Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Nov 2022

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The science on remote schooling is now clear. Here’s who it hurt most.

Academic progress for American children plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. Now a growing body of research shows who was hurt the most, both confirming worst fears and adding some new ones. Students who learned from home fared worse than those in classrooms, offering substantial evidence for one side of a hot political debate. High-poverty schools did worse than those filled with middle class and affluent kids, as many worried. And in a more surprising finding, older students, who have the least amount of time to make up losses, are recovering much more slowly from setbacks than younger children. Most school districts saw declines, but the magnitude varied.
23rd Nov 2022 - The Washington Post

Productivity tips for students in remote learning

Students can adopt a list of productive tips and habits to keep them from burning out whilst studying remotely: a schedule, the right working conditions, a specific place to study, up-to-date study tools, a reward to look forward to, setting goals and keeping track of them will all help staying focused and efficient.
22nd Nov 2022 - E-Learning Inside

Disability advocates criticise 'discriminatory' university plans to end remote learning

Disability advocacy groups have slammed a decision by leading Australian universities to end remote learning options for students. Students from the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney who began their degrees online will need to show up in person from next year. The University of Sydney said a decision by the national regulator requiring all international students return to on-campus learning influenced their decision for domestic students.
21st Nov 2022 - SBS News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Nov 2022

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Emergent bilinguals lost vital instruction during remote learning, study shows

Emergent bilingual learners—students developing proficiency in English and another language—in kindergarten through second grade saw significant loss of language-rich instruction during remote learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by Amy Crosson, associate professor of education in the Penn State College of Education.
15th Nov 2022 - Phys.org

The school that never stopped remote learning after lockdown

As with all Victorian schools, the pandemic forced Kalianna to switch to remote learning almost overnight. But unlike almost every other school in the state, it has adopted some COVID-enforced changes permanently. Late last year, when the state emerged from its final period of lockdown, Kalianna continued with remote learning, knowing that the education of some of its most chronically absent students was at stake.
15th Nov 2022 - The Age

The Nation's 'Report Card' on Remote Learning

On the first nationwide test of American students since the pandemic, scores plummeted to levels not seen in 20 years. The results show how challenging it was to keep students on track during the pandemic. What do the scores tell us about remote learning, who lost the most ground academically, and what can schools do to help students recover?
14th Nov 2022 - The New York Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Nov 2022

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We need to reverse the global learning crisis before it derails a generation of children

Opinion piece by David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, in which he argues that while schools were closed during the pandemic, students made none of the usual learning gains, despite attempts with remote learning. As many as 70% of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income economies can’t read and understand a basic text – what's called “learning poverty.” An expanded academic calendar, teaching based on instructional needs and funding education, can help recover learning losses.
8th Nov 2022 - USA Today

Educause ’22: Stanford Reflects on 2 Years of Remote Learning

Educators from Stanford University shared lessons from their campus’ overall experiences with remote learning, including student struggles and academic innovations, at the virtual Educause Annual Conference last week.
7th Nov 2022 - Government Technology

School’s out: Is remote learning damaging our kids’ education?

Covid may have accelerated the trend to shift learning online, but not everyone is convinced it’s the right move.
6th Nov 2022 - New Zealand Herald

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Nov 2022

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Is remote tutoring tech the solution to Europe’s ongoing teacher shortage?

One of the great challenges facing education across Europe is a lack of teachers. According to the latest EU data, 35 out of the 43 education systems across the bloc reported a shortage of teachers last year. It’s this problem that Vienna-based edtech company GoStudent is hoping to try to solve with its remote tutoring platform. “We are using technology to connect kids from all over the world with teachers that are also from all over the world,” said Felix Ohswald, the co-founder and CEO.
4th Nov 2022 - euronews

University orders all of its students back to campus after haunting image exposed the reality of student life in 2022

A top university has decided to pull the plug on students learning exclusively from home, making it compulsory to front up to campus lectures and tutorials. Sydney University will wind up remote learning and teaching next year after three years of online classes. Vice Chancellor at the university Mark Scott said patchy video platforms meant the college can not provide quality education.
2nd Nov 2022 - Daily Mail

Opinion: A Positive Future for Remote Teaching and Learning

Education leaders learned valuable lessons from synchronous and asynchronous learning and should examine everything that was accomplished during that rushed push toward remote learning. As Forbes magazine reports, remote work certainly seems to be here to stay in some form in the business world, so our education system needs to help prepare students for a future in which virtual workplaces are a reality. In a recent study by Future Forum, collaboration was found to be the main reason for resuming face-to-face work environments
31st Oct 2022 - Government Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 31st Oct 2022

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Remote learning not ‘primary’ driver of academic losses, new analysis suggests

Exactly how much did remote learning contribute to students’ academic losses during the pandemic? A new analysis released Friday inches us closer to a complicated answer. Using the latest national and state test score data, a team of researchers found that districts that stayed remote during the 2020-21 school year did see bigger declines in elementary and middle school math, and to some degree in reading, than other districts in their state. But the losses varied widely — and many districts that went back in person had bigger losses than districts that stayed remote. The pattern is inconsistent enough that school closures, it seems, were not the primary driver of those drops in achievement.
29th Oct 2022 - ChalkBeat

COVID-19 pandemic massively set back learning, especially for high-poverty areas

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated poor children’s well-being, not just by closing their schools, but also by taking away their parents’ jobs, sickening their families and teachers, and adding chaos and fear to their daily lives. The scale of the disruption to American kids’ education is evident in a district-by-district analysis of test scores shared exclusively with The Associated Press. The data provide the most comprehensive look yet at how much schoolchildren have fallen behind academically. The analysis found the average student lost more than half a school year of learning in math and nearly a quarter of a school year in reading – with some district averages slipping by more than double those amounts, or worse.
28th Oct 2022 - PBS

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Oct 2022

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Lessons from students in how to adapt teaching to online learning

Dr Nick Young, senior lecturer from the School of Education within Cardiff Met University. was nominated for a THE award linked to innovation. He is creating some guidance for academic staff on how they could adapt their teaching to online learning, and to try and engage students in quality teaching interactions.
23rd Oct 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

When to Outsource Online Learning, and When Not To

Like a lot of professors whose field of study is higher education, Jeffrey C. Sun frequently gets asked by administrators at his institution to weigh in on thorny issues they’re debating. When his bosses at the University of Louisville were considering how best to expand their online learning offerings, they asked Sun, a Distinguished University Scholar, for his thoughts on whether the university should hire an online program management (OPM) company or build the in-house expertise itself.
19th Oct 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

The Surprising Ways Teachers’ Biases Play Out in Virtual Classrooms

Virtual learning is nowhere near its pandemic peak, but it has entered the K-12 education mainstream and remains an option for many students. That is why it is important for educators and policymakers to understand that remote learning can be an environment primed to draw out teachers’ unconscious biases, according to a new study. When asked to evaluate identical student math work in a simulated virtual Zoom classroom, teachers were more likely to recommend that Black students get tested for special education than white students and that boys get tested for gifted programs more than girls, the researchers found.
13th Oct 2022 - Education Week

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Oct 2022

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Three Benefits Of Remote Learning For Every Generation

This is an exciting and unprecedented time for business professionals to invest in online learning experiences, not only for their own career advancements but for that of their employees, as well. More people than ever before are reevaluating how they spend their time, energy and hard-earned money. What better way to improve these areas than to invest in yourself with quality education or level up your career aspirations with new skills and knowledge?
14th Oct 2022 - Forbes

Children could be sent home to work remotely again this winter, headteachers in Wales warn

Children could be sent home from school to work remotely again this winter with further waves of Covid expected this winter, headteachers are warning. Health bosses have forecast a Covid and flu "twindemic" and one of Wales' top doctors said "one of more waves" of Covid are expected in coming months.
14th Oct 2022 - Wales Online

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Oct 2022

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Virtual learning growing amid pandemic and safety concerns

As virtual learning continues to expand, officials have noticed that parents’ motivation for wanting to pursue it has as well. Suzanne Sloane has been the Head of School for Virginia Virtual Academy since 2010. At that point, there were 90 students enrolled. This school year, they have about 5,000 students.
7th Oct 2022 - WHSV3

Virtual learning: An affordable education

It is theoretically possible to record lectures that do not require any personalisation or engagement so that students can watch them whenever and wherever they want. Since there is hardly any social interaction in these introductory courses, technology platforms may provide the content to extremely wide audiences at minimal cost without surrendering one of the key advantages of the face-to-face (F2F) classroom.
3rd Oct 2022 - The Hans India

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Oct 2022

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Remote learning tools can support mental health

As is well documented, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education systems worldwide. Research has indicated that mental health conditions have increased across all age groups. During the pandemic, remote learning tools have been primarily used to support the continuity of education. And yet, they also have the potential to greatly support mental health. UNICEF has released a report examining current remote learning programs that promote the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of students, educators, and caregivers in the education sector. Led by ACER researchers, the study involved a global rapid review to identify promising mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programs that are suitable for remote delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and emergency contexts.
28th Sep 2022 - ACER.org

Schools scale back home internet help as remote learning fades

With students off Zoom and back in classrooms, many schools have stopped helping students get online at home, new federal data shows. Just 45% of public schools are providing home internet access to students who need it this school year, down from 70% earlier in the pandemic, according to August survey data released by the National Center for Education Statistics. The sharp decline in schools giving students Wi-Fi hotspots or covering the cost of home internet coincides with the end of widespread remote learning.
27th Sep 2022 - Chalkbeat

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Sep 2022

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Pulling Distance Learning Tools Into In-Person Classes

We embark on academic year 2022–23 and a seeming return to normal. Yet we are not the same coming back—there are students who had to finish college online, those who had to start college online and those who have experienced college only online. If last year’s kindergarteners remember their remote year, those memories will be part of the graduating Class of 2039. Faculty members also are not the same, even those of us who teach in art and media fields. The “online model” may have changed our teaching forever—and for the better.
20th Sep 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

How remote learning provided graduates with skills for future careers

In March 2020 Ireland was about to go into lockdown and universities, colleges and schools were forced to shift their education delivery to a mostly unfamiliar online format. For the next year and a half students could only attend virtual classes, access study materials from afar and collaborate on projects from a distance. We asked Orla Bannon, director of careers at Trinity College Dublin, about how the pandemic may have equipped students with new skills and how they might make themselves more employable.
20th Sep 2022 - The Irish Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Sep 2022

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Learning loss was steepest in school districts that stayed remote longest: Study

Districts where schools stayed remote longer experienced more significant learning loss — but some of those losses are being reversed by states through effective teaching strategies. Those are the results, at once dismaying and hopeful, from a 10-state, district-by-district analysis conducted by Brown University economist Emily Oster as part of her long-standing effort to chronicle the pandemic’s deleterious impact on education.
15th Sep 2022 - Yahoo News

How the Pandemic Has Impacted Children’s Learning

A recent report shows that children's standardized test scores have gone down since 2020—the biggest drop in scores seen in 30 years. Though there are some limitations to the report, it suggests that the last few years of remote learning weren't great for many kids. Kids can learn remotely if they have the right resources, but in-person instruction remains immensely valuable.
12th Sep 2022 - Psychology Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Sep 2022

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Q&A: How a Year of Remote Learning Affected Kids’ Development

In her new book “The Stolen Year,” Author Anya Kamenetz examines how remote learning during the pandemic worsened the growing mental health crisis among children and adolescents. She also examines how it exacerbated existing educational inequities and was detrimental to educational attainment for children and adolescents.
8th Sep 2022 - Healthline

Remote learning revolution makes universities a target for cybercrime

Universities are already an attractive prospect for attackers looking to extort them for millions, steal sensitive student data or exfiltrate valuable research. Remote learning made them even more of a target. Since COVID-19, ransomware attacks on universities have spiked, and even now, two years on from the jump to hybrid working and learning, universities are ill-prepared. A recent report found that 97% of top 10 universities in the US, the UK and Australia are still leaving staff and students vulnerable because their systems lack basic security.
7th Sep 2022 - Education Technology

Remote learning might have helped protect teenagers’ sense of community during COVID-19 school closures

New research published in Behavioral Sciences provides evidence that information and communications technologies helped to protect students’ sense of community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In the new study, 917 Italian high school students (with an average age of 16.38) completed an online questionnaire that assessed their perceived sense of loneliness and perceived sense of community before and after the outbreak of COVID-19.
3rd Sep 2022 - PsyPost

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Sep 2022

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Education without walls: Some Ottawa families have chosen virtual schools — here's why

Unlike the online classes run during the pandemic, virtual schools are full-time standalone schools with their own staff who deploy teaching strategies directed specifically at virtual learning. For some families, it’s a preferred way of learning. For others, a student has experienced challenges in a traditional school setting and the safety and familiarity of their home work best for them.
3rd Sep 2022 - Ottawa Citizen

So Long, Remote Learning: Why Some Districts Are Ending Virtual Options

Remote learning became the primary mode of instruction for most K-12 schools during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when many students and staff weren’t able to meet in person. But more than two years later, about one-third of a sample of 100 large and urban districts in the country report they are ending their remote learning programs for the 2022-23 school year, according to an analysis by the Center on Reinventing Public Education.
3rd Sep 2022 - Education Week

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Sep 2022

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More kids are repeating a grade. Is it good for them?

