexible America’s higher education system will be in the face of high costs, institutional barriers to change, and a longstanding belief in the value of the way things are traditionally done. A professor at Columbia Business School once told me that “all businesses will be disrupted in the digital age,” but added with a self-satisfied smile, “except for us, of course.” The American affection for the residential model is understandable, but as Mitchell Stevens, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, told me, it also comes with an astronomical price tag: student costs significantly higher than those in other countries; oppressive student debt; and exclusion from top universities for a wide range of students who can’t afford to leave behind family commitments to spend years on campus.
7th Jul 2020 - Vanity Fair


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International students could lose their visas unless schools have some in-person courses

"In our program, mechanical engineering, all of the courses were supposed to be online for next semester. Yesterday when we heard this news we were totally shocked because we have no chance. We had no other options," said Sina Tayebati, a Graduate Student at NIU. In Illinois alone, there are an estimated 53,000 international students representing a significant portion of college campuses overall population- up to 20-25% in some cases. The University of Illinois system has over 15,000 international students, making it one of the largest concentrations nationwide. At UIC they're now scrambling to figure out how to ensure there are enough in-person classes being offered next fall to at the very least protect their continuing students.
8th Jul 2020 - WLS-TV

Fairfax County Parents Have Two Options For Reopening Schools—And A Week Left To Decide

Amid concerns about a lack of clarity in reopening plans, Fairfax County Public Schools will extend the deadline for families and staff to decide between the district’s two options for the coming school year. FCPS is offering a choice between all-virtual learning or a hybrid model where kids would have some amount of in-person learning mixed with online work. The deadline to choose between one or the other has been extended from July 10 to July 15, Superintendent Scott Braband announced Monday night during a virtual town hall. “We’ve heard overwhelmingly from our parents and community that you want more time to make these decisions,” Brabrand said.
7th Jul 2020 - DCist.com

CMS family considers virtual learning options to minimize risk of exposure for child with disability

With just over a month away until North Carolina schools are set to reopen on August 17, families are trying to prepare as best as they can. “I will do what needs to be done to keep my kids safe... anybody would,” says Charlotte-Mecklenburg School mom Stacy Staggs. Staggs’ daughter, Emma, is no stranger to remote learning. For the past two years she’s been learning from home. Emma’s breathing disability means two trained nurses must be with her in the classroom while at school. Staggs says that CMS recently signed off on providing her the care she needs so she could safely get back to learning in the classroom this fall. But that goal was before the COVID-19 pandemic.“There’s no way Emma can step foot into a classroom at this point, she is very high risk for severity if she were to contract the infection,” says Staggs. Staggs says it’s not just Emma that likely wont be going back - if there is in-person instruction come fall.
7th Jul 2020 - WBTV


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Coronavirus: Dayton schools will switch to online learning if necessary

Dayton Public Schools will be prepared to switch to online learning if a student or staff member is diagnosed with the coronavirus. In the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis, parents and guardians would be notified immediately and beginning the next school day students in that school building would be working online from home for 14 to 28 days, according to a release from the district Monday afternoon about its Safe School Restart Plan.
6th Jul 2020 - Dayton Daily News

Harvard Business School Decides Against Starting Fully Online

After considering a fully online MBA program this fall, Harvard Business School has decided to bring all of its MBA students back to campus for a hybrid blend of in-person and online classes. That policy stands in contrast to the university’s plans for undergraduates in which only 40% of undergraduate students will be allowed on campus for the fall semester.
6th Jul 2020 - Poets&Quants

Texas college students weigh the value of online classes

Universities are moving forward with reopening plans for the fall semester, anxious to bring students back. But faced with online classes and an altered campus, students are questioning if college is still worth what they're paying.
6th Jul 2020 - The Texas Tribune

Miami-Dade Schools Announce Flexible Reopening Plan, Invite Parents to Vote

Miami-Dade County Public schools now have a tentative plan in place to guide their reopening in the fall, but whether or not students actually return to classes full-time will depend on how Florida's coronavirus outbreak progresses. "M-DCPS strives to safely return students to the physical schoolhouse but recognizes that doing so will not be possible while Miami-Dade County remains in Phase 1 of The Plan for Florida’s Recovery," education officials said in a press release. As a result, Miami-Dade schools' plan for the 2020-2021 academic year outlines three models designed to help schools "rapidly pivot" between phases if necessary.
6th Jul 2020 - NBC 6 South Florida

Fresno teachers open up about online classes. ‘I was not prepared for how hard it really is’

Thousands of Fresno Unified School District teachers whose work life changed drastically on March 13, 2020, when the district shut down schools to help slow the spread of COVID-19, moved classes exclusively online. School work was not mandatory.
6th Jul 2020 - Fresno Bee

Home schooling plans to be used as back-up in Moray if classrooms cannot open after holidays

The Scottish Government announced that all students were expected to be able to return to class at the same time after the break if the rate of Covid-19 cases continued to decrease. Moray Council, however, has confirmed it is continuing to draw up contingency plans for some children remaining at home in the event of progress against the virus being less speedy than hoped. Head of education, Vivienne Cross, said: “None of us would wish children to be away from school for any additional period of time, but we must be assured it is safe for they and our staff to return. “Schools have developed their recovery plans and these will continue to be finalised as a contingency for August, should full-time schooling not return at the start of term.
6th Jul 2020 - The Press and Journal


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E- learning in rural India: Parents, teacher scrambles for innovative ways to teach students amid C...

“I have arranged for a loudspeaker system on a cart. The teachers are asked to turn-wise go with the cart and park it at a feasible location and impart lessons from there. It cannot match up to classroom learning but will ensure some learning,” he said. This strange new way of educating school students is not uncommon in the country’s rural parts. The lockdown induced by COVID-19 in March prompted schools and colleges to move to the virtual world for teaching and learning activities. But weak internet penetration has turned e-education into a distant dream for many children in the rural areas.
5th Jul 2020 - Hindustan Times

This Year’s Summer Campground: Our Bedrooms and Living Rooms

Children at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan are doing all the usual this summer. They are taking dance and acting classes, learning to tie knots and weaving friendship bracelets. On some days, they sing campfire songs.
4th Jul 2020 - The New York Times

Fairfax County schools could go virtual again if coronavirus resurges

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand has sent an enrollment letter to families detailing the County’s two return-to-school options for students in the 2020-21 school year, which includes full-time virtual or socially distanced part-time in-person learning. The school system had to finish the 2019-20 school year virtually due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and there are enduring concerns about a second wave of infections as Virginia reopens. Brabrand will discuss those alternatives at a Monday, July 6 town meeting, which will be streamed online from 6:30 p.m. at fcps.edu/tv/ch99. Fairfax County is offering students either full-time online instruction or in-person classes at 50 percent capacity with social distancing. Families are asked to choose from the two options by Friday, July 10.
3rd Jul 2020 - Fort Hunt Herald


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DC Universities Plan For An Unpredictable Fall As Coronavirus Cases Surge Nationwide

So far, American University, Catholic University, George Washington University, and Howard University have laid out plans for on-campus living and classes that limit campus density. (Disclosure: AU holds the license for DCist’s parent company, WAMU.) Gallaudet University and the University of the District of Columbia say they will stick with distance learning only, for now. Meanwhile, Georgetown University hasn’t released its fall plans. The varying scenarios are the result of strategic planning by each individual university, according to Sarah Van Orman, the chief health officer at the University of Southern California and a member of the American College Health Association’s coronavirus task force. The association has helped schools like AU design their reopening plans, and in May it released a 20-page report outlining best practices.
2nd Jul 2020 - DCist.com

SC online learning program expects uptick from COVID-19 pandemic

Stephanie Walters has been teaching virtually for more than seven years. “I saw some fantastic examples of how teachers transitioned to brick-and-mortar classrooms to engaging with their students online,” Walters said. Walters is one of the 40 full-time teachers working for VirtualSC. VirtualSC is a state-sponsored, free online program. It’s open to middle and high school students in public, private, and home schools. It also offers adult education. According to Director Bradley Mitchell, the program has seen steady growth in enrollment over the last few years. He said this fall they are gearing up for a big increase. They won’t know the exact numbers until the enrollment period happens in August.
2nd Jul 2020 - WRDW

Miami-Dade Schools will require mandatory masks when school begins

On the same day authorities took new steps to address the recent surge in Florida COVID-19 cases, Miami-Dade County Public Schools signed off on a plan Wednesday to reopen schools this fall, calling for smaller classes, a mix of in-person, online and hybrid teaching models and masks mandated for all.
2nd Jul 2020 - Miami Herald

Coronavirus: virtual tours prove a hit as UAE schools look to welcome new pupils in September

Schools in the UAE are setting up online tours for parents and pupils looking to move schools. Due to the pandemic, many school officials said they had to tweak their enrolment process to offer parents more flexibility. While some schools have noted a reduction in overseas applications, others reported more pupils were transferring from local competitors. Despite the current climate, many private schools are set to welcome hundreds of new pupils from September. Al Salam Community School in Dubai, which opened in September 2019, received many requests from parents and pupils looking to join after the summer break. “We opened with just under 800 pupils and we are expecting to welcome at least 300 new pupils in September,” Kausor Amin-Ali, founding principal, told The National. “We have seen the majority of applicants moving to us from the more premium sector of the education market.
2nd Jul 2020 - The National Blogs

Lubbock ISD offering choice between virtual school, face to face instruction in fall

Adults will wear masks except when giving direct instruction and students will wear masks "as appropriate." "We will practice social distancing and we will develop schedules that limit large groups." The district is also modifying transportation to allow social distancing on buses. Rollo said there will be fewer students on each bus, one per row. Rollo said the district now has devices available for all students. Pre-K and Kindergarten students will have iPads and students in first though twelfth grade will have Chromebooks. These devices will be used in the classroom but will also allow a "quick shift to remote instruction if the need arises."
2nd Jul 2020 - KCBD


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University of Texas at Austin to offer 2,100 classes online

About 20% of classes at the University of Texas at Austin will be taught remotely this fall. Students who choose not to return to campus can take all their courses online but will pay the same tuition rate as they would for in-person classes.
2nd Jul 2020 - The Texas Tribune

The advantages and disadvantages of online learning during the coronavirus pandemic | TheHill

Education psychologists and experts talk about the emergency remote learning situation teachers and students have been thrown into.
1st Jul 2020 - The Hill

From classroom to e-lessons, Covid turns teachers tech-savvy

A majority of teachers were not familiar with gadgets or online classes, but now they have learnt a lot about e-learning techniques and strategies to keep their students engaged. Some of them have learnt from their children, while a few have gained knowledge from their colleagues. Rashmi Chaudhary, an English teacher of Dyal Singh Public School, main branch, said she was not familiar with gadgets and it was a bit challenging. “Covid has taught us a lot. We became tech-savvy, while earlier we were limited to receiving calls or dialing the number,” she added.
1st Jul 2020 - The Tribune India


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From classroom to virtual lessons, Covid turns teachers tech-savvy

A majority of teachers were not familiar with gadgets or online classes, but now they have learnt a lot about e-learning techniques and strategies to keep their students engaged. Some of them have learnt from their children, while a few have gained knowledge from their colleagues. Rashmi Chaudhary, an English teacher of Dyal Singh Public School, main branch, said she was not familiar with gadgets and it was a bit challenging. “Covid has taught us a lot. We became tech-savvy, while earlier we were limited to receiving calls or dialing the number,” she added. Randhir Singh (48), a commerce teacher of Tagore Bal Niketan, said he had little knowledge of technology, but now he learnt a lot more from his children and was using all apps for online teaching. “It was a Herculean task for me to get updated, but I tried my best and now I can operate the gadgets being used in online classes,” he added.
1st Jul 2020 - The Tribune

CSUN Classes To Be Held Largely Online For Fall Semester

Most fall semester classes at Cal State Northridge will be held online under a newly adopted plan called CSUN as One, university officials announced Tuesday. “We call our plan ‘CSUN as One’ because, whether learning and working on-campus or virtually, CSUN is united in providing students with a transformative educational experience that prepares then for the challenges and opportunities of the world in which they will live and lead,” Dianne F. Harrison, CSUN president, said.
30th Jun 2020 - CBS Los Angeles

Coronavirus: Half of pupils not engaging remotely

About half of pupils in some post-primary year groups did not take part in remote learning after schools closed in March. Some primary schools, meanwhile, said parents wanted hard copies of work due to concerns children would become "screen saturated". That is according to an Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) report. Meanwhile, a scheme to provide pupils with laptops has seen demand exceed the number of available computers. The ETI sought the views of principals and heads of departments on the challenges posed by remote learning for both pupils and schools.
30th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Florida governor vetoes budget for online learning amid pandemic

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vetoed the budget for a package of online education programs that have played key roles for students and educators during the coronavirus pandemic. DeSantis’s veto, issued Monday, killed the $29.4 million budget for the Complete Florida Plus Program, which provides online platforms that have become more prominent as students and teachers adopt distance learning. Among other programs, the veto will scrap a database of online courses and an online library service. Over 2,000 adult students could lose their scholarships, and roughly 150 employees in Tallahassee, Gainesville and Pensacola could lose their jobs, according to Politico. Complete Florida will go offline at midnight without any new sources of funding, meaning that library databases, among other tools, would become unavailable in the middle of the college summer semester.
30th Jun 2020 - The Hill

Delhi schools to re-open virtually from tomorrow, say prepared to tackle online classes

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise in India, the central government has not yet allowed schools to reopen campuses to students.
30th Jun 2020 - ThePrint


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U.S. Teens Envision Fall School Reopening During COVID-19 Pandemic

When U.S. schools begin the next academic year with the country still fighting the coronavirus pandemic, students should spend half their time in classrooms and half doing online activities that pinpoint their individual learning style such as videos or reading. That advice comes from Nimish Mathur, 17, and his team from DuPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky. The "I'm So Confused Gang" team submitted its idea for re-opening school in the age of COVID-19 to a competition sponsored by Discover Your Genius (DYG), a nonprofit company that challenges young people to solve real-world business problems.
29th Jun 2020 - The New York Times

U.S. teens advise schools on fall reopening during COVID-19 pandemic

When U.S. schools begin the next academic year with the country still fighting the coronavirus pandemic, students should spend half their time in classrooms and half doing online activities that pinpoint their individual learning style such as videos or reading. That advice comes from Nimish Mathur, 17, and his team from DuPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky. The "I'm So Confused Gang" team submitted its idea for re-opening school in the age of COVID-19 to a competition sponsored by Discover Your Genius (DYG), a nonprofit company that challenges young people to solve real-world business problems.
29th Jun 2020 - Devdiscourse

'This is hell': Parents and kids hate online learning, but they could face more of it

The stakes are high. If there is a spike in infections – a real possibility, as mounting cases in states such as Texas and Florida indicate – distance learning in affected regions likely will become universal again. And students can’t afford to lose more ground, as many did when classes went online this spring. Millions simply disappeared or logged on but didn't participate. Nationwide, only one in three districts expected teachers to provide remote instruction and monitor students' academic engagement this spring, according to a study that tracked 477 districts. "There wasn't a lot in the way of interventions for kids who were falling off," said Robin Lake, director of the Center for Reinventing Education, a nonpartisan research group in Washington state that conducted the study.
29th Jun 2020 - USA TODAY


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UC Students Must Ready For An Online, Socially Distanced Fall

So far eight of the nine undergraduate campuses of the University of California system have published their plans for fall term, with most estimating that only a small number of classes will be conducted in person. UCLA, for instance, predicts that just 15% to 20% of courses will take place fully in-class or in a hybrid format, and the rest will be taught remotely, while UC Merced expects 20% to 30% of classes to be in-person in the fall. Several campuses, including UC Merced and UC Berkeley, plan to end any in-person instruction on Thanksgiving and shift all learning online through the end of the fall term. The campus guidelines contrast with what UC President Janet Napolitano said in May, suggesting more classes will be conducted in-person with a hybrid model. Instead, the UC plans look more like what the larger California State University has been signaling since the spring: mostly online.
28th Jun 2020 - Capital Public Radio News

Some students will stay home in the fall. School districts have to figure out how to teach them.

Wearing face masks, taking temperatures, sitting six feet apart: So much of the talk about returning to school this fall has been dominated by what it will take to make learning in person physically safe. But many school districts are also beginning to plan for a whole other world of teaching and learning — the all-virtual experience that students who stay home for medical or other reasons will need, and that some share of parents say they want. That work is underway in Florida’s Hillsborough County, where nearly 53,000 parents responded to a survey about their preferences for the fall. Almost half said they’d feel uncomfortable with students returning to school buildings. Around 12,000 parents said they’d prefer a fully virtual option.
28th Jun 2020 - The CT Mirror

Coronavirus: 'Scenarios' planned for schools' September return

Education Minister Kirsty Williams would grab a full return for schools in September "with both hands" if scientific advice said it was safe. But she said the Welsh Government also has "to plan for a range of scenarios". Concern has been raised over a possible "blended learning" system with class work, online learning, and homework. The minister conceded that there had "been a huge variation" in the experience of online learning since the start of the outbreak. A survey by University College London (UCL) found only 1.9% of Welsh pupils had four or more daily online lessons, compared with the UK average of 7%. Asked on the BBC Politics Wales programme if online teaching had been good enough, Ms Williams said: "We were asking teachers to embrace a pedagogy that is not something that they do every day and as we've gone on we've seen increasing use of live lessons.
28th Jun 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus - Morocco: In the midst of coronavirus, USAID/Morocco supports distance learning for deaf and hard of hearing students

As these distance learning tools were rolled out, concerns were soon raised that deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students, representing over 2,000 schooled children and youth who count among the 10,000 Moroccan students with sensory impairments, were being left behind. There remained yet another challenge: the need to translate distance learning materials into Moroccan Sign Language (MSL). The Ministry was well prepared to rise to the challenge thanks to the USAID project Improving Deaf Children’s Reading through Technology activity (2015 – 2018) which, in partnership with the MOE, has increased recognition of MSL as a language by providing training to teachers and administrators on MSL. The project worked with deaf association-run schools across Morocco to provide teachers with an assistive technology—MSL Clip and Create software—allowing them to both create customized materials that provide MSL translations of written text and generate instructional activities incorporating both MSL and Modern Standard Arabic.
26th Jun 2020 - AfricaNews English

As coronavirus spreads, most South Carolina public schools could start the year online

South Carolina's Department of Education released guidance to schools on June 22 with several fall scenarios based on spread of the virus in communities. But, according to a new report from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, 29 counties in South Carolina have "high" virus spread, leaving districts in those counties to decide whether to go to full distance learning for all students, should conditions remain unchanged. For districts with a "low" spread of the virus, the education department is recommending schools follow a semi-traditional schedule. Under this option, the majority of students would be back in classrooms with a mostly regular schedule, but class sizes would likely need to be capped more than usual to allow for social distancing.
26th Jun 2020 - Greenville News