The number of students held back for a year of school has surged around the US. Traditionally, experts have said repeating a grade can hurt kids social lives and academic futures. But many parents, empowered by new pandemic-era laws, have asked for do-overs to help their children recover from the tumult of remote learning, quarantines and school staff shortages.
1st Sep 2022 - ABC News

Student test scores plunged during the pandemic

Test scores in elementary school math and reading plummeted to levels unseen for decades, according to the first nationally representative report comparing student achievement from just before the pandemic to performance two years later. The falloff left little doubt about the pandemic’s toll. The average math score of 234 this year was comparable to the average score recorded in 1999, and the reading score of 215 was similar to the 2004 score. How long it might take to catch up is unclear and not likely to be understood until further test results are analyzed.
1st Sep 2022 - The Washington Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Sep 2022

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NY students with disabilities will have new chance to complete education

Students with disabilities who may have "aged out" of an education program due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have a renewed chance beginning in September to finish their school work under a law approved earlier this year. The law is meant to help students who have lost a year of education when the pandemic closed schools and made it difficult for them to complete their coursework through remote learning or online lessons.
31st Aug 2022 - Spectrum News 1

Edtech companies breaking UK data laws, privacy campaigners claim

Edtech companies are breaking UK data laws, leaving children’s data vulnerable to commercial exploitation, privacy campaigners claim, as free remote learning software that was adopted by schools in the pandemic comes under scrutiny. An investigation by children’s digital rights charity 5Rights is being presented to the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Department for Education on Wednesday, highlighting the policies of popular edtech products Google Classroom and ClassDojo.
31st Aug 2022 - Financial Times

Manitoba spending $2M on student supports, including boost for remote learning centre

The Manitoba government says it's spending about $2 million to bolster learning and counselling supports for students across the province ahead of their return to school next week. About half that money is going to the province's remote learning support centre for after-school learning help for students from Grade 1 to Grade 8, Education Minister Wayne Ewasko said. Another $390,000 will go toward supporting online resources and video-streaming services, including enhancements to support educators in French, French immersion and French-English programs.
31st Aug 2022 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 31st Aug 2022

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Roughly 1/3 of nation’s largest school districts to keep remote learning option from COVID

Roughly a third of big city school districts in the US are keeping virtual programs created during the COVID-19 pandemic in place this school year, according to new research released Monday. Another third of large districts are ditching remote learning altogether, researchers from the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a non-profit research center at Arizona State University.
30th Aug 2022 - New York Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Aug 2022

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Back to school in UAE: Is remote learning still an option for students?

In UAE, over one million students and 65,000 teaching staff will return to school from tomorrow, Monday, August 29, for the academic year 2022-23. This would mark the beginning of the most ‘normal’ schooling for students since the pandemic hit as most Covid safety rules have been eased. Last week, authorities announced an update to the national protocol for educational establishments for the new academic year. Notable changes include doing away with the requirement for periodic PCR testing as well as social distancing in schools and buses.
29th Aug 2022 - Khaleej Times

Distance learning affected disadvantaged students most. The teacher shortages are just piling on.

The kids hit hardest when the pandemic closed their schools are also among the most likely to start off the year at districts without enough teachers and other staff. Many schools have all the teachers they need, data shows, despite a national uproar over a teaching shortage. But data suggests that districts with large numbers of Black, brown or poor students – the students who fell furthest behind in math and reading during remote schooling – could bear the brunt of the teaching vacancies.
29th Aug 2022 - USA Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Aug 2022

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‘We can fit education into our lives’: More kids learning at home

The number of Victorian children and teenagers being homeschooled has surged 44 per cent during the pandemic, new data shows, and more students are now choosing to study online. Educators say greater student confidence with online learning, teacher shortages and an increase in mental health issues among children have led to a continued rise in studying at home.
25th Aug 2022 - The Age

Toronto board expects 4,800 students in virtual learning in September

The kickoff to the new school year is just weeks away, and about 4800 students attending Toronto District School Board (TDSB) have opted for virtual classrooms, starting in September.
25th Aug 2022 - Calgary Sun

Nearly 80 percent of parents say they became more interested in kids’ education during virtual learning: study

Seventy-nine percent of parents say they became more interested in how their child was being educated during the pandemic, when the process went largely virtual, according to a new survey. The survey, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, similarly found that 84 percent of parents agreed they learned more about how their child was educated during pandemic at-home education, and 78 percent said they became more involved in their child’s education because of what they saw.
25th Aug 2022 - The Hill

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Aug 2022

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‘We can fit education into our lives’: More kids learning at home

The number of Victorian children and teenagers being homeschooled has surged 44 per cent during the pandemic, new data shows, and more students are now choosing to study online. Educators say greater student confidence with online learning, teacher shortages and an increase in mental health issues among children have led to a continued rise in studying at home.
24th Aug 2022 - The Age

UK government provided almost two million laptops to students

The Department for Education (DfE), the UK government department responsible for the English education sector, has provided nearly two million electronic devices to children and young people to support their education. Parliament Street think tank observed the number of laptops, tablets and phones purchased by the DfE over the past three years, for staff, teachers, and students during the era of remote learning over the pandemic.
24th Aug 2022 - Education Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Aug 2022

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5 strategies for rebuilding student engagement after COVID-19

The past two years have offered ample evidence of the impact remote learning has on students. Virtual education systems kept schools running safely during the early days of the pandemic, reduced bullying in some cases, and gave many students a new sense of autonomy. But as we returned to classrooms, other effects became apparent. While remote, students missed hands-on learning opportunities and time to bond with peers.
23rd Aug 2022 - K-12 Dive

Students experience less stress in online courses: study

Many students across the globe had to transition between taking lessons in lecture halls to their living rooms in the COVID-19 pandemic. This drastic change in environment prompted questions about differences in the learning experience. Among them: does the body feel less stress in a virtual classroom as opposed to a physical one? The answer could be yes, according to a small study measuring heart rate and cortisol levels in students' saliva, which found that medical students were physiologically more relaxed in an online lecture rather than an in-person one.
23rd Aug 2022 - CTV News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Aug 2022

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How Students Can Improve Back, Neck Health Following Extended Time Virtual Learning

During the pandemic, students spent a lot of time on their phones or computers learning. Orthopedic surgeons said they have had an increase in children with back pain over the past two years. Now, with a fresh start to a new school year, there are tips for keeping your kids back and neck strong.
22nd Aug 2022 - news9.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Aug 2022

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How to build a great online foundation course

Online teaching often meets resistance, particularly when the student cohort is as diverse and unique as those in university bridging courses. We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic utterly disrupted the higher education system, but the forced opportunity it offered was to challenge our own thinking about bridging courses in the online space. This shift has yielded very positive results for our students.
21st Aug 2022 - Times Higher Education

Colorado district expands 'equity of opportunity' through remote classes

As school systems get into a more typical rhythm of in-person learning, some are holding onto or expanding aspects of remote learning that revealed unexpected benefits during the pandemic. The St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, Colorado, is launching a program that opens certain advanced courses to high school students, some of whom are taking the classes remotely. Michelle Bourgeois, St. Vrain Valley’s chief technology officer, said the ability to include students from different campuses remotely in the lessons is helping provide “equity of opportunity."
21st Aug 2022 - K-12 Dive

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Aug 2022

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Five key takeaways from this year's A-level results

This was no ordinary year of A-levels - both in terms of exams and results. The students receiving their grades on Thursday experienced three years of disrupted learning because of the pandemic. And the story wasn't the same for everyone: the impact of school closures varied depending on things like how badly communities were hit by Covid, and how prepared schools were to handle the transition to remote learning.
18th Aug 2022 - BBC News

How Community Colleges Are Setting Best Practices for Hybrid Learning in Higher Ed

With nearly 1.4 million fewer students enrolled in undergraduate programs than before the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities looking for ways to boost registration may want to consider offering more hybrid courses, a structure nearly half of students (49 percent) say they prefer. According to an EdTech Twitter poll, 64 percent of respondents are catering to this preference by offering at least some hybrid offerings this academic year.
18th Aug 2022 - EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Aug 2022

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Eight questions to ask your training lead

Any good e-learning partner will appreciate that digitising your learning programme can be a complex and sometimes nerve-wracking process. To help prepare you for that important first meeting with your chosen L&D lead – whether that is an external provider or your inhouse L&D lead or team – we’ve put together eight essential questions that should be covered when a new digital learning project is started.
17th Aug 2022 - Virtual College

Department for Education provided 2 million laptops to students for remote learning

The Department for Education (DfE), the UK government department responsible for the English education sector, has provided nearly two million electronic devices to children and young people to support their education. The research, retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and analysed by the Parliament Street think tank, observed the number of laptops, tablets and phones purchased by the DfE over the past three years, for staff, teachers, and students during the era of remote learning over the pandemic.
17th Aug 2022 - FE News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Aug 2022

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What is the digitalization of education, and why do we need it?

The digitalization of education and online distance learning differs. The concept of digitalization is much broader. It means using different programs, applications, and other digital resources for e-learning remotely and directly at school or university. For example, one element of digital education is using an essay writing service to aid academic writing. Digitalization concerns not only educational processes but also organizational ones.
15th Aug 2022 - KnowTechie

Tech at school: How teachers are maximizing digital tools in today’s classrooms

Inspired by the need to connect remotely, and supported by $122 billion in educational funding in the American Rescue Plan, education technology, or edtech, has taken center stage in school systems across the US. The rise of learning management systems (LMS) has been especially impactful. These systems give teachers the ability to plan and deliver lesson content, monitor students’ participation in the work and assess performance.
15th Aug 2022 - USA Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Aug 2022

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Podcasts: discover a new teaching format

Podcasts are now an established part of the academic terrain. The relatively low costs of microphones and developing rudimentary editing skills help provide the possibility for scholars to promote their ideas and address wider audiences. A simple search engine enquiry for any academic keyword will quickly reveal a large volume of podcast material and demonstrate the enthusiasm with which scholars launch their new shows. But perhaps the most interesting potential of podcasting is not its potential to help disseminate research but its pedagogical value for the new age of blended learning.
15th Aug 2022 - Times Higher Education

How Students Can Improve Back, Neck Health Following Extended Time Virtual Learning

During the pandemic, students spent a lot of time on their phones or computers learning. Orthopedic surgeons said they have had an increase in children with back pain over the past two years. Now, with a fresh start to a new school year, there are tips for keeping your kids back and neck strong.
15th Aug 2022 - News On 6

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Aug 2022

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The Benefits of Hybrid Learning

An upside to the pandemic is that we’re actively exploring how to maintain relationships and connections at home and at work in a hybrid form. Pandemic-era research has found that remote learning's greater flexibility in scheduling and methodology responds to the needs of more learners. Remote learning also holds the potential to diversify the pool of educators and tutors with whom our children interact.
14th Aug 2022 - Psychology Today

Why Some Colorado Families Want To Stick With Remote Learning

In Colorado, the state's only accredited synchronous virtual learning school is looking to see an increase in enrollment again. Following pandemic uncertainty, safety concerns, and an improved execution, parents and teachers are saying the expansion of online options is good for their students. "They feel comfortable, maybe because they're in their home, maybe because they're behind a screen. But they feel comfortable because they're speaking out in class, they feel comfortable participating," said Kala Munguia, the Principal of Jeffco Remote Learning Program.
13th Aug 2022 - Patch

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Aug 2022

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How To Give Feedback To Students In The Online Learning Environment

Feedback is essential when it comes to education, as it can supplement growth and development. However, it can be quite a challenge when it comes to the online learning environment. In this article, we will discuss three ways in which educators can give feedback to students who use online resources. We will also mention a few tips as to how you can ensure that your feedback is constructive.
11th Aug 2022 - The Tech Edvocate

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Aug 2022

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A New Era of Schooling: What Is The Future of Remote Learning?

The coronavirus pandemic shifted the once-steady ground of higher education. Where there once existed classrooms and communal meeting spaces on campus, there were suddenly Zoom calls, breakout rooms and emails aplenty. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of undergraduate students enrolled in at least one remote learning (also called distance education) course was 97% higher in 2020 than before the pandemic in fall 2019 (11.8 million vs. 6 million). The number of undergraduate students exclusively enrolled in distance education courses was 186% higher in 2020 than in 2019 (7 million vs. 2.4 million).
10th Aug 2022 - Pittsburgh Magazine

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Aug 2022

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Five reasons why going digital is good for your learners

Before 2020, a digital revolution was happening across every industry, but following the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses, it can be said that this digital revolution has accelerated. With many businesses now working from home, a flexible working structure being called for, and less face-to-face contact between colleagues and peers, digital work practices have now become a necessity. But converting to digital has often been perceived as time-consuming, costly and irrelevant. And though businesses are now recognising it is very much relevant, it is still a daunting prospect. We spoke to our Chief Learning Officer, Sarah Baker, to understand what the benefits of digital transformation are for your learners and their future success.
9th Aug 2022 - Virtual College

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Aug 2022

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Oklahoma invests $5M in online math tutoring program

The Oklahoma education department’s program is part of growing efforts to address learning loss through tutoring — though approaches vary by state and district. As U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has urged states and districts to spend pandemic relief funds on high-dosage tutoring, Oklahoma is doing just that by using $5 million of COVID-19 aid dollars for its online math tutoring program through summer 2024.
8th Aug 2022 - K-12 Dive

Why online learning must remain part of the education toolkit

Numerous studies and anecdotes point to deteriorating student performance during the pandemic and cite remote instruction as the reason. There seems to be a cause-and-effect bandwagon that a strict diet of online learning is bad for students at any level and a return to in-person instruction is the answer. However, students need the best tools we can give them, in tandem, all the time, in combinations that work for them. Those tools include remote and online instruction.
7th Aug 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Aug 2022

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As students return to classrooms and ditch virtual instruction, experts and parents wonder about pandemic learning loss

Parents heard a lot about learning loss throughout the pandemic as schools went virtual. Experts say it was harder for kids to reach milestones, both academic and social. As we look to the upcoming school year, the first fully back in the classroom for many students, where are our kids now?
7th Aug 2022 - MSN.com

How Effective is Online Learning for Those in Senior Education

With the rise of new technologies, being physically present in a classroom is no longer necessary to receive a high-quality education. Thanks to online education, we are in an era where you can receive an education anywhere and anytime. Although the idea of leaving behind conventional teaching practices and the classroom setting may seem foreign, online education has been proven to be valid and valuable for many students. There are many reasons why online learning is effective for those in senior education who want to learn a new skill or improve their knowledge of a particular subject.
7th Aug 2022 - TechDay News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Aug 2022

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Statistics Update: New Trends in Enrollment, Virtual Schooling, and Special Education