Coronavirus: What college and universities will look in the fall as cases surge across the US

In an ongoing survey of more than 800 schools, two-thirds said at the end of May that they were planning for in-person classes in the fall. This number could increase or decrease in the next month, as more states in the US report a surging of coronavirus cases while other states have so far curbed the spread of the novel virus.
26th Jun 2020 - The Independent


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The Virtual Classroom Must Address Its Problems

“Failure in the Virtual Classroom” (June 22) shines a light on the educational neglect of distance learning this spring. Based on my three kids’ remote-learning experiences in “Keep Portland Weird” Oregon, I believe the root cause is weird education policy. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) blocked transfers to virtual public charters. ODE took a full month to initiate “Distance Learning for All.” Many teachers simply posted a list of assignments rather than teach, despite school-issued laptops and free Wi-Fi options for everyone in our school district. Student motivation plummeted since ODE mandated pass/no-fail-incomplete grading. High-school seniors weren’t educated at all. My daughter was told “seniors who were passing as of March 13 aren’t required to continue distance learning.” And districts forced teachers to stop working on Fridays, to take advantage of unemployment benefits including $600 a week from the Cares Act.
25th Jun 2020 - Wall Street Journal

MIT Arab SciTech Virtual IDEAthon rethinks learning during Covid-19

This spring, the MIT Arab Student Organization hosted a virtual IDEAthon with the theme “Learn from Home: Rethinking Learning during the Covid-19 Crisis.” The IDEAthon was the first step to tackle the challenges facing more than 200 million students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region who had their education disrupted due the current global pandemic. The goal of the IDEAthon is to develop a large quantity of high-impact ideas that can improve current educational outcomes in the MENA region.
25th Jun 2020 - MIT News

Online education: how Hong Kong got ahead of the game

When the Hong Kong government first funded Responsive4U, a blended learning experiment between four local universities, it couldn’t have known how prescient that investment would be in the Covid-19 era. Since 2018, the project has allowed students to take for-credit courses taught by partner universities via a combination of online and in-person classes. The participating institutions – the University of Hong Kong (HKU), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) – had to work together to find solutions to technological, scheduling and other logistic hurdles. Currently, the project has 11 courses taken by 2,000 students, but is looking to expand.
26th Jun 2020 - Times Higher Education (THE)

UC students must ready for an online, socially distanced fall

The majority of UC campuses have released guidelines and policies for the next school year. UC guidelines call for the vast majority of classes to be taught online, sparsely populated dorms and regular symptom surveys of students and employees.
25th Jun 2020 - CALmatters

Fayetteville schools to offer choice of in-person or virtual classes in 2020-21

Official said virtual students will address the same key skills and concepts as the in-person students, and will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities and other events. The virtual option will utilize a web-based curriculum, Google Classroom, online assessments, games, and interactive tools. A device for home use will be provided, according to the document. Students must participate in the virtual environment daily, meaning attendance will be taken, but schedules can be adjusted to meet individual needs. Enrollment in the virtual option will be for a minimum of one semester and will be extended to the full year unless a parent or guardian notifies the student’s principal by Nov. 13, 2020. Officials said virtual learning is different from the AMI assignments that students had in the spring. Through the virtual option, students will be provided with a class schedule and instruction in grade-level content from a licensed Fayetteville Public Schools teacher.
25th Jun 2020 - Fayetteville Flyer

The new normal for schools in COVID-19 pandemic

A new normal has emerged for schools around the globe because of COVID-19 and it has made way for so many questions to surface in the minds of educators, teachers and parents as we have to transform the conventional classrooms into online classes rapidly. Many schools like ours who were equipped with the infrastructural facilities immediately shifted to the online learning platform successfully from the end of March 2020. We quickly understood and accepted the fact as educators and parents that this is our new normal and that the face of schools will perhaps never be the same. Education has to continue without any pause even when we confront a crisis such as the novel coronavirus outbreak.
25th Jun 2020 - BDNews24.com


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Turns Out You Can Build Community in a Zoom Classroom

How that played out in my own courses, which just wrapped up this month, may be of use to faculty members looking for ways to better connect with students online in the fall. My biggest surprise was the effectiveness of personal essays in building relationships in a Zoom classroom. I teach creative writing, but this kind of writing assignment could achieve the same ends in teaching any subject. One of my spring courses was a graduate nonfiction class. It was fairly easy to build community in that course because I knew most of the students and they knew one another. We all agreed that, except for sharing snacks during class and liquid socializing afterward, class online was much the same as face to face. We met at our regularly scheduled time on Zoom, though for a shorter duration than usual. The students posted their work for others to read and offer critiques.
25th Jun 2020 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

COVID-19: Make UK develops new manufacturing online training | Technology

Make UK the manufacturers’ organisation, collaborates with Fujitsu UK and IOSH to help organisation maintain business continuity with online training.
24th Jun 2020 - Manufacturing Global

Greenville County Schools to allow young students to take virtual classes in the fall

More Greenville County parents will be able to enroll their children in virtual school this fall, the district announced Wednesday. In prior years, the Greenville County school district only offered virtual high school courses. Now, students in kindergarten through 12th grade will be able to complete their work online. The announcement comes as schools across South Carolina are trying to determine how to have classes in the fall while coronavirus cases are on the rise.
24th Jun 2020 - Greenville News

64% parents favour starting online classes for young children: Survey

Sixty four per cent of parents and grandparents are in favour of starting online classes for young children, a survey said. However, most want to limit the virtual classes to 2 hours per day, LocalCircles survey also showed. The physical classes currently remain out of bounds for children amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While online mode of classroom teaching has been currently adopted in most states, it's a non-starter in some others amid fear among parents that it will subject young children to screens. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have banned it for under Grade 5 and Maharashtra for under Grade 2.
24th Jun 2020 - Business Today

Al-Qalam starts virtual lessons

Al-Qalam University, Katsina has launched an online lecture platform to transform learning in the COVID 19 lockdown. A statement by the institute’s Head, Public Affairs, Atiku Akilu, said the university suspended academic activities in March 2020 in compliance with the directives of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
24th Jun 2020 - Daily Trust

COVID-19 has proven that parents need online education options

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted new challenges for parents when it comes to their children’s education. Amid stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and travel restrictions, parents have to make important and potentially tough decisions about their children’s education in the fall.
24th Jun 2020 - Washington Examiner


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Jun 2020

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Creativity, serendipity enhance CGA's pivot to online classes

Shannon White signed up to teach a full slate-plus of courses for the COVID-19 semester of ’20. “What a semester to have an overload, right?” she quipped. White is a faculty member at William & Mary’s Center for Geospatial Analysis, which offers courses and training on GIS (geographic information system) technology. As with all other courses at the university, classes were interrupted by spring break. The university’s switch to virtual instruction followed. GIS is a high-tech marriage of data science and cartography. White and other CGA faculty instill graduate and undergraduate students with the skills and understanding to use mapping and visualization techniques in projects ranging from art history to field biology.
23rd Jun 2020 - William & Mary News

Accounting professor captures ‘in-person synergy’ in transition to online learning

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the St. Mary’s University community has adapted — faculty stepping up to deliver quality education to students from a distance. Robbie Bishop-Monroe, D.B.A., Assistant Professor of Accounting, shared takeaways from her spring classes in a Q&A. Bishop-Monroe, also a CPA, joined St. Mary’s in 2019. She specializes in accounting, auditing and governmental accounting. In Spring 2020, she taught Introduction to Accounting, Governmental Accounting and Auditing.
23rd Jun 2020 - St. Mary's University

TEA spells out funding for distance learning but delays advice on how to open classrooms

The state will continue to fund school districts for remote learning in the coming school year, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said in a phone call with superintendents Tuesday afternoon. Texas has ordered districts to open campuses for students who choose to return to classrooms, but Morath said he’d wait until later to offer the guidance for in-person instruction that school leaders were expecting. “It’s a rapidly changing public health landscape now, much like it was in the initial days of coronavirus,” he said.
23rd Jun 2020 - San Antonio Express-News


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COVID-19 Has Exacerbated School Exclusion: UNESCO

The agency's 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report says poorer children, girls, the disabled and immigrants are among those at a disadvantage, and that the situation got worse with COVID-19 when more than 90 percent of the world's schoolchildren found their learning affected by closures. While those from better-off families had internet and wifi connections and were able to use laptops and mobile phones, millions of youngsters were left out. "Health crises can leave many behinds, in particular the poorest girls, many of whom may never return to school," wrote Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's director-general.
23rd Jun 2020 - Spotlight Nepal

Maine's Catholic schools to reopen in fall amid coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

Maine Catholic Schools is also working to develop remote learning for those who feel uncomfortable sending their kids back to school. “The Diocese of Portland is assisting each of our schools in developing a virtual, distance-learning option where interested families will still be able to receive instruction for children in core content areas while remaining connected to their local school community,” said Pelletier. Due to social distancing requirements that will be in place in classrooms, families are encouraged to enroll their student or students soon as space is filling up at all schools.
22nd Jun 2020 - WCSH-TV Portland, ME on MSN.com

In person, online classes or a mix: Colleges' fall 2020 coronavirus reopening plans, detailed

Stanley is among a majority of university presidents who aspire to welcome students back to campus in the fall. He said many students had difficulties with remote learning in the spring. Some lacked the resources at home to complete courses online. But Michigan State still plans to hold about half of its classes entirely online. Others will be taught via a hybrid format, with students doing some course sessions online and some in person, or in larger classrooms on campus. The school plans to accommodate students who cannot return in person by giving them an online curriculum.
22nd Jun 2020 - USA TODAY

Two young refugees, 500 books, and a new way to learn during COVID-19

A virtual tutoring program in Seattle is just one of the ways in which the IRC is helping refugee children like Kudus and Delina, who are also real bookworms, continue their education during the global pandemic.
22nd Jun 2020 - International Rescue Committee

How Should Universities Be Redesigned in the Wake of COVID-19?