In the US, there were 691 virtual schools in 2019-20, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s before the pandemic took hold, so the number has likely changed. But it’s the most recent data available. By comparison, 21 percent of public schools offered online courses in 2017-18.
4th Aug 2022 - EdWeek

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Aug 2022

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Why online schooling was a positive experience and not a struggle for children during pandemic

Through the pandemic, for some children, the online environment was an extension of how teaching practices like dedicated dialogue circles presented ways children's opinions and thoughts could be shared. For these children, enforced online schooling overall was a positive experience and not a struggle.
3rd Aug 2022 - Economic Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Aug 2022

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Online Learning Platforms: The Different Types And Their Benefits

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning platforms have drastically increased in popularity over recent years. Students of all levels, including those in corporate training, now rely on the internet to deliver their educational materials. This article discusses how online learning platforms work and which platform to choose based on your needs.
2nd Aug 2022 - Forbes

How much has remote learning damaged Hong Kong students and how quickly can the damage be undone? Teachers talk about the harm and how they’re helping the healing

Primary and secondary school students in Hong Kong have had more than two years of on/off remote learning as opposed to Western countries’ schools that shut for only a few months. Younger students missed out on key developmental milestones, while special educational needs (SEN) students suffered by not having direct access to their teachers.
2nd Aug 2022 - South China Morning Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Aug 2022

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How blended learning programs changing the classroom experience for students

The education industry has changed significantly with the advent of blended (or composite) learning solutions. Integrating technology with education enables educators to foster collaborative learning and create a dynamic classroom experience, with ed-tech solutions democratising education and revolutionizing the entire learning landscape. Blended learning solutions bridge the void between traditional classroom learning and online educational resources.
1st Aug 2022 - MSN.com

Metaverse: Hong Kong University to create the world’s first virtual classroom on Metaverse

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is jumping into the Metaverse by building its own virtual campus in the virtual reality space. The institution will set up its MetaHKUST and design a learning environment that will virtually connect its two campuses located miles apart - in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
1st Aug 2022 - EconoTimes

How some children prospered in pandemic online learning

While media often seemed to report on negative aspects of online schooling, this was not a universal experience. In my education research with international colleagues about socially innovative interventions to foster and advance young children’s inclusion and agency in society during the pandemic, we worked with teachers as they implemented research insights about teaching practices that support listening to children’s voices.
1st Aug 2022 - The Conversation

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Aug 2022

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Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to launch virtual reality lessons with metaverse campus

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) will launch a virtual reality classroom as part of its bigger plan to create a campus in the metaverse to promote immersive learning. During the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom became an alternative educational tool for schools in Hong Kong, but learning in the metaverse is a better option as the videoconferencing platform had become boring and less interactive.
31st Jul 2022 - South China Morning Post

Ontario pledges tutoring, mental health support for students during coming school year

The Ontario government announced its Plan to Catch Up, which includes a return to in-person learning, with extracurricular activities like sports and field trips. The province is also launching a large-scale tutoring program, enhanced summer learning, and improved mental health supports for students who are returning to classrooms.
31st Jul 2022 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Jul 2022

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Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to launch virtual reality class

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has announced the launch of a virtual reality classroom as part of a bigger plan to create a campus in the metaverse to promote immersive learning. An academic at the institution on Thursday said the mixed reality classroom would host the opening of the new HKUST Guangzhou campus on September 1. “A lot of guests might be overseas and can’t attend [the opening], so we will host it in the metaverse,” said Pan Hui, chair professor of computational media and arts at the Guangzhou campus.
28th Jul 2022 - South China Morning Post

How EdTech Firms Are Bringing Higher Education To The Metaverse

Remote learning might’ve gotten a bad rap during the pandemic, but education is about to move into the metaverse. And, experts say, it will be better than in-person instruction. The costs of higher education have been growing, racking up more debt for students, and the post-college economic returns have been flattening. But learning has never been more important, especially in an era of rapid technological and growing automation.
28th Jul 2022 - Forbes

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Jul 2022

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Online Learning, From the Margins to the Center

For some years after its inception, online enrollments were not tracked formally by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Distance learning was considered the poor stepchild of the traditional campus-based experience. However, with slow, steady growth, by 2014 the NCES reported that more than five million students out of a total of more than 21 million in college were enrolled in at least one online class. That amounted to some 25 percent of all students.
27th Jul 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Jul 2022

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Study: Pandemic-era suspension rate drops may be misleading

Many California school districts were on track to have substantially higher rates of suspensions showing racial disparities during the 2019-20 school year had the coronavirus pandemic not forced schools to go remote, according to a study released Tuesday by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the UCLA Civil Rights Project. COVID-19’s abrupt arrival in early 2020 caused schools across the nation to move to virtual learning, and as a result suspension rates fell for the remainder of that school year.
26th Jul 2022 - K-12 Dive

Impact of COVID‐19 on student attainment and pedagogical needs when undertaking independent scientific research

University education was affected worldwide as COVID-19 turned into a pandemic. Universities in the UK commenced distance learning, gradually moving to more blended distance learning alongside face-to-face teaching. Veterinary medicine courses were able to operate blended learning with enhanced health and safety procedures within a few months. Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham (SVMS) transitioned to distance learning, with all undergraduate learners conducting their teaching, learning, pastoral care, assessment and research activities remotely. Four months later SVMS started hybrid/blended teaching, with both face-to-face and distance learning continuing into 2022 (two academic cohorts).
26th Jul 2022 - onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Jul 2022

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Virtual Intensive Study in China Trigger Exchange between China and UK Youth

When the two-week Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) virtual study trip to China pulled the curtain down on July 15, more than 1,500 secondary school students from 64 schools across England had completed the online summer camp of learning Chinese and Chinese cultural under four themes of panda zoo, sport and modern life, Chinese campus, history and cultural heritage.
25th Jul 2022 - Associated Press

Law students want more distance education classes, according to ABA findings

A recent survey of 1,394 students in their third year of law school found that 68.65% wanted the ability to earn more distance education credits than what their schools offered. The survey, which was compiled in February, is from the strategic review committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Questions were shared on a group email list for associate deans and voluntarily distributed to students.
25th Jul 2022 - ABA Journal

Awaken your students' interest in your online course

Online courses bring a variety of challenges, from providing support to students and having a user-friendly platform to finding the requisite academic resources and tech, both of which are key to us successfully meeting the challenge of providing quality virtual teaching. In addition to these challenges, in asynchronous courses almost all of us will by now have experienced disinterest from the participants in our virtual class. This can manifest itself as receiving no questions from attendees, a sea of turned-off cameras or low participation in class activities, among others.
25th Jul 2022 - Times Higher Education

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Jul 2022

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Global Virtual Education Summit 2022 to be held from August 12 to August 14 2022

The Global Virtual Education Summit - 2022 is being organized by IN4OBE, USA - in collabration with Lords Institute of Engineering & Technology, Hyderabad, The Regional India Chapter of IN4OBE. ​
24th Jul 2022 - The Week

Online Schooling Is the Bad Idea That Refuses to Die

Nearly all of the 20 largest US school districts will offer online schooling options this fall. Over half of them will be offering more full-time virtual school programs than they did before the pandemic. The trend seems likely to continue or accelerate, according to an analysis by Chalkbeat. That’s a problem. School closings over the last two years have inflicted severe educational and emotional damage on American students. Schools should now be focusing on creative ways to fill classrooms, socialize kids and convey the joy of collaborative learning — not on providing opportunities to stay home.
24th Jul 2022 - Bloomberg

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Jul 2022

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Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Medical Education: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia

Results: Out of 3700 questionnaires, 922 completed the questionnaires from 11 different medical schools. Umm AL-Qura University had the highest response rate with 232 responses (25.2%), followed by King Abdulaziz University with 186 responses (20.2%). The majority of institutions preferred Blackboard and Zoom as platforms for e-learning. A total of 355 (38.5%) believed that it resulted in higher academic achievement, whereas 555 (60.2%) of students believed the limitation of clinical access was one of the biggest disadvantages of e-learning. Overall, 518 (56.2%) of students did not want to continue using e-learning on its own in the future. Whereas 668 (72.5%) wished to keep using e-learning in combination with traditional learning. Conclusion: According to our findings, advantages of e-learning vary among students. Most of the students thought e-learning to be an interactive system that provides a learning opportunity. In contrast, many of the students believed that there were many disadvantages regarding online teaching methods.
21st Jul 2022 - Dove Press

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Jul 2022

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Human Rights Watch notes child rights violations due to surveillance into private lives outside school hours

In a statement issued last Tuesday (12), HRW said that the overwhelming majority of education technology products, endorsed by 49 governments of the world’s most populous countries and analysed by the HRW, appear to have surveilled or had the capacity to surveil children in ways that risked or infringed their rights. It made this statement after reviewing technical evidence and easy-to-view privacy profiles for 163 education technology products that were recommended for children’s learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Of the 163 products that were reviewed, 145 (89%) surveilled or had the capacity to surveil children outside school hours and deep into their private lives. Many products were found to harvest information about children such as who they are, where they are, what they do in the classroom, who their family and friends are, and what kind of device their families could afford for them to use for online learning,” the statement read.
20th Jul 2022 - The Morning

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Jul 2022

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Could students attend uni as avatars on a virtual campus?

Imagine a world a decade from now where universities are delivering degrees via co-located virtual shopfronts. It’s tertiary education, not in competition, but delivered through a shared digital platform for students around the world. A shared national virtual campus, if you like.
17th Jul 2022 - The Australian Financial Review

Mobile phones can enable learning during school disruptions. Here’s how

Reducing learning loss when schooling is disrupted requires outside-school interventions that can effectively deliver instruction to children at scale. But little evidence exists on cost-effective learning interventions during school disruptions. It’s estimated that globally 70%–90% of households own at least one mobile phone. This suggests that the use of mobile phones has the potential to provide educational instruction in resource-constrained contexts and at scale. But this “low-tech” solution is less commonly used in education relative to “high-tech” approaches that rely on internet-based instruction. This is despite the fact that only 15%–60% of households in low- and middle-income countries have internet access.
17th Jul 2022 - The Conversation

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Jul 2022

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How Technology Is Impacting Modern Education?

Modern education is not only becoming global in the way how information is being distributed but it’s even more technology-driven. As the pandemic times helped us see, technology inspires modern students to research and become more responsible because they are often in the lead. Examples include remote learning and dealing with the LMS platforms like Google Classroom where education takes a totally different virtual approach. The educators feel divided about the impact of modern education as there are accessibility and technical gap issues that become a barrier for certain learners, yet it cannot be denied that modern education is affected by the use of technology.
14th Jul 2022 - mitechnews.com

Don't abandon virtual learning options (opinion)

With 2022 commencement in the books and colleges and universities now turning to the upcoming school year, administrators and students alike should discount a sentiment that many administrators and others in the higher education universe hold and which was captured in a recent New York Times opinion piece. The Times author argued that if higher education is to thrive, “everyone involved—students, faculties, administrators and the public at large—must insist on in-person classes and high expectations for fall 2022 and beyond.”
14th Jul 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Jul 2022

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Children Exercise After 2 Years of Remote Learning

A new studyTrusted Source by researchers from University College Dublin, Ireland, looked at more than 1,000 data sources detailing changes in child and adolescent behavior during pandemic lockdowns. The study, published by JAMA Pediatrics, concludes that “a considerable reduction in physical activity has occurred.” “Thus, targeted public health initiatives are urgently needed. As UNICEF recognized in the early stages of the pandemic, formal reactivation strategies are required to avert the potentially irreversible harms that are being caused to a lost generation of youth,” they added.
13th Jul 2022 - Healthline

Study: Pandemic-era remote learning hit English-language learners especially hard

The abrupt transition to online learning at the beginning of the pandemic was especially harmful to English-language learners in U.S. schools, a new report finds. The report, released Monday by UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization, found that the COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on most Latino students, but especially on those learning English.
13th Jul 2022 - Axios

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th Jul 2022

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Remote possibilities: Successful strategies for virtual teaching and learning

Virtual learning is making its presence known--here's how emerging edtech tools are making room for innovation. In this episode of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan: 3 ways telepresence robots are impacting learning; How to ensure digital equity in online testing; Blended and hybrid learning–the future of education.
12th Jul 2022 - eSchool News

Classrooms after Covid: The impact of the pandemic on children's mental health

Covid had a profound impact on schools and children – from lost learning to mental health and child development – that we are only beginning to understand. Schools did not have an easy pandemic. Closed for months, reopened and closed again, two years of learning and development were hugely disrupted. Many children struggled to adapt to remote learning and days couped up at home. Exams were cancelled. The impact on children has been profound. Schools were already struggling to cope with a huge rise in mental health issues – experts say it has now become a crisis. Yet to those working within them, these challenges do not seem to be appreciated.
12th Jul 2022 - Politics Home

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Jul 2022

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Despite presenting many challenges, pandemic-era remote learning also helped parents better understand their child’s ability and focus, as well as gain more appreciation for the work of teachers

Home schooling, together with office closures, were a seismic adjustment for all involved. Suddenly everyone was home for months on end, living, working and playing together. Emerging research shows that many children have benefited from having more time with their parents and siblings. Learning online from home, although less than ideal for some households, also provided helpful insights. Parents gained a much better understanding of their children’s academic capabilities, including their ability to focus, retain information and follow instructions. The outcome is that many children received extra support where they may have fallen behind in other circumstances, while parents gained greater appreciation for the work of teachers.
11th Jul 2022 - South China Morning Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Jul 2022

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81.4% of students feel safe going back to school, over 70% rely on digital learning: Survey

Following two years of remote, hybrid, and socially distant learning, students are returning to classrooms now. Despite the disruption, the pandemic ushered in a new learning mechanism for students in India that’s set to cement itself further going forward. Brainly, one of India’s leading online learning platforms, conducted a survey with middle and high school students to understand the generic sentiment of Indian students about returning to traditional classroom settings and what it holds for them.
10th Jul 2022 - India Today