Wharton’s Eric K. Clemons, a professor of operations, information and decisions, focuses on the redesign of academic institutions in this opinion piece. As he writes, “We do this in part because it is a pressing problem that requires a solution now, if universities, faculty, and students are to plan effectively for an event that is less than three months away. In addition, we study these institutions as examples that other industries may need to consider as they approach their own redesign if they cannot implement full virtualization.”
22nd Jun 2020 - Knowledge@Wharton

Medical education gets creative during the pandemic

“The transition to remote learning was abrupt,” said Dr. Vivian Obeso, associate dean for curriculum and medical education. “But our course directors and faculty rose to the challenge. They embraced technology and developed innovative teaching sessions and clinical courses. I am so proud of our team.” Zoom technology and web-based learning tools like Acquifer and WiseMD became critical in teaching students in virtual classrooms and discussion groups. To preserve active learning, weekly question and answer sessions via Zoom, and frequent remote quizzes on the Canvas Learning Management Platform kept students engaged and on track.
22nd Jun 2020 - FIU News


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Better training needed to instruct classes online in Newfoundland and Labrador: teachers

Some teachers in the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) say they are frustrated and concerned with the lack of training for teachers on how to deliver online education. “They’re spinning wheels. They’re not focused on the problem,” said Teacher 1, who was granted anonymity in fear of repercussions for speaking out. Come September, the teacher says, if the COVID-19 pandemic keeps the doors of the schools closed, teachers will not be prepared to teach classes online. “(Teachers) had one day of training on Google Meet and Google Classroom,” Teacher 1 said, adding that no actual teaching happens on these platforms. “Google Classroom is just a place (where) teachers make comments and go in and post notes,” Teacher 1 said. “There’s no actual (teaching) going on, it’s just a platform to communicate with the students.”
21st Jun 2020 - The Telegram

America wasn't ready to move school online.

After three months of school closures, data about the impact of the coronavirus on learning is starting to trickle in. It’s far from reassuring.
19th Jun 2020 - Slate

How Covid has impacted higher education sector

Covid-19 pandemic-impacted higher education will be different mainly in the mode of teaching and evaluation. Nationally there was a call for a de facto switch to virtual teaching, learning and evaluation, pushing a huge number of teachers into an unfamiliar mode. Online mode, formerly allowed only in open universities and varsities graded 3.5 onwards, is now licensed for all universities to run their UG and PG programmes accordingly.
21st Jun 2020 - The New Indian Express

Virtual tour replaces parents’ class ritual

Several reputable schools have abandoned an age-old practice parents look forward to: their first meeting with the teachers after their child’s entry into a school. The interactive session has gone virtual. The visit to the school, sitting in the classroom and meeting the teachers have been replaced by a presentation and sometimes a virtual tour of the campus that schools have prepared to give parents an introduction to what is expected of them and what schools do. Institutions like Modern High School for Girls, South Point School and Mahadevi Birla World Academy conducted an orientation programme with parents online for the first time this year.
21st Jun 2020 - Telegraph India

Failure in the Virtual Classroom

The remote-learning experiment isn’t going well. This month the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education published a report looking at how 477 school districts nationwide have responded to the Covid-19 crisis. Its findings reveal widespread neglect of students. The report found only 27% of districts required teachers to record whether students participate in remote classes, while remote attendance has been abysmal. During the first two weeks of the shutdown, some 15,000 Los Angeles students failed to register attendence
21st Jun 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Jun 2020

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University of Illinois will reopen with face masks and COVID-19 testing but also virtual classes; other colleg

In a welcome announcement for restless college students, the University of Illinois confirmed Thursday that all three of its campuses will hold modified classes on campus this fall as long as the masses of students coming back wear face masks, undergo coronavirus tests and practice social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. That means dorms, dining halls, research labs and other campus facilities will begin to reopen in some fashion, with amended protocols to protect students and faculty from falling ill, according to a joint statement issued by university leaders. “Plans to restore in-person instruction were developed through weeks of exhaustive review that brought together literally hundreds of key stakeholders and considered every available option, from a full return to traditional instruction to remaining fully online,” said the message, also signed by university President Tim Killeen.
18th Jun 2020 - Chicago Tribune

COVID-19 forces ORNL researchers to take STEM education online

COVID-19 has upended nearly every aspect of our daily lives and forced us all to rethink how we can continue our work in a more physically isolated world. And none more so than teachers; from kindergarten classrooms to college campuses, America’s educators have been forced to go virtual virtually overnight. Just ask researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who regularly volunteer at area schools through the Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls, or ORCSGirls, program to help cultivate the next generation of female STEM professionals. Begun by ORNL’s Thomas Proffen, ORCSGirls aims “to inspire middle school girls in East Tennessee to actively explore the possibilities of technology to empower their future careers.” Since its founding in 2017, the program has inspired more than 2,000 females aspiring to make a career in the science and tech arenas. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced ORCSGirls mentors, including ORNL’s Katie Schuman, Samantha Erwin, Anne Berres, Dasha Herrmannova and Pravi Devineni to take their instruction online, a transition that has had both benefits and challenges.
18th Jun 2020 - Mirage News

Littlehales hosts virtual classroom as part of Paralympic Education Program

Para-canoeist Dylan Littlehales hosted a virtual classroom as part of the Paralympics Australia Paralympic Education Program. The Paralympic Education Program provides a range of free online curriculum-linked resources for Australian classes focusing on Paralympic values. It was launched in February has gained momentum despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The 20-year-old Littlehales, who made his Paralympic debut at Rio 2016, joined Paralympics Australia’s education manager and goalball player Jenny Blow to deliver a virtual classroom to students from Ashwood School in Melbourne. "It’s a great experience for me to be able to share my story and hopefully it’s helping kids to build on their own stories by giving them the opportunity to ask questions about how I got to where I am," Littlehales said.
18th Jun 2020 - Inside The Games


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Jun 2020

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We must walk tightrope between online and offline learning

If schools do not focus on adapting teaching materials that can reach the last child, then the consequence could be a generation of young illiterates. This will be detrimental for the society at large. The definition of what is meant by quality of education will have to be constantly revised because too much emphasis on technology could also exclude many children from education.
17th Jun 2020 - The Indian Express

Virtual classroom options, social distancing: Here's what we know about Montgomery ISD bringing students back this fall

The state of Texas has not yet released its final requirements for schools opening for fall 2020-21 amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but Montgomery ISD has laid out a tentative plan for its district. The plan includes returning to traditional instruction with spaced-out desks as well as virtual classroom options. However, MISD is waiting on further clarification from the state on issues such as transportation. At this time, the district has opted to not change its traditional calendar, MISD interim Superintendent Ann Dixon said at June 16 board of trustees meeting. This means usual breaks such as summer and spring break are still scheduled.
17th Jun 2020 - Community Impact Newspaper

HRD working on SOPs for online classes; to address issues of increased screen time, digital divide

The guidelines are being developed in view of complaints from parents about schools conducting online classes like regular school, which has increased children’s screen time
16th Jun 2020 - The Hindu

SD 51 prepares for hybrid online/in-class learning in September

Though in-class learning only resumed in School District 51 – Boundary two weeks ago, management is already looking at how education in the district may differ next September, assuming COVID-19 precautions continue to govern the number of students permitted in a classroom at a given time. At its monthly board meeting held June 9, the district’s board of directors approved funding to hire two additional full-time teachers who will specialize in distance education support. Since spring break ended in March, students and staff alike have taken to online platforms to convene in virtual classrooms.
16th Jun 2020 - Boundary Creek Times


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Jun 2020

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UK students to head back to campus a week early this fall and end with virtual finals

University of Kentucky students will start classes a week early and end with virtual finals this fall, the university announced Tuesday. In-person classes will begin Aug. 17 and end by Thanksgiving, with UK joining a growing list of schools opting to end the semester remotely to help prevent a second spike of the coronavirus. Classes will take place on Labor Day and a prescheduled fall break has been canceled, UK said in a press release. All students will be able to get tested for the virus when they return to campus. Masks will be required almost everywhere on campus, the school said, and students and faculty will be encouraged to check for coronavirus symptoms daily.
16th Jun 2020 - Courier Journal

Some families won’t return when schools reopen. Wake wants to give them online option.

The Wake County school system plans to offer a virtual school option this fall for students who don’t feel comfortable returning to campus during the coronavirus pandemic.
16th Jun 2020 - Raleigh News & Observer

Sorry Not Sorry: Online Teaching Is Here to Stay

Four reasons you should join the online-teaching movement and spend some time this summer polishing your digital skills
16th Jun 2020 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

How the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing is making us go more digital

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a massive change in how people behave. In a country like India, where pushing and shoving in public places was common, people are now practising social distancing by keeping themselves at least three feet from others. Lines in public areas are orderly for the first time. Another impact of the pandemic is that it has accelerated trends that existed before COVID-19. While fewer people are venturing outside, more people than ever before are spending time online. Online gaming and video streaming sites have seen their subscriptions grow substantially. Social media has never been more popular; a fact attested to by the rising value of technology companies.
16th Jun 2020 - DATAQUEST

Virtual tours launched at Shropshire college ahead of September

A Shropshire college is busy planning for its next intake of students in September by hosting virtual tours and meetings.
16th Jun 2020 - Shropshire Star


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Jun 2020

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Virtual classroom enables interactive training

In collaboration with its partners Barco and Kinly, CTouch has built a unique virtual training room at its Eindhoven office. With this state-of-the-art facility, the touchscreen solutions provider makes it possible for companies and institutes to organize real-time, interactive trainings and classes with co-workers, students or partners from all over the world. The virtual training room will also be used by the company to provide collaboration sessions and technical product trainings to its network of resellers and touchscreen users.
15th Jun 2020 - eeNews Europe

Preparing for the post-Covid-19 classroom

The good news is that teachers in Ireland are able to upskill through a range of information and courses that provide training in areas such as blended learning, remote teaching apps, the impact of trauma on learning and other skills that will be vital from next September. We’ve compiled a collection of some of the best courses and webinars for teachers and principals seeking to prepare for the return to a very changed school environment.
15th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times

Coronavirus: A third of pupils 'not engaging with work'

The report by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) says head teachers believe around a third of pupils are not engaging with set work. Limited or no access to technology was a problem for around a quarter (23%) of pupils, school leaders told the NFER. The government says it has committed over £100m to help home learning. The NFER report is based on findings from a survey of 1,233 school leaders and 1,821 teachers in England's state schools, carried out between 7 and 17 May. It raises particular concern about the impact of school closures, due to Covid 19, on the learning of pupils from the most disadvantaged areas, saying pupil engagement is lower in schools with the highest levels of deprivation.
15th Jun 2020 - BBC News

With some remote learning likely for the fall, schools agonize over how much Zoom time to impose

The global pandemic upended life as we know it, shutting down school campuses across the country, but Zahriana Newson’s schedule at Roxbury Prep charter school barely changed. But now there's a new problem....
10th Jun 2020 - Boston Globe


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Survey shows desire for virtual classroom

The 2020-21 calendar took center stage at the Midland ISD board meeting last week. It was the topic du jour for board members and staff for more than three hours. And while the calendar had everyone’s attention, there was other news that came from a district survey that will impact the upcoming school year. District leaders learned that 22.4 percent of parents surveyed “would choose” a virtual learning option, and another 33.4 percent said “maybe” or “it depends.” Also, 28.7 percent of teachers responded they would wish to be considered to teach in a virtual setting, and another 37.1 percent said “maybe” or it “depends.”
14th Jun 2020 - Midland Reporter-Telegram

Pee Dee summer camps go virtual due of COVID-19

Summer camps in the Pee Dee are turning virtual in order to give kids an opportunity to have some fun over the summer. With a drastic rise in positive COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, summer camps are trying new ways to host campers while keeping them safe. Starting June 14, the Lynches River County Park will start its virtual summer camp program. The program will be held through its Environmental Discovery Center. The center will have two virtual camps that anyone can participate in. According to officials at the center, they plan to post their lessons on their YouTube channel and will be available to answer any questions kids may have.
14th Jun 2020 - wpde.com

COVID-19: Education goes online

In Kenya, this closure of learning institutions has inspired an evolution in education. Teachers now hold online classes in a bid to keep the country’s students learning. CGTN Africa visited one school in Nairobi offering online education as students and pupils remain holed up in their homes as a way of further preventing the spread of COVID-19. “It was not easy for us at the beginning because we work with very young children. Some of our children are 18 months, to six-year-olds. And so, when we launched that to the parents, that we would be going on with the virtual classes, we had quite a lot of anxious parents who doubted that was for them, for their ages, but yes, we had the will and so we pushed for it. And luckily the parents along the way, yes, supported that. And so it has a sort of now worked, it is working,” said Phyllis Kamau, the Director at Pink Tower Children’s House.
14th Jun 2020 - cgtn.com

UK language students prepare for virtual year abroad in their bedrooms

Some universities have cancelled overseas trips amid coronavirus fears and others are trying to think of alternatives
13th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Course welcomes COVID-19 experts into virtual classroom - Cornell College

“Barbara adapted this course to be about COVID-19 in a matter of just a couple of weeks, which is amazing and really can only be done because on the block plan,” said Junior Sam Sande of Powell, Wyoming. “She has done so much in terms of making this course totally unique and personal.”
12th Jun 2020 - Cornell College News


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Barco's Virtual classroom to expand reach of University College London's professional development programme

The institute has always had an international focus but with the recent spread of COVID-19, the need to connect with experts in Europe, the Americas and Asia, who are at the forefront of COVID-19 expertise, has only increased. Professor John Kelly, consultant urological surgeon, specialising in robotic surgery for bladder and prostate cancer at UCL, comments: “There are many platforms to connect, but we have found that we can use Barco’s system in a way that has not been possible with other technologies. The way teachers and students can interact is unparalleled, and therefore, this system comes at just the right time.” UCL uses the weConnect platform for synchronous teaching, where remote students can interact with a trainer and/or lecturer. Teachers can see the students’ faces up close and they can interact with them through polls, questions and whiteboarding.
11th Jun 2020 - FE News

Teacher transforms garage into gym for virtual classes with special needs students

The coronavirus pandemic changed how schools operate with students now learning via virtual classrooms. For one California physical education teacher, it meant getting creative by transforming his garage into a gym. Jared Sellers, an adaptive PE teacher for the Auburn Unified School District in California, renovated his garage into a home gym for virtual classes. He says it cost him around $1,500 of his own money, buying equipment, flooring and adding a new drain so the garage wouldn’t flood if it rained. “I looked at my garage, and it was a bit of a mess. I knew that I could transform it into a space where I could still teach students. It was a process, and it took a village to put it together,” Sellers said.
11th Jun 2020 - WBTV

This Data Scientist Is Offering Virtual Coding Camps For Students Nationwide To Narrow STEM’s Education Gap

Her recent launch of CoderHeroes, and its CoderCamp program, has two parts: students nationwide can sign up for computer science learning in lieu of cancelled in-person camps—a boon at a time when coronavirus is threatening summer activities. A portion of each virtual CoderCamp tuition is then donated back to her Code Your Dreams after-school program, which provides middle and high school students in low-income Chicago communities with free computer science courses as well as access to the laptops, WiFi and android devices they need for coding and app creation.
11th Jun 2020 - Forbes


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Jun 2020

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Summer school to stay online for Edmonton public and Catholic schools, even as province re-opens amid COVID-19

“(We) will be offering remote instruction and not in-person instruction as the majority of student enrolment and staffing has already been completed for an online platform,” Lori Nagy, spokeswoman for Edmonton Catholic Schools, said in an email Wednesday. “As for diploma exams, we are in the process of planning to ensure that we are respecting all Alberta Health guidelines, determining staff needs and considering the space requirements at some of our high schools. We will know more in the next week or so.”
10th Jun 2020 - Edmonton Journal

Rebooting Education: E-Learning rises to the challenge

How should educational institutions cope up with the brimming effects of the lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic?” This question created ripples across the education sector when the virus took a toll on the lives of people across the globe. As we grappled with the effects of the pandemic, educationists worked towards serving the best interest of the students by strengthening the virtual modes of learning. Undeterred by the impact of the novel coronavirus, educational institutions are today at the brink of a new revolution, popularly known as e-learning.
10th Jun 2020 - Deccan Herald

Rogers High School teacher recognized as Cox “Hero of Distance Learning”

Michael Carlino, a math teacher at Rogers High School, was among three teachers recognized as a Cox Communications “Hero of Distance Learning” today during Governor Raimondo’s regular COVID-19 press briefing. “As educators have migrated to uncharted waters with the transition to distance learning, many have emerged as heroes to the students and families depending on them to keep their school work on track,” a press release from COX Communications states. Cox Communications asked members of the community and school departments which teachers were truly excelling in this challenging environment in order to reward educators with a $1,000 home technology makeover for their virtual classrooms.
10th Jun 2020 - What'sUpNewp


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Jun 2020

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COVID-19: Schools in Oman make quick transition to online learning

School systems in Oman were able to transition towards virtual learning soon after they received instructions to temporarily close schools and run classes online. Following the decision on 14 March by the Ministry of Education to close all educational institutions to stop the spread of COVID-19, schools attempted to make sure the standards of education their students received through online learning was of a similar level to that achieved in classrooms. The Indian school system, which represents the largest school system primarily attended by expats in Oman, already had some online resources prior to this, and began expanding them once the ministry’s decision had been made.
9th Jun 2020 - Times of Oman

Coronavirus: Irish universities prepare for students to return

The threat posed to public health by the coronavirus pandemic has led to universities across the globe having to address how they can continue teaching while keeping their staff and students safe. While non-essential businesses had to close their doors to the public in the space of just a few weeks in March, almost all teaching activity at Ireland’s universities and colleges had to rapidly migrate online. Course instructors had to adopt technologies that had never before been used on this scale in the experience of Irish education. All of a sudden, the virtual classroom took centre stage. Students would complete their studies online without having to attend classes in-person, while assessments and examinations were quickly reappraised and reconstituted. This migration represented the single biggest structural change in the third-level sector in Ireland in recent years. One academic referred to it as “the great onlining of Irish higher education”.
9th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times

Virtual Education: Will the nature of schooling change post COVID-19?