New summer school classes aim to reignite learning after pandemic disruptions

In Canada, school divisions across the country have reported seeing more interest in their summer learning offerings, from the Burnaby School District in B.C. touting record single-day registrations back in April, to Ontario school boards from Sudbury through the Niagara Region noting more students signing up for virtual and in-person summer school and co-op opportunities. New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy also noted a huge appetite for extra learning last month when unveiling a wide range of new summer programs.
10th Jul 2022 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Jul 2022

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Secondary school teachers' use of online formative assessment during COVID‐19 lockdown: Experiences and lessons learned

During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, teachers had to shift their teaching and assessment to online. Formative assessment (FA) can help teachers to engage, guide and monitor students' (online) learning. However, more knowledge is needed of how teachers could use the full FA process online. Results showed that many teachers implemented new FA strategies and adopted, more often than in their face-to-face practice, all the five phases of the FA process in an aligned matter in online FA. Teachers indicated opportunities in stimulating student engagement and guiding and monitoring student learning more at an individual level in the online FA process, but also experienced challenges, mainly in lack of interaction online.
7th Jul 2022 - Wiley Online Library

GCSE and A level pupils able to join virtual classes from all areas of Wales

GCSE and A level students in every part of Wales will be able to join classes by video link from next year, the Welsh Government has announced. The e-sgol programme lets GCSE and A level pupils join classes at other schools via video link. It will increase the number of GCSE and A/AS-level options available for pupils, especially for those at smaller, rural schools, widening access to a greater range of subjects. E-sgol, as it is known, also aims to broaden the subjects available to study through the medium of Welsh.
7th Jul 2022 - Wales Online

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Jul 2022

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Education tech companies bring virtual teaching to the table as solution to teacher shortage

The way kids learn is changing, and the tools used to teach them are changing, too, due in part to the pandemic. “This online learning is a way that not only meets students where they’re at and where they are interested but also the way that we all learn,” Jeanette Simenson, a remote teacher with Elevate K-12 and an educational consultant, said. Education technology companies like Elevate K-12, which is a live streaming instruction platform, are growing. Especially in areas where hiring a teacher can be tough.
6th Jul 2022 - TheDenverChannel

Schools given free online maths tuition for Covid catch-up

All government schools will have access to free online maths tutoring for two years to help pupils affected by the Covid pandemic. The Government of Jersey has partnered with company Complete Mathematics to help students whose learning was "negatively affected" by the pandemic. The programme has been funded by the Covid Recovery Catch-up Fund.
6th Jul 2022 - BBC News

What have we learned about online learning?

The COVID-19 pandemic forced colleges, professors and students to engage with digital forms of education in ways many of them never had. Did the experience of teaching and learning remotely make them more open to online education and to using technology in the physical classroom? Did professors get more comfortable with teaching with technology? Did it change student expectations about when and how they learn? A series of recent episodes of Inside Higher Ed’s Key podcast explored those and other questions.
6th Jul 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Jul 2022

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Amazon launches free online learning resources to help during cost of living crisis

Working with some of the UK’s leading education content providers, Amazon launched Amazon Study, providing parents, carers, and teachers with access to a wide range of free, curriculum-linked maths and science resources to support children’s learning. New research from YouGov who surveyed 1000 UK parents and carers (who are involved in their child’s learning) on behalf of Amazon, found that while 45% enjoy being involved in their child’s learning, 29% find it stressful, and 20% find it difficult.
5th Jul 2022 - FE News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Jul 2022

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College returns to online learning as Covid and flu run rampant

Auckland's Carmel College is the latest school to tell its students to go back to online learning for the remainder of the term, as Covid and flu run rampant through students and staff. It comes as Covid-19 modellers warn we could be seeing the start of a second wave of Omicron due to the more transmissible BA.5 variant.
4th Jul 2022 - RNZ

Online learning: How to protect children's personal data

Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently issued a 94-page report titled How Dare They Peep into My Private Life? Children’s Rights Violations by Governments that Endorsed Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which found that 49 countries in the world had violated children's right to privacy while mandating online learning during the pandemic. The report also found that 164 educational technology (edutech) products and 290 companies had collected, processed or received children's data since March 2021.
4th Jul 2022 - The Jakarta Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Jul 2022

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Pandemic learning disruptions could impact transitions to high school, post secondary

Virtual learning created many challenges for students in Canada, and now some are worried the transition to high school or post-secondary education will be even harder.
3rd Jul 2022 - CBC.ca

“The pandemic of distance learning”: How Arab high school students see online‐learning during Covid‐19

Emergency transition to online learning due to Covid-19 created unprecedented challenges in schooling. There is a dearth of information on the perception of Arab high school students and parents regarding the negative effects of online learning during Covid-19. The perceived negative effects by students and parents on several aspects of the transition to online learning such as the technical adjustments, impact on parents, perceptions of learning online versus face to face, pedagogical drawbacks, and psychological effects are described and discussed in light of results of previous studies.
3rd Jul 2022 - Wiley Online Library

Could more online learning help fix Australia's teacher shortage?

Thousands of teachers went on strike in New South Wales, over pay and unsustainable workloads. This comes amid increasing concerns about teacher shortages around Australia. One option that could free up teacher time, and ensure students are getting the education they need, is “blended” learning, in which some learning is done online and some face-to-face.
3rd Jul 2022 - theconversation.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Jul 2022

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These students say virtual learning makes the transition to high school, university much harder

From disrupted exams to learning new studying habits, many students say they have lacked any sort of consistency with school since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, the transitional years — the move from Grade 8 to high school or Grade 12 to post-secondary studies — already brings the fear of the unknown. So CBC News spoke to some of those students about how the educational changes brought on by the pandemic have shaped and shifted these milestone years.
30th Jun 2022 - CBC.ca

Online learning: What next for higher education after COVID-19?

Higher education institutions worldwide faced challenges when switching to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the experience highlighted how online learning could make education more engaging and accessible for many students. Lecturers and teachers should embrace the opportunities offered by digital distance learning to revolutionize education for the better.
30th Jun 2022 - World Economic Forum

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Jun 2022

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Class Technologies CEO: 'The education landscape has forever changed'

Michael Chasen, CEO of Class Technologies, tells Education Technology about the company’s recent acquisition of Blackboard Collaborate and why his predictions for virtual learning have changed since the pandemic.
29th Jun 2022 - Education Technology

University rankings failing to account for online learning changes

University rankings have failed to take into account the increased weight of remote learning in the wake of the pandemic, according to two online HE institutions. Despite the fact that the vast majority of universities now offer at least some courses that are entirely digital, there is still no online dimension in how institutions are rated and ranked, say researchers from the Open University in the UK and the Barcelona-based Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Consequently, the pair have been working with Italy’s Institute for Educational Technology to examine the criteria and indicators on which rankings are based, along with identifying new ones to enable online learning to be measured specifically.
29th Jun 2022 - Education Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Jun 2022

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What Schools Really Learned From Remote Learning

Remote learning is—for now—a thing of the past in much of America’s K-12 system. But it’s not likely to stay that way forever. Some students are still learning remotely, if their district provides resources for that model. School districts will need long-term strategies, then, for engaging students when they aren’t physically present in school buildings, two researchers argue in a new paper.
28th Jun 2022 - EdWeek

Will online education become the 'next new normal?'

Professor Mark Brown, Director at the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University says there is “no doubt” that the pandemic was “a watershed moment in time” for online learning. However, a “strong tendency” to emulate as closely as possible the face-to-face experience of the traditional classroom meant that lessons learned from Distance Learning over many years were not always applied.
28th Jun 2022 - The Irish Times

Top tips for succesful online learning – The Irish Times

Learning online is not as simple as logging on and absorbing the information: it requires a different approach from both learner and teacher. We asked the experts how students can make the most of an online or blended learning approach.
28th Jun 2022 - The Irish Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Jun 2022

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Warnings of mental health crisis among ‘Covid generation’ of students

The pandemic has had a lasting legacy on the mental health of the “Covid generation” of students, exacerbating rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm and resulting in a “significant rise” in young people struggling at university, experts have said. UK universities have reported that more students are experiencing mental health problems in the aftermath of the pandemic, and that this is expected to continue with the cohort arriving in September, whose school experience was heavily disrupted by the pandemic. The president of the National Union of Students, Larissa Kennedy, said she was “deeply concerned” by the student mental health crisis, which was “getting worse”, with NUS research suggesting “the majority of students are burdened by anxiety”.
27th Jun 2022 - The Guardian

How to create digital training that will engage your learners

After surveying over 2,000 learners on their expectations from learning, this article delves into the findings and offers practical advice on what digital formats can be used and most importantly when to use them. How can you use interactive elements to bring the learning to life? When does scenario-based learning help engage your audience?
27th Jun 2022 - Virtual College

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Jun 2022

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Students look back on COVID warped school year: ‘It was this feeling of finality’

The final bell is about to ring at the end of a topsy-turvy school year warped by the COVID-19 crisis. Many Canadian students cautiously returned to class this fall under strict pandemic protocols, such as mandatory masking and social distancing. As younger kids became eligible for vaccination late last year, it seemed like schools were settling into new routines. That was soon upended by the rampant spread of the Omicron variant, which saw some provinces extend winter breaks or switch to remote learning.
26th Jun 2022 - Global News

NYC rolling out 2 virtual learning programs with aim to turn them into fully remote schools by 2023

New York City is rolling out two virtual learning programs for high schoolers — with the aim to turn them into full-blown remote schools by 2023. The new initiative, called “A School Without Walls,” will offer hybrid and virtual learning for 200 rising ninth graders this fall. Officials described the program as moving “beyond the classroom,” giving students more freedom and flexibility to earn a high school diploma.
26th Jun 2022 - New York Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Jun 2022

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How analytics can support online teaching

Even as they continuously improve their models, sharpen teaching practices and boost academic performance, universities have still found the need to identify areas of opportunity for providing quality service. One key party interested in this information is teachers: as they attend to students first-hand, they need to understand what concerns them and how they interact during classes. As we know, there has been an increase in digital classes across most higher education institutions, but such classes can often mean the teacher has only limited access to and knowledge of what happens during their teaching. Not visible, for example, are most direct interactions between students, nor the level of attention they pay to the class or the activities and so on.
23rd Jun 2022 - Times Higher Education

The Biggest Disruption in the History of American Education

The coronavirus caused by far the biggest disruption in the history of American education. Neither the Great Depression nor even the two World Wars imposed anything close to as drastic a change in how America’s schoolchildren spent their days. When schools closed, they shut children out of the place where much of this growth happens. Some of the lost growth was academic and social, as school closures cut children off from teachers and friends. These losses were compounded by children’s exclusion from an array of other goods and services. In the United States, almost all public services for school-age children in some way run through schools.
23rd Jun 2022 - The Atlantic

New study out of Michigan shows students in virtual learning had academic, social and sleep issues

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, data show an estimated 55 million children in the U.S. were impacted by changes to school formats. Many of those kids had to turn to virtual learning from home. “Parents were trying to do their best, educators were trying to do their best. Everyone was really trying to make the best, most important decisions for their children,” said Dr. Kimberley Levitt, Clinical Assistant Professor for the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Michigan and a Michigan Medicine Researcher.
23rd Jun 2022 - ABC Action News

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LiteracyPlanet extends its online learning offer

LiteracyPlanet has teamed up with two new partners to further extend its range of online tutorials and learning resources. The initiative sees the Australia-based literacy platform teaming up with the learn-to-code video streaming service, CODEFLIX, and Matific, a tool for the intuitive teaching of maths.
22nd Jun 2022 - Education Technology

Back to class: London-area students opting out of remote learning in droves

In Ontario, local school boards have seen a steep decline in the number of students who want to learn virtually, a sign families may be viewing pandemic online classes as a thing of the past, officials say.
22nd Jun 2022 - London Free Press

How teachers supported children and parents through COVID-19 school closures

School closures resulted in a dramatic shift in the role that parents were required to play in their children’s learning. Teachers’ expectations of parents shifted from supporting learning at home, based on what children were doing at school, to being integrally involved in schooling at home. New research sheds light on the obstacles that parents and teachers faced, but also the effective strategies that teachers used to get parents involved with their children’s learning.
22nd Jun 2022 - The Conversation UK

Are the Russian covid-vaccine results accurate?

Dr Sheldrick’s team published their analysis on June 20th in the American Journal of Therapeutics. It was motivated by concerns that other researchers had raised earlier about one particular pattern in the Sputnik V paper: the vaccine’s efficacy was almost identical in each of the five age groups shown. The Russian scientists’ answer was that these results reflected a true efficacy that did not differ by age. But clinical trials are usually affected by all sorts of random circumstances, known as “noise” in the jargon. The implication is that, in this particular trial, the various sources of noise cancelled one another out in a way that generated a pattern of equivalent efficacy in all age groups.
22nd Jun 2022 - The Economist

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Students call for better pandemic teaching methods and learning materials

Students from Uganda, Zimbabwe and Brazil have won the 2022 FT/World Bank blog competition on how to improve education during the pandemic. Most students argued that online learning was no substitute for face-to-face interaction in schools, but some also highlighted the benefits of technology and called on policymakers to be more flexible and explore combining the best elements of both approaches. Many cited the damaging effects of lockdowns on mental health, the inability of online learning to provide a substitute for the social aspects of studying and the “digital divide” of poor internet access in many regions and countries around the world.
21st Jun 2022 - Financial Times

Michelle McIlveen announces qualification arrangements for next academic year

In Ireland, education minister Michelle McIlveen said arrangements for next year’s qualifications will "acknowledge the unprecedented disruption our education system has faced" due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, students had to rely on teacher-assessed grades as the pandemic led to the closure of schools and pupils moved to remote learning. This year marked the first time in three years that pupils have sat A-levels, AS levels and GSCEs. However, several courses were amended to allow for the continued loss of time in the classroom.
21st Jun 2022 - Irish News

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The Peculiar Case of Space and its Relationship with Equity in Asynchronous Online Learning

For the asynchronous online student, there’s no true equivalent of a physical classroom—though we mostly operate with the idea that a virtual course in a learning management system replaces the common space of a physical classroom. The discussion board, for example, is the space for discourse, the lesson page is a space for lecture, and so on, but this is only that which appears at the surface level. The space that directly and most immediately affects learning is the combination of the mental and physical space a student is in when accessing the lessons of a course.
20th Jun 2022 - Faculty Focus

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Goa to introduce 'virtual classrooms' across the state

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that the state is preparing to introduce 'virtual classrooms' in all schools, so that one good teacher can teach students across the state. While launching the class 7th regular curriculum teachers handbook under the Coding and Robotics Education in Schools (CARES), Sawant said that about 435 aided and non-aided schools in Goa will get such virtual classrooms.
19th Jun 2022 - Economic Times

Ontario school boards set virtual learning plans for 2022-23 year as interest drops

School boards across Ontario are nailing down virtual learning plans for the upcoming school year and some are finding that programming is challenging to offer, with significantly lower student interest. The province requires boards to offer remote learning as an option for the new school year, as is has for previous pandemic school years. But enrolment has declined each year, and not all boards are able to offer a full virtual school option.
19th Jun 2022 - Global News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Jun 2022

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The Parents Keeping Their Children in Pod Schools

Parents throughout the US sought out micro-schools and pod teaching through the pandemic’s first academic year, seeking a way for their children to socialize maskless and escape the confines of virtual learning. Many children later returned to public school, but parents who were especially resistant to masks began to see these alternatives as their only option. Then, in early March, Governor Phil Murphy lifted the statewide mandate—and yet this cluster of pods and micro-schools remained. Months of shared anger at schools had fostered solidarity among parents. That anger didn’t dissipate after mandates were lifted; it merely changed shape and direction.
16th Jun 2022 - New York Magazine

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Teachers Warn of Pandemic's Cumulative Impact on US Students

Measuring the effects of the pandemic on students is challenging at this early stage. But researchers and teachers agree nearly all students were impacted in some way, even though each state and school navigated balancing safety and learning differently. The Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University estimated that one-fifth of American students were enrolled in districts that continued virtual learning for the majority of the 2020-21 school year. Those students, they say, lost the equivalent of as much as 22 weeks of learning.
15th Jun 2022 - VOA News

The metaverse is much more than a virtual copy of your campus

After two years of virtual learning following Covid-19, the higher education environment is ripe with new ideas about what universities should become. Is the large lecture in a hall still fit for purpose? Does online learning offer greater opportunities to engage students who have to undertake part-time work? How do we reorientate the value of learning when artificial intelligence is creating opportunities for students to employ computers to write their essays? Do we still need exams where access to the internet is prohibited? These are serious conversations that require us to consider what knowledge and expertise means in a digital age. For these reasons we begin to see more interest in the metaverse from within HE, but this shift is embryonic.
15th Jun 2022 - Times Higher Education

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'Inspirational' teachers awarded in Perth for their efforts during Covid-19 pandemic

Teachers who were at the forefront of providing free virtual geography lessons for secondary school pupils stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic have been awarded medals by the Perth-based Royal Scottish Geographical Society. The Tivy Education Medal has been presented to a group of volunteers and inspirational teachers, for their collective work during the pandemic. When Covid-19 struck, there were very limited learning resources for students during lockdown. RSGS pulled together a small team of teachers and film makers to try and help. The team created 26 virtual Chalk Talks lessons covering the entire National 5 and Higher Geography curriculum, from glaciers to coasts, cities to deserts, and everything in between.
14th Jun 2022 - The Courier

The pandemic’s remote learning environment shows promise for international students

As colleges and universities move back to in-person instruction, lessons from online learning implemented during the pandemic have revealed special insights for supporting international students studying in Canada. The adjustments made to education through the pandemic provide a surprising solution to key economic and academic difficulties international students experience. By adopting a hybrid or low-residency model for programs with large numbers of international students, colleges and universities would afford these students the opportunity to find reasonable housing outside of urban hotspots, to better balance work and school timetables, and to relinquish transportation costs.
14th Jun 2022 - University Affairs

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Remote learning linked to sleep, behavioral disruption in elementary students: study

Elementary school children involved in pandemic-related remote learning faced greater disruptions in sleep habits and behavior than children learning in person, according to a new small study. Researchers surveyed close to 300 parents with children ages 5-10 throughout Michigan between February and March 2021, as some schools returned to the classroom and others opted to stay online, noting their focus was to uncover pandemic-era learning’s impact on children’s foundational period.
13th Jun 2022 - The Hill

Research aims to refine digital learning to help children stay on track

Many believe the gold standard in raising children is to keep them away from technology as much as possible. But Karen Murcia, an associate professor at Curtin University and a chief investigator with the National Centre for the Digital Child, attributed that to a "dated" study that investigated the impacts of small children watching television. She said it could not be applied to today's interactive digital offerings. She has begun a new research project to examine, in detail, how the use of digital technologies can assist and influence young children's educational outcomes.
13th Jun 2022 - ABC.Net.au

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Colleges 'reinventing' virtual student exchange

Rather than repeating other institutions’ mistakes, universities should embrace established ‘modalities’ for collaborative online international learning – and appreciate it as more than a Covid stopgap.
12th Jun 2022 - Times Higher Education

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Remote learning was even tougher for migrant parents. Here’s what they want schools to know in case lockdowns return

When COVID forced school closures, many parents found themselves more involved than ever with their children’s learning. For some parents, it was hard work but broadly achievable. Many migrant parents, however, found themselves at a distinct disadvantage. Parental engagement is strongly linked to student learning outcomes. With learn-from-home likely to return the next time there is a pandemic or other emergency, it’s important we understand why many migrant families found this mode of education delivery so incredibly challenging – and how the system can be improved.
9th Jun 2022 - The Conversation

Biden administration lays out its plan for Covid-19 vaccinations for children under 5

The White House has announced a highly anticipated Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan for children under 5. The administration "has made 10 million vaccine doses available for states, Tribes, territories, community health centers, federal pharmacy partners, and others to pre-order," according to a White House fact sheet shared with CNN Wednesday. It is partnering with those entities to ship and distribute vaccines across the country following next week's meeting of the US Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisers -- who will review data on these vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna -- and expected authorization from the full FDA. The first vaccinations could start "as early as the week of June 20 —with the program ramping up over time as more doses are delivered and more appointments become available," according to the fact sheet. CNN previously reported Covid-19 vaccination shots for the youngest Americans could begin as soon as June 21.
9th Jun 2022 - CNN

COVID vaccine rights waiver within reach, WTO chief says ahead of meeting

Ministers from across the globe are convening for a conference at the World Trade Organization in Geneva for the first time in more than four years from June 12-15. It comes at a critical juncture for the body and for global trade. The meeting, delayed twice by COVID-19, is a chance for the 27-year-old body to prove it can respond to what Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has described as a "polycrisis" of economic, health, environmental and security challenges.
9th Jun 2022 - Reuters

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The 'Homework Gap' Persists. Tech Equity Is One Big Reason Why

Nearly a third of U.S. teenagers report facing at least one academic challenge related to lack of access to technology at home, the so-called “homework gap,” according to new survey from the Pew Research Center.
8th Jun 2022 - edweek.org

Virtual school evolves, even as the pandemic wanes

Prior to the pandemic, virtual education was kind of a niche product. It’s existed for decades, but it wasn’t an option that many public schools in the U.S. provided. During the pandemic, school districts had to offer it. And some of their students — or, to put them in Marketplace parlance, their “customers” — got a taste for it, which means public schools have had to rethink how to keep those customers happy.
8th Jun 2022 - Marketplace

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How to screen remote-learning apps for privacy

Educational apps are supposed to help children learn how to add, subtract, spell and read. Behind the scenes, they’re doing a whole lot more including gathering data about students that can be used to target them with ads, privacy experts say. A new study from advocacy group Human Rights Watch found that 90 percent of educational tools are collecting data that they then send on to advertising tech companies.
7th Jun 2022 - Washington Post

Zoom School Was No Education for My Math Students

It is obvious that all math courses have a prequel and a sequel. Academic year 2020-21 placed nearly all students in a remote-learning setting. That year, I taught—and I use the term loosely—algebra-I, the prerequisite for geometry and algebra-II. Each day I kept track of the number of students who were actively engaged. All students had the option of clicking on the appropriate Zoom link, then tuning in or tuning out. On average, 20% were active, attentive participants. These 20% got a mediocre math education via distance learning. The 80% who opted out got virtually no math education along with a year’s worth of backsliding.
7th Jun 2022 - Wall Street Journal

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Uses for Audiovisual Technology Beyond Remote Learning

K–12 school districts invested in many remote learning devices for teachers and students to ensure continued education during the pandemic. Districts rolled out one-to-one device programs and opted for peripherals that supported remote learning. Of these, webcams and microphones were two of the most popular products. Frequently, districts purchased USB plug-and-play peripherals for learning, but they also made large investments in classroom technology such as pan-tilt-zoom cameras. These technologies served as a life raft during emergency remote learning. However, now that students are largely back in classrooms, some schools are struggling to find ways to use these audiovisual devices.
6th Jun 2022 - EdTech Magazine: Focus on K-12

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Virtual Learning Made Persistent Problems Worse for English-Learners

Bit by bit researchers continue to piece together how virtual learning impacted English-language learners’ education, from limiting vital in-person interactions with teachers and peers to leaving some without a robust support system at home. A new report from the Government Accountability Office released in May found that teachers who were teaching in a virtual environment with at least 20 percent English-learners reported that their students “struggled with understanding lessons and completing assignments, having an appropriate workspace, accessing school meals, and getting assistance at their workspace.”
5th Jun 2022 - Education Week

E-learning is a burden for the deaf and hard of hearing

When considering deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) population, research recognizes that fatigue due to communication challenges and multi-focal attention allocation is a significant concern. Given the putative heightened demands of distance learning on deaf and hard of hearing students, we investigate how an online environment might differently affect deaf and hard of hearing participants, compared to hearing participants, Portuguese Sign Language (PSL) users and non-users. Our findings show that the deaf and hard of hearing group present higher values in the post-task fatigue rates with significant differences from the hearing group (non-PSL users).
5th Jun 2022 - Nature.com

How the pandemic and remote learning have impacted teens

In many ways, the switch to virtual learning was an unexpected, unplanned experiment that was conducted on millions of school-age children. More than two years on, there’s new information about the impact that switch has had on teens between 13 and 17 years old and their parents. In a survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, there are signs that some things are returning to the way they were before the pandemic, but some teenagers feel left behind. The survey found that most kids have kept close relationships with friends and families over the pandemic and that they prefer going to school in person more than remotely. However, there are notable differences in how the pandemic, specifically remote learning, has affected Black and Hispanic teenagers and lower-income families.
5th Jun 2022 - The Washington Post

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Using Virtual Teachers to Help Fill Vacancies: Some Pros and Cons

For-profit companies, including Elevate K12 and Proximity Education, offer districts the opportunity to fill hard-to-staff positions in everything from 6th grade reading to AP Physics, using virtual teachers who may be working in a completely different area of the country. The option is becoming increasingly popular. Is this a clever solution to teacher shortages, or another instance of shortchanging the neediest kids? It depends on who you ask. Here are some pros and cons, according to the companies and their critics.
31st May 2022 - EdWeek

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Curriculum narrowing in wake of pandemic, find inspectors

Scottish schools are dedicating more time to literacy, numeracy and wellbeing as they emerge from the pandemic - but "in a few cases" this has been to the detriment of other subjects, finds a new review by school inspectors. According to the review, it was more difficult to develop practical skills during periods of remote learning because "teachers faced challenges in directly observing young people demonstrating their skills in practical science and drama" and pupils did not always have "access to appropriate resources, materials and equipment".
30th May 2022 - TES News

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Distance learning: Just a stop-gap arrangement or a sustainable way of study

Schools and colleges across the country shifted to online mode during Covid as the enforcement of lockdown and social distancing rendered classroom teaching impractical. In all cases, parents were keen to safeguard their children against the virus and hence were not mentally prepared for the traditional classroom studies. The country was adapting to the innovation of distance learning (or eLearning as it is popularly called), But in effect it is online method of instruction while distance learning as previously known varies from the new evolving scenario. Online Classes or Distance Learning is in fact the new version of correspondence course. The new way of learning requires computer, smartphone, reliable internet connection, whereas in correspondence course an address(for sending study materials) was the only thing required. Online classes or distance learning has got an edge over correspondence learning as in this mode of education the teacher and students can interact simultaneously, by sitting at the comfort of their home/ preferred location and see each other.
28th May 2022 - Times of India

Using Virtual Teachers to Fill Vacancies: Smart Solution or Big Mistake?

Those are the the pitches Proximity Learning and Elevate K12, rapidly growing for-profit companies that live-stream teachers into classrooms nationwide, make to districts struggling to find an algebra or physics instructor. The companies’ approach to virtual learning, they say, offers more than just help for districts in filling vacancies and the chance for teachers to set their own hours and work from anywhere: It provides a glimpse into the future of K-12 education. Staffing shortages and the desire to prepare kids for in-demand jobs will eventually propel many schools to offer a combination of face-to-face teachers and this new live-streaming model, said Shaily Baranwal, Elevate K12’s founder and CEO.
26th May 2022 - EdWeek.org

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Parents' evening: should they happen in-person or remotely?