The online technology they were uncomfortable with, is gradually becoming essential due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of the pandemic.
9th Jun 2020 - The Statesman


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Jun 2020

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As pandemic continues, local school worked to keep students engaged as school year ends

The coronavirus pandemic has made many organizations rethink their operations, especially in the field of education. Like its public school counterparts, Fairfield Christian Academy, a private school system in Lancaster, worked to make the transition to distance learning easy for its students, creating content that would keep their interest and remain educational.
8th Jun 2020 - Lancaster Eagle Gazette

Stay-at-home kids need help until a coronavirus vaccine arrives

Even if school opens in the fall not every teacher and student will be able to return if there isn’t a vaccine. There are many children who have compromised immune systems or someone in their household might have a pre-existing condition which will force them to stay home. Others simply just don’t want to chance it. The same predicament is true for many teachers across the commonwealth. Gov. Charlie Baker’s team has been leading from behind since the pandemic first hit and the same can be said concerning the Department of Early Education.
8th Jun 2020 - Boston Herald


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Jun 2020

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Coaching industry tries to reinvent itself in Covid times

Every year about this time, India’s coaching industry starts admitting lakhs of students aspiring for entrance to premier institutes. In the wake of coronavirus, numbers are down to half as institutes try to reinvent their classrooms for a post-pandemic world.
8th Jun 2020 - The Indian Express

Online classes to continue

The online classes for schoolchildren are likely to continue even after the summer vacation since parents are unwilling to risk sending their children to school, multiple school authorities have told The Telegraph. In the same breath, several school principals and teachers said that online classes are less engaging and less productive, particularly for the weaker students and those very young who need individual attention.
8th Jun 2020 - Telegraph India

Teaching post-Covid-19: Will we still need classrooms?

The prolonged lockdown situation has made us all reassess various aspects of life including how and where we work. Educationalists are no exception. Just over 10 weeks of working from home – carrying out administrative duties, having virtual meetings and setting assignments – have made us all think about what it is we and our students are missing out on. For me, it's these eight key aspects of teaching. Human beings require physical contact – that’s a given. It is the core of our being. Real contact that relies on our five senses defines and shapes the way we perceive the outside world.
7th Jun 2020 - TES News

Violinist.com Interview with Anthea Kreston: Going Virtual During the Pandemic

Anthea is a violinist with a B.A. in women’s studies from Cleveland State University and a performance degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. She spent four years as a member of the Artemis Quartett in Berlin, where she also was a Professor at the Universität der Künste Berlin and Master Teacher at the Queen Elizabeth Chapel in Brussels. You may have seen her regular blog on Slipped Disc. Now back in the U.S., she has been teaching students at Curtis and spending time with her husband and two daughters. She's also has been hard at work, developing the fully-online Inside Music Academy Virtual Summer Sessions, which will feature a variety of offerings, including classical strings, winds, piano, composition, conducting, adult learners and Suzuki. Last week I spoke to Anthea about her experience with online teaching, her perspective on the pandemic, and the new summer program that starts June 15.
5th Jun 2020 - Violinist.com

The Results Are In for Remote Learning: It Didn’t Work

The problems began piling up almost immediately. There were students with no computers or internet access. Teachers had no experience with remote learning. And many parents weren’t available to help. In many places, lots of students simply didn’t show up online, and administrators had no good way to find out why not. Soon many districts weren’t requiring students to do any work at all, increasing the risk that millions of students would have big gaps in their learning. “We all know there’s no substitute for learning in a school setting, and many students are struggling and falling far behind where they should be,” said Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, in a video briefing to the community on Wednesday.
6th Jun 2020 - The Wall Street Journal


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Jun 2020

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Covid-19 makes it clearer than ever: access to the internet should be a universal right

The internet eased lockdown life for millions. But millions more still can’t get online, and that’s fundamentally unfair
4th Jun 2020 - The Guardian

Two girls' lockdown learning underlines South Africa's educational divide

When Zinzi Lerefolo was sent home from her fee-paying girls’ school in a leafy Johannesburg suburb in March, her family set up a virtual classroom that allowed her to continue studying uninterrupted.
4th Jun 2020 - Reuters

Online summer camps for children and teenagers

For many parents, summer camps are an important way for children to learn new skills, make friends and stay active over the long break. And they also often provide crucial time and space for parents. This summer, however, is very different, with traditional “in-person” camps still not guaranteed to take place, even later this summer, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, online camps are experiencing a growth in popularity, especially with parents looking to balance childcare with working from home.
4th Jun 2020 - The Irish Times


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Jun 2020

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UT reveals fall plans for some online learning, limited classroom capacity

Interim UT-Austin president Jay Hartzell shared an update on planning for the Fall 2020 semester. In a letter to Longhorns he said about 20 percent of classes would be designed for online learning and classrooms would only be filled to 40 percent capacity. He also explained plans to ramp-up COVID-19 testing. UT Senior Ryan Chandler is gearing up for his last semester on campus. He'll graduate in December and is encouraged by plans to welcome Longhorns back to the 40 Acres this fall. "I really hope that we can have as much of the Longhorn experience as possible given the circumstances," he said.
4th Jun 2020 - KEYE TV CBS Austin

It is planned to create a common "virtual classroom" platform

The Ministry of Education and Science, together with the State Education Content Center (VISC), plans to create a single "virtual classroom" platform, which would prevent the learning process from taking place on many different platforms, Minister of Education and Science Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) said during a press conference today. Guntars Catlaks, the head of the VISC, informed about the data of a survey conducted by ministry and Edurio, in which the students admitted that during the distance learning process they did not like that communication with their school takes place on different platforms. Pupils also lacked a single platform on which to work. The minister explained that the creation of a single platform would eliminate one of the most significant shortcomings, and that the teaching process and communication between students and teachers should take place on one platform. Tasks could also be assigned to this platform.
3rd Jun 2020 - Baltic Times

Six Harvard Graduate Schools To Conduct Classes Online in Fall 2020 | News

Six of Harvard’s 12 degree-granting schools will conduct classes remotely during the fall semester, they announced Wednesday. Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Harvard Divinity School will hold classes online in the upcoming term; Harvard Graduate School of Education will conduct its classes and operations online for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget T. Long wrote in an email to affiliates that the school's decision “largely centers” on “disruptions to residential learning” as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
3rd Jun 2020 - Harvard Crimson

Here’s which Michigan colleges will have in-person, online fall classes -- or both

A list of Michigan colleges, universities and how they’re adapting to the coronavirus pandemic this fall
3rd Jun 2020 - WDIV ClickOnDetroit


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Jun 2020

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It Was a Bumpy Ride, But Virtual Schooling During the Coronavirus Boosted Teachers' Tech Skills

With the help of co-teacher and tech innovator Amanda Legge, Binns has worked her way through. On a video call with Legge and Education Week, Binns described how she now films herself doing math problems, uploads them to YouTube, and posts them to Google Classroom. “I’m so proud of you!” Legge told her, smiling. For Binns, the growth feels significant. “This has made me have to spread my wings and be willing to make a mistake, and be willing to push the button and know that the computer is not going to explode,” she said. “It’s helped me a lot to be more confident.”
2nd Jun 2020 - Education Week

6 Lessons Kansas Teachers Learned When The Coronavirus Pushed Classes Online

Educators say there was a silver lining when Kansas schools and campuses had to shut down because of the coronavirus: It was a chance to learn how to do remote learning right. Now with college finals submitted and most K-12 schools in summer vacation mode, educators are reflecting on those two months of online teaching, especially knowing that some universities will have to do it again come fall (Wichita State plans online-only instruction after Thanksgiving). Here are six things that Kansas professors and teachers say they’ve learned outside of the physical classroom.
1st Jun 2020 - HPPR


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Jun 2020

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Mmegi Blogs :: Online learning popularity grows under COVID-19

Virtual or E-pedagogy might broadly be defined as ‘learning design that incorporates educational quality, values and effectiveness of teaching, learning and assessment activities supported by technology’. It is also a comprehensive science, which integrates all issues related to online education, starting with the theoretical foundations, and embracing higher education institutions, pedagogic systems, personal and professional development, principles of teaching and learning, instructional approaches and methods. Online classes, mean conducting teaching and learning sessions with the help of ICT; the internet is an important player. You can inform students through email or WhatsApp about the time and topic of the online class. You can also stream your video tutorials live on YouTube. What are the basic dos and don’ts of conducting online classes?
2nd Jun 2020 - Mmegi Online

Summer School To Be Mostly Online In Wisconsin Amid COVID-19 Concerns

With nearly 17,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, Wisconsin schools are keeping their doors closed to students through the summer. The state's five largest school districts have laid out plans for online summer school, billing it as the safest option for both students and staff. At the same time, local recreation departments are laying out in-person plans to make sure parents headed back to work have somewhere to send their children. Milwaukee Recreation Senior Director Lynn Greb said her department will have a pared-down lineup of summer programs, with only 50 children allowed at each site. Those children may get further split into smaller groups that might have staggered meal times, on top of other precautions to keep the groups from mixing.
2nd Jun 2020 - Wisconsin Public Radio News

This is online learning's moment. For universities, it's a total mess

The University of Manchester, which has announced plans to keep lectures online-only in the autumn term, is already preparing for the worst. On April 23, vice-chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell told staff that redundancies and pay cuts may be necessary if 80 per cent of students from outside the EU and 20 per cent of UK and EU students decided to stay defer or drop out. In the worst-case scenario, the university could lose up to £270m in a single year – a 15 to 25 per cent deficit.
2nd Jun 2020 - Wired.co.uk

Universities will never be the same after the coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus crisis is forcing universities to confront long-standing challenges in higher education, such as skyrocketing tuition costs and perceptions of elitism — and some of the resulting changes could be permanent. Over the long term, universities might shift many classes online (a trend already under way), have fewer international students and even refashion themselves to be more relevant to local and national communities — both to solve pressing problems and to prove their worth at a time when experts and public institutions are coming under increased criticism. “The pandemic is speeding up changes in a tremendous way,” says Bert van der Zwaan, former rector of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and author of Higher Education in 2040: A Global Approach (2017).
2nd Jun 2020 - Nature.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Jun 2020

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New academic year begins in Kerala, lessons go online via KITE Victers channel due to coronavirus COVID-19...

The new academic year will begin in Kerala on Monday (June 1) but this year it will be completely online using multiple virtual platforms due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
1st Jun 2020 - Zee News

Parents call for virtual school for Scottish pupils

Some parents are calling for a Scotland-wide virtual school as anxieties grow at the prospect of indefinite home schooling into the autumn and beyond. While pupils transitioning into primary and secondary schools should be in class briefly before the summer holidays begin at the end of June, the majority of Scotland’s schoolchildren with not return until 11 August, and then to a blended model of in-school and at-home learning. With parents already struggling to support their children’s education, often while continuing to work from home, there was consternation when it emerged last week that Scotland’s largest local authority, Glasgow city council, is considering a model that would see children in school only two days out of every five.
31st May 2020 - The Guardian

Teaching in the time of coronavirus: Finding creative ways to engage students

“The challenge is for us to make it engaging, high interest,” said Dave Peterson, a fifth-grade teacher at Juniper Elementary in Escondido, who created digital badges inspired by gaming rewards, which students could earn for completing assignments. “We also have to give them some incentive to show up.” It’s perhaps fitting that this generation of students, often referred to as iGen because of their familiarity with digital media, should be the ones to beta test online education on a large scale. For some districts, it’s hastening changes that were already in the works. In Vista Unified School District, which began a transition to “personalized learning” years ago, it was a relatively smooth transition, Superintendent Matt Doyle said. The district had already invested heavily in mobile devices such as Chromebooks and hotspots, and had retooled classrooms so that students could be more active in their own educations.
31st May 2020 - The San Diego Union-Tribune


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th May 2020

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Here's why Covid-19 heralds the dawn of virtual classrooms

In the months and years ahead, until there is a vaccine, lockdowns will happen regularly in many parts of the world. The head of the World Health Organisation himself said that society would be fighting this virus for a very long time. To keep it safe for students, education institutions will prefer operating remotely with intermittent access to campuses.
28th May 2020 - India Today on MSN.com

Children’s daily screen time skyrockets under coronavirus lockdown, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Don’t let screens get in the way of physical activity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and adolescents perform at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day, which stimulates widespread benefits ranging from cardiorespiratory fitness and weight control to reducing stress and preventing health conditions like diabetes. And while there are plenty of exercise apps and alluring video games for kids that encourage movement, nothing beats good, old fashioned exercise and physical activity.
28th May 2020 - OregonLive

What will school look like in the fall? MPS explores possible options

Stung by criticism over its slow pivot to virtual learning as the coronavirus pandemic shuttered schools this spring, Milwaukee Public Schools is taking the lead in rolling out its options for resuming instruction in the fall. The district this week unveiled the various scenarios it is considering, from virtual classes only to hybrid in-person and online instruction; keeping high schoolers online but returning younger students to schools; and returning to the neighborhood schools model, which would dramatically reduce the district's reliance on busing.
28th May 2020 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Coronavirus: Schools are virtual, and so is this tutor

Barbara Rauch said she knew she needed to continue tutoring all her students during the coronavirus pandemic. While her physical location shuttered in the Annadale on March 12, her first live virtual classroom setting was launched March 16.
27th May 2020 - SILive.com


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th May 2020

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Coronavirus: Home schooling to continue for most pupils until September, says minister

The return of pupils will be balanced with the "overwhelming objective of ensuring they are as safe as possible", MPs are told.
28th May 2020 - Sky News

International students torn as UK universities go virtual

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown Britain's universities into a state of uncertainty. One in five students in the UK is from overseas, and what attracts students to Britain are its highly collaborative seminars, which may not be possible in the era of social distancing. Universities and their surrounding communities are bracing for a massive financial hit. Potential students who are weighing their options; the switch to online-only courses could be an opportunity to cater to students with differing cultural norms.
27th May 2020 - Business Insider

This is what theatres could look like when they reopen after lockdown

A theatre company in Germany has offered a first look at how social distancing will work when audiences return. Normally there is space for around 700 people in the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin – but, amid the coronavirus crisis, only 200 guests will be welcomed to watch plays at one time. A picture posted to the Berliner Ensemble’s social media shows the bizarre circumstances theatre-goers will find themselves under, with seats arranged metres apart, in groups of one or two. Speaking on Twitter, the theatre company said it would be the ‘new reality’ from when it reopens in September.
27th May 2020 - Metro.co.uk

University of Washington plans hybrid learning approach for ‘largest freshman class ever’ this fall

As the University of Washington prepares for the first virtual graduation in its 159-year history, President Ana Mari Cauce is focused on what happens a few months later. Speaking at a virtual town hall with other university presidents Wednesday, Cauce said she expects to welcome UW students back to campus in the fall despite uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s more, the class of 2024 is poised to be “our largest freshman class ever,” Cauce said. To make that possible, UW is planning for a hybrid approach combining online learning with small-scale in-person education. Large lectures will likely be held online but smaller classes, particularly those that require laboratories, could be held in-person with physical distancing.
27th May 2020 - GeekWire

The Future of College Is Online, and It’s Cheaper

The coronavirus forced a shift to virtual classes, but their continuation could be beneficial even after the pandemic ends.
25th May 2020 - The New York Times


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th May 2020

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Powys teachers get their own lessons in virtual education

Since returning from the Easter break in April, Powys youngsters have been taught online. And teachers in Powys have been prepared for their new virtual classrooms by taking their own online courses run by the Open University. While preparations in England are being made for a return of some classes next week, it is highly likely that children in Powys and the rest of Wales will not be going back to school until September, meaning that teachers will have plenty of time to put their training into action.
26th May 2020 - Powys County Times

Surge in demand for e-learning classes

There has been a surge in e-learning across the country as the possibility of a quick return to the classroom becomes more remote. In Penang, where about 2,000 tuition and special skills learning centres have closed temporarily to prevent the spread of Covid-19, teachers are turning to virtual classrooms to conduct lessons. Students, from pre-school to college, have been logging in to their teacher’s virtual classrooms to catch up on school-work.
26th May 2020 - The Sun Daily


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th May 2020

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Virtual learning could still be an option for Alabama students this fall

Virtual learning may still be an option for some students this fall. Especially for those parents who don’t feel comfortable sending their kids back to a traditional classroom during this pandemic. But state Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey said he and other school leaders are still trying to work out the details and logistics of a plan to do that. We are still in the midst of a pandemic, but school leaders at the state and local levels are still working on options for students and their families to keep them safe and comfortable this fall.
26th May 2020 - WBRC FOX6 News

Concordia University of Edmonton joins NAIT in announcing fall semester will be mostly virtual

Most of Concordia University of Edmonton’s fall semester courses will be delivered online, the school announced Monday, following a similar announcement from NAIT last week. Some courses and programs at Concordia that require in-person interaction,
26th May 2020 - Edmonton Journal

Op-Ed: Lessons from the Pandemic on How to Reimagine and Improve Schooling

‘When school resumes, we will better appreciate what we have been missing, but we should build upon what we have learned’
26th May 2020 - NJ Spotlight

Redefining homework: South Dakota educators bring varied virtual classrooms to students | The Globe

When Gov. Kristi Noem first closed South Dakota's schools in mid-March and those closures were eventually stretched through the end of the school year, districts across the state quickly cobbled together distance learning plans from various combinations of familiar and new online programs, pencil-and-paper handoffs of classwork and, for some, existing plans already developed in case of school closures longer than a snow day or two. During a school year book-ended by record-setting flooding and a global pandemic, Corsica-Stickney Superintendent Scott Muckey said faculty in his district and others in southeast South Dakota had potential remote learning strategies in mind before schools closed through the end of the year.
25th May 2020 - The Globe

Shift To Online Was Inevitable, But Pandemic Has Fast-tracked And Enforced This: Gaurav Kumar, Edumarshal

In an exclusive chat with BW Education, Gaurav Kumar, Co-founder & CEO, Edumarshal talks about the firm and more.
25th May 2020 - BW Businessworld


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th May 2020

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Focus on education: How schools moved the classroom online during lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has brought an unprecedented strain upon all of our lives. Shops shutting, pubs closing, and schools only open for a select few. For secondary school pupils in Maidenhead, they have had to adapt to a new way of learning, with some students potentially not returning until September at the earliest. So, how are youngsters being taught during lockdown? Reporter Kieran Bell spoke to the secondary’s in Maidenhead to find out.
23rd May 2020 - Maidenhead Advertiser

Clevify Launches First Virtual Classroom App in Africa

Digital learning platform, Clevify, has launched the first virtual classroom app in Africa, just as it unveiled Seyi Awolowo as its brand ambassador. The new app targets to reduce the number of out of school children in the country by offering virtual class alternatives and delivery of imaginative subject-based instructional videos. Chief Operating Officer at Clevify, Deji Maradesa, stated that the app is a support tool for as many students who are struggling to attune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 pandemic.
23rd May 2020 - THISDAY Newspapers