As with so many aspects of school life, headteachers were forced to move parents' evenings online during the coronavirus pandemic. But while teaching and learning is now back to in-person delivery, many schools are weighing up whether to return to in-person parents' evenings or keep them virtual. Here, two teachers discuss the pros and cons of each approach, and look at what leaders need to consider when making the decision.
26th May 2022 - tes.com

Virtual learning apps tracked and shared kids' data and online activities with advertisers, report says

Millions of students who participated in virtual learning during the Covid-19 pandemic had their personal data and online behaviors tracked by educational apps and websites without their consent and in many cases shared with third-party advertising technology companies, a new report has found. Human Rights Watch, an international advocacy organization, this week published the findings of an investigation conducted from March 2021 to August 2021 that looked into the educational services, including online learning tools, used by students all over the world when school districts shifted to remote learning.
26th May 2022 - CNN

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Online Learning Can Help Minimize Racism and Ableism In and Out of the Classroom

As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, many colleges and universities are looking to ramp up their on-campus classes and activities. However, it seems that many marginalized students would like to stay remote. In fact, 68 percent of Black students and 60 percent of Hispanic students feel positive about online learning, and the transition to virtual learning has offered some students with disabilities new educational modalities. Of course, every college student is different, and online learning won’t impact everyone in the same way. But the virtual classroom presents its own unique benefits — and challenges — for racially diverse and disabled students.
25th May 2022 - EdTech

Virtual learning compromised kids' privacy and security

There was also a cybersecurity consequence to virtual learning during the pandemic. The distance learning apps that schools used frequently scooped up reams of information about students, dramatically undermining their privacy and security, an international investigation has found. The apps grabbed personal information, including locations, and tracked the online behavior of millions of students
25th May 2022 - The Washington Post

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The online learning phenomenon impacts higher education; 17.3M students enrolled in 2021

During the pandemic, 98% of universities in the U.S. switched to remote learning. Since then, more students are continuing with online study, with 17.3 million students in the U.S. studying online in 2021 – either full-time or partially.
24th May 2022 - St George News

Tech Tip: Choosing digital tools for a virtual classroom

Technology is responsible for some amazing advances in education. However, most of us in the classroom want to be great teachers, not IT experts. I’m a former math teacher now dedicated to developing and innovating virtual curricula for hundreds of virtual teachers across a variety of subjects. So the question I most often get from teachers is: What digital tools should I be using in my classroom?
24th May 2022 - Smartbrief

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Pandemic school reopenings were not just about politics

Almost as soon as some schools reopened for in-person learning in the fall of 2020, research was suggesting a tidy, albeit dark, conclusion about why they did: politics. Early analyses indicated that Covid-19 health factors had virtually nothing to do with reopening decisions, and partisan politics could explain nearly all the variation. Further analyses show a more complicated picture.
23rd May 2022 - Vox.com

What Should We Call the In-Person and Virtual Meetings?

For teaching and learning, we use the term “hybrid” to describe a course that has both in-person and online components. A hybrid degree program is customarily understood as one delivered primarily online and that contains some expectations of on-campus and face-to-face contact hours. The closest language that we have for mixed in-person/Zoom meetings in a course setting is HyFlex. Students in a HyFlex course can choose if they want to attend physically (in class) or virtually (by Zoom or whatever platform is used).
23rd May 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

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Virtual Is the New Reality for M.B.A. Students

More business schools are venturing into virtual reality, using video delivered via headsets to immerse students in far-flung locales. The pandemic forced many M.B.A. programs to curtail international travel just as VR technology took off and headsets proliferated. Now, early experiments such as Dartmouth’s are prompting more schools to explore the technology, both in classes and as part of the overall student experience.
22nd May 2022 - The Wall Street Journal

Kids Are Far, Far Behind in School

Starting in the spring of 2020, school boards and superintendents across the US faced a dreadful choice: Keep classrooms open and risk more COVID-19 deaths, or close schools and sacrifice children’s learning. In the name of safety, many districts shut down for long periods. But researchers are now learning that the closures came at a stiff price—a large decline in children’s achievement overall and a historic widening in achievement gaps by race and economic status. The achievement loss is far greater than most educators and parents seem to realize. The only question now is whether state and local governments will recognize the magnitude of the educational damage and make students whole.
20th May 2022 - The Atlantic

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Education secretary refuses to stop plans for more online learning in the Western Isles

In Scotland, Western Isles Council is planning to to make some specialist subjects available remotely across the islands’ four secondary schools at the same time. Pupils learning remotely would be supervised at school by an adult, but not necessarily a teacher. Donald Cameron, Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, wants the education secretary to step in. He says it could hold back children’s progress and “undermine the role of professional teachers”.
19th May 2022 - The Press and Journal

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Realizing the vision: Education technology paving the way to interactive learning

EdTech platforms have redefined education by making learning more student-centric and engaging. With the introduction of learning applications, video lessons, virtual labs, and peer-to-peer discussion portals, students can not just take ownership of their learning but also build on their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This contributes to a boost in their academic performance and their overall development through the inculcation of lifelong skills.
18th May 2022 - India Times

Remote teaching during the pandemic disadvantages students in New Jersey's lower-income school districts

The rollout of remote teaching in New Jersey during the COVID-19 pandemic was haphazard, under-resourced, inequitably delivered, contributed to student and teacher stress and may exacerbate digital and social inequality, according to a Rutgers study. By analyzing responses from structured interviews with a sample of 21 K-12 public school teachers, the researchers found students in lower-income school districts experienced inequities in online teaching and learning opportunities, compared with students in middle-income and wealthier districts.
18th May 2022 - Phys.Org

Law students report online learning gains, but in-person still wins out

A new survey of law students shows that more of them are coming around to online classes. Students surveyed this spring by AccessLex Institute and Gallup had better things to say about their remote or hybrid classes than they did a year ago, indicating that law schools improved their online offerings during the two-year pandemic. In-person instruction still takes the prize: Among surveyed students who took most or all of their classes remotely this year, 72% rated their program as either good or excellent, compared to 78% of those who took classes in person. But that’s a much smaller gap than in 2021, when 57% of online J.D. students and 76% of in-person students gave their program high marks.
18th May 2022 - Reuters

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Video Games as an Effective Learning Medium – Are we there yet?

Considering the popularity of gaming, it begs the question: is there potential beyond pure entertainment? Have we found a way to make gaming viable for education, or is it destined to just be a fad? When considering this, it’s important to understand the gap that often exists between the actual appeal of gaming and what education has typically tried to gamify. As well as the extent of its ability to effectively teach different practices and emulate real-world scenarios.
17th May 2022 - FE News

Remote classes affected students and teachers differently worldwide: Waterloo study

Switching to remote learning affected university students and teachers quite differently in developed and developing countries, a Waterloo study found. Researchers from the University of Waterloo analyzed the impact of shifting to “emergency response teaching” in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They collected data from developing countries, including Bangladesh, Malaysia and China, and developed countries, including Canada, the United States, Germany and Spain, through a combination of surveys and interviews with students and teachers.
17th May 2022 - The Record

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Robust Technology Supports Higher Education Cybersecurity Training Programs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs in information security will grow by 31 percent by 2029. To address both current and expected workforce shortages, higher education is ramping up its offerings, with cybersecurity exploding as an academic discipline. It takes robust technology to support learning, both in person and remotely, in this tech-centric field of study.
16th May 2022 - Ed Tech

How Could Universities Use the Metaverse in the Future?

Implementing virtual reality into education could have a positive impact for students and the social aspect of school and university. Over the past few years, remote learning has become a key issue for students. With the World Economic Forum reporting that registrations for online courses shot to 92 million in 2021. However, learning over video calls can have an effect on students’ engagement, as reported by Ofqual. This could mean by improving the online environment in which students learn, the social and creative element of the Metaverse could change how students learn and interact positively
16th May 2022 - FE News

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The impact of remote learning and what it’s meant for the advancement of edtech

Peter Claxton, senior director for edtech solutions at ViewSonic, offers his opinion on where schools turn next in their technology journey. He explains that "the ability to meet others online in a classroom, or lecture theatre is something we are going to see emerging from the edtech world. Children are used to playing in various gaming environments in an immersive environment and the technology now will allow that to happen."
13th May 2022 - Education Technology

Using remote learning technology to boost student engagement and interaction

As face-to-face teaching returns, educational technology can be used to boost student engagement in ways that are not possible in a physical classroom. Ironically, remote learning has opened the opportunity for more intimate instruction, not less. Use online learning spaces to divide large classes into small groups via “virtual tables”, organised by student comprehension, subject matter interest, location, native language or nothing at all.
13th May 2022 - THE Campus

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Gamification Of EdTech: Virtual Learning On The Road To The Metaverse

Increasingly, as 76% of U.S. kids play video games weekly, educators are looking to video games as a solution. The gamification of remote learning is moving to the next level through immersive virtual reality (VR) content, which is already used to train employees in construction, motor and aviation industries. Exciting game-based elements can entrance students with their variations of accessibility and creative communities. Instead of watching a lecture, students learning in video game-type simulations gain exposure to the emerging metaverse of connected online worlds.
12th May 2022 - elearningworld.eu

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Game-Based Learning Prepares K–12 Students for a Digital Future

As educators seek tools for online environments, one of the solutions they’re increasingly turning to is game-based learning. One of the best ways for students to learn is through play, and growing up in a digital world, they are already playing video games outside the classroom. Bringing learning to students in a format with which they’re already familiar can help K–12 educators deliver important lessons. Video games can be used to teach students about the complex problems in the modern world, and they can teach students how to be better prepared for the future.
11th May 2022 - EdTech

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It's time for educators to embrace the powers of AI and virtual reality

AI is utterly different to conventional digital technology because it is both adaptive — it personalises itself to the individual student and teacher — and it is autonomous — it operates independently, allowing students to learn at their own times of day, in their optimal way, and in their location of choice. It is akin to each student having a personal tutor and teacher in each and every subject, presenting them with material and giving them feedback and pastoral advice, at their beck and call any hour of night and day, 365 days a year. When allied to virtual reality (VR), AI offers students mind-boggling experiences, with experiments in science, modelling in mathematics and the social sciences, and scenarios in literature and history, beyond the imagination, literally, of those presiding over our education system at present.
10th May 2022 - The Times

NYC to launch two ‘full-time’ virtual schools, education officials say

New York City is planning to launch two fully virtual schools, top education department officials said during a City Council hearing on Tuesday, though key details about how and when they will be created have yet to be revealed. City officials told local lawmakers that launching the “full-time” virtual schools will be part of the solution to high rates of chronic absenteeism and re-engaging students in the wake of pandemic disruption. About 37% of the city’s K-12 students are on track to be chronically absent, defined as missing at least 10% of the school year, substantially higher than the years before the pandemic.
10th May 2022 - Chalkbeat New York

Virtual learning set poor children even further behind, study shows

Students in high-poverty schools paid a far higher price for virtual learning than did their peers in low-poverty schools, leaving vulnerable students even further behind than when the pandemic started, according to a working paper published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The authors focused on the costs of virtual learning and warned of dire consequences from not addressing the gaps.
10th May 2022 - The Washington Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th May 2022

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CPS expands access to remote learning: 'For kids who are high risk ... this is a very good option'

Alaina is a student in the Virtual Academy, the remote-learning option Chicago Public Schools introduced in August for “medically fragile” students as the district returned to full-time, in-person learning for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. CPS recently announced it is relaxing the academy’s admission guidelines for the fall and increasing access to advanced coursework. The Tribune spoke with parents of four children enrolled in the academy this year. They shared differing experiences, but each said they were grateful for the program because they were able to limit exposure to the coronavirus.
9th May 2022 - Chicago Tribune

Virtual learning or hybrid learning: How do we choose?

With a more flexible workforce and the popularity of hybrid working comes a need for L&D practitioners to meet the learning requirements of those working in home, remote and office settings. The challenge we now have is knowing when it is appropriate to go virtual and when we choose hybrid. More and more clients and employers are asking if training sessions can accommodate both ‘on the Zoom’ (other platforms are available) and ‘in the room’, without considering the impact or fear behind that question!
9th May 2022 - TrainingZone.co.uk

Khan Academy: the maths teacher with 135 million pupils

The Khan Academy now has more than 135 million registered users in 190 countries and operates in 51 languages. It offers thousands of free video tutorials and exercises to anybody with an internet connection. At the start of the pandemic, when schools closed around the world, the number of minutes spent learning on the website tripled almost overnight from 30 million to 85 million a day.
9th May 2022 - The Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th May 2022

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How a tutoring service helps students with learning deficits

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, students continue to struggle to make up the learning deficit that came with reduced and compromised learning opportunities. Math test scores saw the greatest loss according to research from The Anneberg Institute. Of the $122.7 billion in the American Rescue Plan Act, 20% is to be used by local elementary and secondary education agencies to address learning loss. “There’s really a need for programs that can address the learning loss that’s happened in the last couple of years,” Kevin Kemper, co-owner of online math tutoring program My Math Experts.
8th May 2022 - Azed News

Taiwan donates multimedia classroom equipment to Saint Lucia

Taiwan's embassy in Saint Lucia recently donated equipment for two multimedia classrooms, to help strengthen basic education and digital literacy in the Caribbean island nation. The equipment, which includes 65-inch interactive screens and high-definition cameras and speakers, can be used to facilitate remote classes, musical performances and virtual meetings, according to the Taiwan embassy in Saint Lucia.
8th May 2022 - Focus Taiwan

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th May 2022

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The Conversation About Quality in Online Learning: Key Podcast

This week’s episode of The Key, Inside Higher Ed’s news and analysis podcast, explores the special report, “The Evolving Conversation About Quality in Online Learning.” The report explores a wide range of issues around the current and future state of technology-enabled learning to try to help administrators and faculty members prepare to deliver high-quality virtual instruction, however it fits into their institutional missions. Lori Williams, president and CEO of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), discusses the report and its implications for colleges, professors and policy makers. Williams discusses how the pandemic has changed perceptions and practices around online education and how to judge quality in virtual learning, among other topics.
5th May 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Writing Effective Recommendations for Remote Students

Many students have been struggling to request and secure letters of recommendation during the pandemic. They may be unsure how to ask for letters at the best of times, and with COVID and less face-to-face contact, they have faced even more barriers. This situation will only become more difficult when the faculty members whom students feel they know best refuse to provide letters and/or recommend they reach out to someone else. Just as faculty members have updated their practices to become effective remote teachers, they can rethink how to approach letters of recommendation and references for remote students.
30th Nov -0001 - Inside Higher Ed

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th May 2022

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Biden Administration Awards Nearly $77 Million to Expand Internet Access for Dozens of Tribes

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded 19 grants as part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The grants, totaling nearly $77 million, are being awarded in 10 states, and will fund internet use and adoption projects to improve healthcare, workforce development, education, housing, and social services in tribal communities.
4th May 2022 - commerce.gov

Remote learning continues to affect student outcomes – study

Three-in-five (64%) Australian parents say their kids have been seriously impacted by continued disruptions due to COVID-19, new research shows. According to the latest data captured within the Real Education Report 2022, the past two years have left more than half (51%) parents feeling their children have fallen significantly behind academically and are struggling to catch up. In addition, 46% of parents also feel the constant disruptions will also lead to long-term impacts on their academic progress and job prospects.
4th May 2022 - The Educator

Study offers insight into how remote learning impacts motivation of school students

Over 40% of parents of primary school students and 38% of parents of secondary school students felt their child found remote learning 'difficult' or 'very difficult', according to new data from the Schools Infection Survey (SIS). 'Struggling with motivation' was reported as the main barrier to learning at home by 39% of primary school pupils' parents, 44% of secondary school pupils' parents and 55% of secondary school students themselves. The main concern for teachers about providing remote education was a lack of engagement from pupils (69% in primary and 74% in secondary).
4th May 2022 - News-Medical

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th May 2022

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The Pros and Cons of Online Classes

Online courses have a bright future. It is not hard to imagine a world where students can freely access education that is relevant to their needs and flexible to their schedules. But as they exist today, university online courses are an implicit admission that many schools treat education solely as a series of hurdles to be jumped through. The structure of a typical online course reveals that the goal is not learning but to prove that an attempt at learning was made.
3rd May 2022 - The Wall Street Journal

Op-Ed: Virtual internships and learning experiences are just as valuable as in person ones

Roger Adkins is the executive director of the Center for Global Education at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana..He writes: "As the pandemic picked up steam, our signature global learning programs and fully funded internship and research program at Earlham College were abruptly paused. As our students and faculty shifted to online coursework, many did so for the first time in their young lives or long careers. Virtual internships and online global learning experiences were offered simply to fill the void. But instead of reading student reflections decrying these as second-rate experiences, I’ve heard a refreshing narrative for the last two years." "Despite missing out on the more esoteric kind of learning when we experience things in real life, many who work in the experiential education space are learning that online internships and virtual study abroad experiences have significant capacity to prepare young people for the world of work while sharpening their worldviews."
3rd May 2022 - Yahoo

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd May 2022

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Four lessons from online learning that should stick after the pandemic

What have we really learned about online education? And what do we do now? Online learning isn’t new, and lessons can be drawn from existing research and experience. Athabasca University pioneered the world’s first online MBA, M.Nursing and M.Ed progams over 28 years ago. And today, it’s one of Canada’s leading online universities. The experience of online pioneers highlights four distinct aspects of online learning that should stick post-pandemic: learning to learn online, designing online teaching with purpose, blending space and time online and continued disruption with AI.
2nd May 2022 - The Conversation

Empowerment, Exit and Entrepreneurship Will Continue to Transform Education

Over the past two years of social and economic disruption, U.S. education has experienced an extraordinary transformation that can best be defined by 3 “Es”: Empowerment, Exit and Entrepreneurship.
2nd May 2022 - Forbes

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Apr 2022

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An Educational Revolution Waiting To Happen

Most American kids don’t have access to an adequate education. Online or remote learning could increase access to quality education for vast numbers of people by an order of magnitude. For most people, the excellence of long-distance learning could even become superior in many ways to anything else they can currently afford, even if education within a brick-and-mortar setting remained of higher quality for the few who can afford it. A universal embrace of online learning would represent a seismic uptick in opportunity for entire societies.
28th Apr 2022 - Forbes

2 years after COVID, remote learning lessons are clear

It has become accepted wisdom in some quarters that remote education is simply worse across the board for students than traditional in-person models. Certain studies have blamed virtual education for learning loss, social isolation, mental health and behavioral issues, and more. However, using remote learning as a catch-all for a variety of school-related challenges (many of which existed before the pandemic) misses some nuances.
27th Apr 2022 - eSchool News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Apr 2022

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Reopening With Resilience: Lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 - Eastern and Southern Africa

The widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the learning crisis for children living in Eastern and Southern Africa. The crisis has also shown the great need to develop resilient education systems that can provide learning when schools are forced to close. Understanding how to provide remote learning equitably utilizing multiple modalities and emphasizing low-tech solutions in Eastern and Southern Africa is critical given the great challenges facing the region in terms of electricity and connectivity access.
27th Apr 2022 - ReliefWeb

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Apr 2022

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Virtual learning due to COVID-19 helps UMKC student with disability

With the introduction of lockdown browsers and proctoring, universities are able to maintain academic integrity while still allowing students the freedom to receive an education remotely. This is the future of the college experience for many people in unique circumstances, and the shift to online learning helps professors become more helpful and understanding.
26th Apr 2022 - UMKC

How Higher Ed Institutions Are Meeting the Demand for Student Devices

When universities pivoted to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, devices became even more crucial resources — which, for some students, proved problematic. An EDUCAUSE survey fielded the year before the pandemic struck found that although 99 percent of college students felt laptops were at least moderately important for academic success, 8 percent (potentially more than a million students) didn’t have access to one. While many universities provided devices to some students before 2020, the expanded use of online instruction has ushered in a new emphasis on device availability.
26th Apr 2022 - EdTech

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Apr 2022

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Free virtual production learning platform launched at NAB

On April 24, 2022, Zero Density announces the launch of a new online learning platform for creators of real-time broadcast graphics and virtual sets, “Zero Density Academy.” Featuring more than 50 in-depth video lessons, Zero Density Academy enables broadcasters to learn future-proof skills and earn a globally recognized certification — all for free.
25th Apr 2022 - fenews.co.uk

More Canberra schools expected to go to remote learning in Term 2 as winter looms

More schools in Canberra are expected to switch to remote learning in Term 2 as all education systems brace for a winter COVID-19 wave. ACT public schools will have the toughest regulations when school returns, as Canberra's non-government schools and NSW schools loosen their restrictions.
25th Apr 2022 - The Canberra Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Apr 2022

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What Happens to the Right to Education, Online?

We have seen how the pandemic not only amplified existing inequalities in access to education through school closures and disrupted teaching, but also altered the nature of the learning experience. In March 2020, UNESCO reported that 87% of the world’s school children had been affected by COVID-19-related school closures and cessation of learning, signalling a major rupture in education. In May 2021, Human Rights Watch called for governments to devote serious attention and resources to ameliorate, mitigate, and correct the long-standing inequalities in education systems that have been highlighted and exacerbated during the pandemic. Added to that, the camera is believed to have induced a whole new level of anxiety among ill-prepared teachers and learners, and exacerbated privacy violations, even as the question of the efficacy of a digitised education process remains unsatisfactorily answered
24th Apr 2022 - The Wire

Virtual STEM learning programs ramped up during the pandemic

The chasm of need for creative virtual learning experiences grew during the pandemic, especially in STEM classroom activities. Some organizations stepped up with programs to fill this learning gap that existed before schools went online and will continue to exist after kids are back in the classroom. “Many schools simply don’t have the resources to augment classroom instruction with valuable hands-on, experiential alternatives,” says Sarah Buhayar, Pacific Science Center board member and a director at the Gates Foundation.
24th Apr 2022 - Seattle Times

COVID changed the way colleges prepare future teachers

As COVID-19 brought winds of change in K-12 education, schooling of future teachers shifted, as well. Colleges of education in Oklahoma say they modified the way they prepare students for a career in education during the pandemic era. Readying future educators to teach virtually is the foremost adjustment, said Jon Pedersen, dean of Oklahoma State University’s College of Education and Human Sciences.
24th Apr 2022 - Oklahoman.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Apr 2022

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Third of primary school leaders cutting edtech spending – report

Almost a third (32%) of primary school leaders say they have had to cut back on information technology (IT) equipment because of financial constraints, according to a new survey carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). In secondary schools, the figure is 20%. The findings form part of a report on catch-up funding published by the Sutton Trust. While a higher proportion of poll respondents reported having to cut back on teaching and support staff, the widespread reduction in edtech spending is nevertheless a cause for concern in its own right. As the move to remote learning during the pandemic underlined, poorer students and schools are on the wrong side of a digital divide, even without factoring in the likely impact of a cut in IT investment.
21st Apr 2022 - Education Technology

Stress Still Driving Students to Consider Stopping Out

Three-fourths of students in bachelor’s degrees programs and two-thirds of adults seeking associate degrees who considered taking a break from college within the last six months cited emotional stress, according to a new Gallup-Lumina report. The report also said that 44 percent of adults not currently enrolled in a college degree or certificate program have considered enrolling in the past two years. The report is based on a survey of 11,227 U.S. adults conducted last fall and expands on a 2020 study of U.S. higher education “that found rising concerns among students about the shift from in-person to remote learning. That research confirmed the spread of COVID-19 had jeopardized student retention, with about half reporting the pandemic was ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to affect their enrollment,” according to Gallup and the Lumina Foundation.
21st Apr 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Hybrid teaching harming teacher mental health

The extra time, energy and workload required to deliver hybrid teaching is having a detrimental effect on the health, safety and welfare of teachers, representatives heard at the Annual Conference of NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union. Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary said, “Teachers have adapted to new ways of online working and embraced new tools out of necessity to help children while they were learning from home during the pandemic. But it cannot be right that their health and wellbeing have been affected adversely by the excessive workload required to deliver remote education."
19th Apr 2022 - HSM

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Apr 2022

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Meta funds virtual classrooms at 7 universities complete with VR headsets

College students at schools from Georgia to Oregon will have a new back-to-school supply this fall: virtual reality headsets. Seven universities and colleges are opening digital twins of their campuses to offer an alternative to class via video call. Each school will roll out a digital twin of campus for students to attend either on campus or remotely. Each student will receive a Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset for use during the course. Courses will be synchronous as if they were attending class on a physical campus.
20th Apr 2022 - TechRepublic

Mixed-reality virtual learning platform secures £150k seed funding

Focus MRS, a mixed-reality virtual learning platform, has secured a £150,000 seed investment from Jenson Funding Partners . The technology is designed to enhance the teaching of practical subjects, such as construction, barbering, and personal training, with educators able to pre-record or stream 360-degree videos for students who can then watch them on their smartphone with the aid of a “low-cost” headset and VR viewer. Educators are provided with a 360-degree camera to capture the lesson, which they can then upload to the Focus MRS platform. Students can log in, review their lesson timetable, select the lecture, and put on their viewer.
20th Apr 2022 - Education Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th Apr 2022

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The Gamification Of EdTech: Virtual Learning On The Road To The Metaverse

Exposure quarantines pushed remote classroom learning from the occasional into the commonplace. Both teachers and educational institutions are scrambling to identify new ways to improve distance learning experiences, engagement and equal access to tools and facilities in the post-pandemic world. Increasingly, as 76% of U.S. kids play video games weekly, educators are looking to video games as a solution. The gamification of remote learning is moving to the next level through immersive virtual reality (VR) content, which is already used to train employees in construction, motor and aviation industries.
19th Apr 2022 - Forbes

Research suggests that virtual learning is the most popular method for adults

New unweighted research into virtual learning, commissioned by learning management system provider Digits, has shown that watching online videos and taking part in online courses are now the most popular learning methods in the UK. On average, over one in four of the 2,000 people polled say they most enjoy learning via videos and courses on the internet (29% and 28% respectively), while face-to-face options, such as in-person classes with others present and one-to-one tutoring, were favoured by less than one in four people (23% and 19% respectively).
19th Apr 2022 - Education Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Apr 2022

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“We must show the same sense of urgency to abolish digital poverty for teachers as we do for children.”: Tackling the Digital Divide

The pandemic shone a spotlight on the number of children with limited digital access, and indeed a number of worthwhile schemes sprung up over the pandemic to provide children with devices to get them online. However, in the admirable efforts to improve digital access, one crucial group was neglected – teachers. Recent research from the Digital Poverty Alliance highlighted that 47% of teachers in the UK have struggled with digital connectivity. Many of them must share their home device with others in their household or simply do not have access to a device once they leave work. And when teachers cannot fully engage with technology, their pupils are directly affected, whether connecting remotely or engaging with digital learning in class.
18th Apr 2022 - FE News

Pandemic Learning Was Tough On Everyone. Bilingual Students Faced Additional Challenges

As with other problems that long dogged the education system, the pandemic exposed the lack of resources along with barriers that English-learning students face in receiving an equitable education, says Leslie Villegas, a senior policy analyst at New America’s Education Policy Program. She was part of a research duo that interviewed 20 English-language education leaders across the US to learn how they and students managed during virtual schooling. Their new report found that the sudden shift to remote instruction—and all its limitations—had a “disproportionate impact” on students who were learning English.
18th Apr 2022 - EdSurge

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Apr 2022

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Is Tech Destroying Kids' Social Skills? Here's How Social-Emotional Learning Can Help

Technology’s effect on children’s social skills and well-being has caused a lot of hand-wringing over the years—and parents’ and educators’ concerns have only grown with the pandemic as students have done more socializing and learning on their digital devices. Social media, virtual learning, online gaming, and ubiquitous devices present new social challenges for kids. So, what social-emotional skills do they need to flourish in an increasingly tech-centric world, and are schools teaching them?
13th Apr 2022 - Education Week

Will virtual teaching become the new normal in UK independent education?

New research suggests more than a quarter of independent school teachers in the UK would consider virtual teaching permanently. Specialist education insurer Ecclesiastical has released research which suggests 28% of independent school teachers in the UK would consider taking on a virtual role permanently in the future. The survey also found that a third of independent school teachers have seen an increase in virtual roles being advertised and two in five are more concerned about falling behind technological changes since the pandemic. Nine in 10 respondents said that their schools has invested in more technology since the pandemic.
13th Apr 2022 - Education Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th Apr 2022

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Some Colleges Are Ending Hybrid Learning. Students Are Pushing Back.