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd May 2020

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Coronavirus: The pupils who had a head start on virtual learning

When Scottish schools reopen in August, it is expected that most pupils will spend half their time learning at home. The Scottish government has promised a major investment in laptops and tablets to ensure that can happen. However, in the Borders every secondary school pupil has already been given an iPad through the council's £16m Inspire Learning scheme. Could this be the shape of things to come for the rest of the country? Lucy Robbie says she feels fortunate to have the technology which enabled her to keep up with her schoolwork during the lockdown. "They definitely helped us - not everyone has a computer at home," said the S2 pupil at Selkirk High School.
22nd May 2020 - BBC News

UNC students attend virtual reality classes as part of remote learning

Some University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students have gotten the unique chance to attend class in a virtual reality environment while taking classes from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The class was taught by Steven King, an associate professor at the UNC School of Media and Journalism. "They put on the headset each week for class and they're transported into the VR classroom" King told ABC News.
21st May 2020 - WTVD-TV

Lockdown lessons: When room moves to home, class comes into the classroom

An Express Series Part I: this tale of three snapshots, is a telling story of how the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown is playing out in schools, private to public, metros to Tier II cities, and far-flung rural districts.
21st May 2020 - The Indian Express

Chandigarh to launch virtual classroom for students, IT professionals

An initiative taken in sync with the Central Government policy for promoting online classes in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) under the aegis of the Department of Information Technology, UT, is launching its virtual classroom to fill the gap created by suspended conventional classroom learning due to ongoing nationwide lockdown.
21st May 2020 - The Tribune


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st May 2020

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When room moves to home, class comes into the classroom

In this tale of three snapshots, is a telling story of how the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown is playing out in schools, private to public, metros to Tier II cities, and far-flung rural districts.
21st May 2020 - The Indian Express

Coronavirus: Plan for 'new normal' for post-16 learning

Students and apprentices may have to continue attending virtual classes online for "some time", the Welsh Government has said. Students and apprentices have not had face-to-face teaching since the start of the coronavirus restrictions. Now the Welsh Government has published a plan in a bid to get post-16 learners back to class. While the plan has no dates, it states that there will need to be a "new normal for some time". The three-point "resilience plan" sets out a phased return for over-16s to apprenticeships, colleges and universities.
20th May 2020 - BBC News

The coronavirus pandemic is creating 2 major problems in education, but there aren’t as many downsides as upsides

The coronavirus pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on Gen Z and the educational landscape, a veteran ed-tech CEO told Business Insider. The positives: Education will see more tutoring, a “flipped classroom,” and more adaptive learning opportunities in the future. The negatives: The pandemic is exaggerating the socioeconomic divide and putting all students at risk of learning loss.
20th May 2020 - Business Insider

Chickens hatch for online audience: MSU Extension offers virtual learning opportunities

Michigan State University Extension has been offering a variety of online programmingamid the coronavirus pandemic as part of continuing its educational mission. Warchuck, 4-H program coordinator for MSU Extension St. Clair County, purchased both fertilized and store-bought chicken eggs, comparing their internal characteristics by holding up a candle to the eggs. Each week, a lesson would be given via Facebook Live showing the stages of an egg's development. It's the same program traditionally done in school classrooms. "We candle the eggs, and the kids were actually able to see the embryo inside there," Warchuck said.
20th May 2020 - The Times Herald

Online schooling to last through summer for 1 in 6 NYC kids

Online schooling will continue through the summer for some 177,700 New York City public school students, officials announced Tuesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, said he wants to create a city without racial and economic disparities like those uncovered by new data on the impacts of the coronavirus in the city.
19th May 2020 - Education Week


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th May 2020

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How coronavirus is widening the gap in schools

When Darwen Vale High School offered an online English class for Year 10 students, staff were keen to monitor who was showing up in the virtual classroom, as the coronavirus lockdown turned its pupils into distance learners overnight. With almost half of students receiving the “pupil premium” for less well-off children — Darwen Vale in Lancashire is in the 14th most deprived borough in England — there were fears that already disadvantaged students would fall further behind. Sure enough, the data showed that only 45 per cent of those with the pupil premium had attended the class, compared with 72 per cent of their peers — a 27 percentage point gap that the school is now trying to shrink.
19th May 2020 - Financial Times

Virtual classrooms, online learning gain grounds amid pandemic

In an interview, Robert Speed, Vice President at Blackboard for the Middle East and Africa, said Blackboard has been operating in the ME Region for the last 20 years, “so we have been a key part of developing teaching and learning online pre-COVID-19.” He noted that COVID-19 has been such a disruptor in the education sector across the Middle East Region with a huge shift, and at pace and scale from traditional face to face learning to a purely digital teaching and learning environment.
19th May 2020 - AlKhaleej Today

Coronavirus: 'Campus experience' on hold as Cambridge moves lectures online for next academic year

Cambridge University has said lectures will only be held online for the academic year beginning in September because of coronavirus. It follows a similar move by the University of Manchester, which said its lectures would be online-only for the Autumn term. If more universities follow suit, and with the situation still unclear as to when bars and clubs will be able to open fully, it could mean increasing numbers of students due to begin their courses in September deciding to defer their studies until 2021/22.
20th May 2020 - Sky News

Some fall classes at Florida universities will stay virtual

Florida’s 12 universities are in the planning stage for students and staff to return to campus this fall, but health concerns and challenges with social distancing will make the 2020 college year unlike any before. The universities’ presidents have been working on measures to reopen campuses for weeks. Florida State University President John Thrasher said every decision administrators make results in five more questions for them to answer. Thrasher said he has multiple phone calls a week to discuss best practices.
19th May 2020 - WJXT News4JAX

Teaching remotely: Yakima Valley teachers find challenges, opportunities working from home

Schools were asked to make their best efforts to reach every student in their enrollment, whether online or through mailed paper packets. It looks different in every district, and even from teacher to teacher, student to student. Several weeks into the remote schooling system, practices have begun to iron out. Yakima Valley teachers shared a peek into how they run their remote classrooms, what lessons they plan to take back to campus when the time comes, and what hurdles still stand in the way for them or their students.
19th May 2020 - Yakima Herald-Republic


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th May 2020

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Covid-19 is changing education for the better

During lockdown, many of the 48 university technical colleges that I helped establish and work with have provided teaching programmes from 9am to 5pm. Pupil attendance varies from 50 per cent to 95 per cent. Most students have access to the latest laptops. But some disadvantaged students do not — or only via a shared family laptop. The UK government now sees the advantage of online teaching because it is making laptops available to those students. Our students like these virtual lessons. They eliminate long journeys to school — some of the students travel three hours a day. They allow an outstanding physics teacher — something of a rarity — to reach not only his or her own students, but those in schools that do not have a physics teacher at all. In future, virtual classes could allow students to attend school in person for, say, four days, with online lessons on the fifth.
19th May 2020 - Financial Times

France to help Indian students begin classes for 2020 academic year through virtual classrooms

France said on Monday it is exploring novel ways to maintain cooperation with India amid the Covid-19 crisis, especially in education, and has augmented the proportion of scholarships for this academic year by 50% or Rs 10 crore. The efforts are focused on maintaining people-to-people exchanges despite lockdowns and suspension of events. France also intends to turn the Covid-19 crisis into opportunities to boost partnerships in education, research and culture. France is fully geared to enable the start of the academic year for new students through virtual classrooms, if necessary. Authorities are hoping students will be able to join their classes in France in autumn, if not in September.
18th May 2020 - Hindustan Times

How music education is using tech to thrive during coronavirus lockdown

With the shutdown of schools, colleges, and universities, educators are turning to existing and innovative new technologies that keep students learning and mentally healthy – this is how you can do it too.
18th May 2020 - MusicTech


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th May 2020

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Coronavirus: 3 lessons learned from remote teaching

Forced to completely rethink the way she delivers lessons, international teacher Sarah Cullen explains what she’s learned through teaching remotely
15th May 2020 - TES News

Using Tech to Teach — Smartly

Ben Cogswell, a kindergarten teacher in Salinas, Calif., has nailed it. And he has some advice for the rest of us. For his remote classes, Cogswell breaks out a robot puppet for videos that get his students primed for the day. He sings an alphabet song to guide kids through a lesson on commonly mixed-up letters. In the evening, he reads stories over Facebook Live, sometimes with his wife accompanying him on the ukulele. While living through screens can largely feel like a mess, talking to Cogswell was a happy reminder that technology — if we keep it in its place — can empower creative teachers to shine and help students learn through a tough time.
15th May 2020 - The New York Times

Choose from hundreds of online courses from top universities and specialist organisations.

Choose from hundreds of online courses from top universities and specialist organisations.
17th May 2020 - Future Learn


Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th May 2020

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Classroom of the Future: The Rise of Online Learning

There are, in fact, many benefits of online education for everyone involved. "Online courses have benefits for both the trainer and the student," noted Greg Smith, CEO of Thinkific. "Coaches, experts and entrepreneurs who deliver in-person lessons can create more leverage in their time and scale their businesses effectively by teaching online," he told the E-Commerce Times. One of the primary benefits of online education is that it potentially can reach many more students than location-specific training.
14th May 2020 - E-Commerce Times

California State University chancellor explains reasoning behind decision to hold virtual classes this fall