Johnny Ellsworth would like nothing more than to return to a classroom in a world without a pandemic, where the sophomore at Pomona College could “connect with people in a more intimate way than you might be able to over Zoom.” Instead, as a person who is immunocompromised, he wakes up every morning and checks his phone to see what the local Covid rates are before he heads to class, reminding himself of all the reasons his education is important to him, including his family and his future job.
11th Apr 2022 - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Apr 2022

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Even in a virtual classroom, preschoolers can gain reading skills

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools nationwide, students of all ages — from high-schoolers in Advanced Placement classes to preschoolers getting the hang of the ABCs — shifted to remote learning on a screen. And while learning to read in an online setting may seem a tall order, a new study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences finds that children can develop key reading skills in a virtual classroom with other students. Researchers say their “Reading Camp” program demonstrates not only the effectiveness of the approach, but also the potential to reach larger numbers of students remotely, by necessity or by choice.
11th Apr 2022 - University of Washington

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Apr 2022

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How Can Immersive Learning Be Used in Hybrid Classrooms?

As the pandemic affected higher education and forced universities to think creatively about keeping students engaged from afar, immersive learning continued to gain traction as a virtual tool to bring previously inaccessible concepts, locations and objects directly to students using technology. It’s important to know what it is, the technology needed to use it, and its potential to impact remote and hybrid education models.
6th Apr 2022 - EdTech Magazine

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Apr 2022

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How Can Immersive Learning Be Used in Hybrid Classrooms?

As the pandemic affected higher education and forced universities to think creatively about keeping students engaged from afar, immersive learning continued to gain traction as a virtual tool to bring previously inaccessible concepts, locations and objects directly to students using technology. An EDUCAUSE QuickPoll conducted in November 2021 indicated that while many respondents were either not currently adopting extended reality technologies (34 percent), were in early stages of adoption (16 percent) or had adopted for a few specific projects (39 percent), 90 percent believed that extended reality adoption will increase over the next five years
7th Apr 2022 - EdTech

How COVID-19 Affected the Mental Health of Teens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is shedding new light on how difficult the COVID-19 pandemic has been on high school students. The agency has released its first nationally representative survey of teens’ mental state during the COVID-19 outbreak. “With disruptions in normal routines and moving to virtual learning, students faced isolation, loneliness, and loss of structure in their day,” Dr Asha Patton-Smith said. “Many teens lost important connections forged in the school environment, both with peers and with school staff, which caused many students to lose their support systems"
7th Apr 2022 - Healthline

Reforming learning disorder diagnosis following COVID-19 educational disruption

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, millions of children across the globe have experienced the partial or full closure of schools and/or prolonged reliance on virtual learning. The effects of this ongoing educational disruption are still unfolding. Early studies from the COVID-19 era have associated educational disruption with increased mental health concerns (including depression and anxiety) and diminished learning gains (especially in maths and reading) in young people. Those affected by racial and economic disadvantages have been more likely to experience longer periods of educational disruption
7th Apr 2022 - Nature.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Apr 2022

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US and UK pupils want remote working options in higher education and employment

Remote learning may have been a temporary education measure during the pandemic, but for many students it has had a permanent impact – affecting their readiness for post-secondary education and career plans, future workplace outlooks, and choice of where to live. The majority (58%) of students surveyed said they envision a combination of remote and in-person work for their future careers, with nearly one in five stating that the ability to work remotely is a factor in their decision about what to study or what jobs they might pursue.
6th Apr 2022 - Independent Education Today

Did we really learn anything about schools in the pandemic?

If you Google “lessons learned about schools during the pandemic” you will see a long list of articles that purport to tell us about all the things we learned about teaching and learning in the two years since the coronavirus crisis began in March 2020. Many of the pieces highlight similar “lessons” — on inequity, technology, in-school learning, funding mechanisms and other issues — that seemingly hadn’t been thought of before. But for anybody paying the slightest bit of attention there is nothing on the list of pandemic school “lessons” that we didn’t already know before covid-19 — and for a long, long time.
6th Apr 2022 - The Washington Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Apr 2022

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Nearly One in Five Teenagers are Factoring the Ability to Work Remotely into Their University and Career Plans, Survey Shows

Remote learning may have been a temporary education measure during the pandemic, but for many students it has had a permanent impact — affecting their readiness for post-secondary education and career plans, future workplace outlooks, and choice of where to live. Those are some of the findings of a survey of 16- to 18-year-olds in the U.S. and U.K
5th Apr 2022 - FE News

Incorporating Asynchronous Learning in K–12 Districts

Asynchronous learning, an educational model in which students learn on their own schedule, is exploding in popularity in K–12 schools. As the number of devices and familiarity with online learning increase, districts are finding students prefer a more flexible schedule. There are many ways districts can approach this trending educational model, including flipped classrooms, virtual-only schools and through variations of blended learning, project-based learning and more. While it might seem overwhelming at first glance, it isn’t difficult to incorporate asynchronous learning into the classroom.
5th Apr 2022 - EdTech Magazine

Evolving Conversation About Quality in Online Learning: Special Report

Inside Higher Ed has publishing a new special report, “The Evolving Conversation About Quality in Online Learning.” This free print-on-demand report explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped both the practice and perceptions of online, hybrid and blended learning in postsecondary education. Among the topics it explores are changing student demands and expectations regarding online quality; growing institutional support and training for faculty members; how quality is judged in virtual learning, and who does the judging; and best practices for high-quality instruction, however it is delivered.
5th Apr 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

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More Brits would rather learn online than in-person

Given the choice, more people prefer to learn new skills and knowledge online – and most likely alone – than alongside other people. That’s according to new virtual learning research, commissioned by learning management system provider Digits, which reveals that watching online videos and taking part in online courses are now the most popular learning methods in the UK. On average, over one in four of the 2,000 people polled say they most enjoy learning via videos and courses on the internet (29% and 28% respectively), while face-to-face options, such as in-person classes with others present and one-to-one tutoring, were favoured by less than one in four people (23% and 19% respectively).
4th Apr 2022 - FE News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Apr 2022

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Student group work: how to improve engagement online

Online learning can leave students feeling lonely, disengaged and unmotivated. Because they do not attend classes in person on campus, they can lack a sense of belonging and do not readily identify with their university. Often they have never met their instructors in person and may never have visited the campus. Incorporating group activities into online college coursework can help increase engagement and a sense of belonging. With group work, online students collaborate to complete short assignments or long-term projects, all the while interacting with each other on a more personal level.
3rd Apr 2022 - Times Higher Education

Emergency remote teaching and the learning loss that came from it; Were Mass. educators properly trained to t

The pandemic disrupted classrooms across the US. A McKinsey study discovered that K-12 students are currently, on average, five months behind in their expected mathematics levels and four months behind in their expected reading levels. MCAS scores from 2019 and 2021 — the MCAS wasn’t offered in 2020 due to the pandemic — showed a decline in almost every grade level across Massachusetts. Professionals attribute the decline in test scores to the state-wide switch to emergency remote teaching during the 2020-2021 school year. “Drops were seen all over the commonwealth of Massachusetts including in our wealthier suburbs,” commissioner Jeffrey Riley said during a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting where the scores were unveiled. “These are drops we haven’t seen in decades.”
3rd Apr 2022 - MassLive.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Apr 2022

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Organisations harness the power of learning to support families in their communities

This year’s Family Learning Award shortlist, shows how organisations are using imaginative, innovative and inclusive ways to deliver learning opportunities which help families in their communities. The awards, organised by education charity Campaign for Learning, celebrate learning activities that supported families during lockdown and beyond and supported health and wellbeing. As to be expected, some of the top priorities for organisations were focused around the significant changes to how learning is delivered beyond the pandemic, keeping families connected, boosting mental health and ensuring everyone can access opportunities to learn.
31st Mar 2022 - fenews.co.uk

DfE warned over 'unrealistic' remote learning guidance

In England, updated government guidance on remote learning for schools has been criticised as "unrealistic" and "a distraction" by heads and teaching profession leaders. The non-statutory guidance, published this week, sets out expectations over how schools should "deliver high-quality remote education" when in-person teaching is not possible. Its suggestion that schools should consider "securing appropriate internet connectivity solutions where possible" has been described as a "huge demand".
30th Mar 2022 - tes magazine

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 31st Mar 2022

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The challenges of large hybrid lecture courses (opinion)

Sarah Marsden Greene is a lecturer in economics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She writes: "The COVID-19 pandemic has forced monumental and continually shifting changes to the way we teach college students. As the spring 2022 semester has rolled along amid pressure from virus variants, part of me is still processing the fall 2021 semester. It was a semester in which the private four-year college where I teach economics courses faced the challenge of turning the tide of instruction modality from COVID-imposed online to in person. It was a transitional time, with most students returning to residential living, while a very few were not. In-person learning was no longer a modality deemed too risky but was practically a requirement, as in pre-COVID semesters. A rigorous approval process was in force for those students seeking remote learning, with many being flatly denied and forced to withdraw for the semester. Only a very few were approved for remote learning. The COVID-era of accommodating students in their many varied situations had ended as of fall 2021. As an instructor, part of my understanding for this hard-line approach is to prevent disgruntled parents from complaining that they are paying for room and board while their students are not attending class and, in the worst case, commencing lawsuits over tuition charged for online classes."
30th Mar 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Why we should let online elementary students lead

The role of elementary teachers has never been more important, especially as kindergarten through fifth grade students today are facing more change than ever before–from the effects of the pandemic to social media and stressful current events being right at their fingertips. According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the annual average learning gain for Kindergarten through second grade students is higher than at any time during a child’s years in school. This is why we both decided to become elementary school teachers–to make a positive impact in children’s lives during such a critical time of development and growth. While it is essential for students to understand and master their learning in elementary school, it is also important that students develop confidence, feel ownership over their work, and become passionate about learning
30th Mar 2022 - eSchool News

Covid closures still affecting 400 million pupils - Unicef

Schools in 23 countries, with 405 million pupils, are still partially or fully closed because of Covid, the United Nations Children's Fund says. The charity, Unicef, estimates 147 million children have missed at least half of their in-person schooling. Some vulnerable children, especially girls, have not returned to those schools that have reopened. Unicef executive director Catherine Russell says children are "the hidden casualties of the pandemic". While children have been less vulnerable to the most serious health effects of coronavirus, their lives have been turned upside down by the school closures of the pandemic.
30th Mar 2022 - BBC.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Mar 2022

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Teaching data science: a guide to using online tools

Learning to code can be intimidating; first attempts can be frustrating and require repetition and feedback to gain confidence. Often learners will move at very different paces, depending on prior experience and confidence. As a result, online or blended learning, combining self-paced workbooks with instructor contact, can be the perfect environment for teaching data science. Luckily, there are many platforms and tools to enable successful blended learning
29th Mar 2022 - Times Higher Education

Remote education is here to stay - optimising the home learning environment

Remote education creates a pathway to develop skills outside of the traditional classroom, offering individuals the opportunity to learn without limits – on their own terms around other aspects of their lives. With remote education here to stay, there are some key considerations for both learners and providers to make the most of the experience.
28th Mar 2022 - FE News

Where Does Blended Learning Go from Here?

Education has always been a conduit to prosperity and opportunity. It is therefore critical that, as our approach to teaching evolves and becomes more digital, its value and accessibility improves, rather than diminishes. Research has shown that online learning is effective only if students have reliable access to the internet and computers, and if teachers have received adequate training and support. The truth of this sentiment was clear in a global survey of teachers in high-poverty schools who found virtual classes to be ineffective during the pandemic, rating them 3.5 out of 10. With blended learning, teachers report higher levels of engagement and an overall increase in motivation.
28th Mar 2022 - Education Technology

Report shows impact of pandemic on students’ performance

A statewide report on public school students in Connecticut during the pandemic has concluded that while graduation rates rose, other evidence showed evidence of learning loss. Those who learned in in-person settings during the 2020-21 school year lost the least ground academically, the Department of Education’s Condition of Education report concluded. That trend held true across all grades and most student groups. Those students who learned in hybrid or fully remote models showed “substantially weaker achievement and growth during the pandemic,” particularly in mathematics, according to the report.
28th Mar 2022 - Associated Press

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Mar 2022

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The pandemic upended education. Two years later, what changes are here to stay?

Two years ago, the pandemic upended the education system. And while students are now back at their desks in before-times style, other parts of schooling will likely never be the same. From Chromebooks in classrooms to added mental health and social supports, some pandemic-induced changes appear to be here to stay — at least for now. What are COVID-19′s lasting impacts on the way kids learn, how schools operate, and how communities interact with them? Some educators and parents shared their perspectives.
27th Mar 2022 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Enrolling and Engaging Online Learners: A Compilation

“Enrolling and Engaging Online Learners” is a new print-on-demand booklet from Inside Higher Ed. You may download the free compilation of news articles and essays here. On Wednesday, April 27, at 2 p.m. Eastern time, Inside Higher Ed will present a webcast to discuss the themes of the booklet and answer your questions.
27th Mar 2022 - Inside Higher Ed

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Mar 2022

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A teacher's tips for effective edtech integration

Integrating technology into the classroom offers numerous benefits for students, including increased communication and collaboration skills alongside better engagement. The first thing that needs to be done in order to successfully integrate technology in the classroom has to be instructing/training teachers to do so. Having professional development sessions offered yearly and up to date with the ever-changing tech tools that schools are offered would be something that every teacher could benefit from. Students, as a result, will reap the benefits of their teachers’ pedagogical tech skills.
24th Mar 2022 - eSchool News

How Virtual Learning Can Help Bridge the Skills Gap

Though online learning predates COVID-19, the pandemic quickened the pace of digital learning’s evolution in higher education. The last two years alone have seen an explosion in online courses and the expansion of online degree programs. Moving forward, higher education institutions must innovate to increase access, engagement and the overall experience for students of all types, while also embracing the idea of “lifelong learning,” said Judy Olian, president of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, during a webinar on “How Virtual Learning Is Enabling Lifelong Skill-Building.” Olian and three other panelists discussed where online education fits into the future of higher ed and how institutions must adapt moving forward.
24th Mar 2022 - U.S. News & World Report

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Mar 2022

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Why learning together is the future of online education

Following the ed tech revolution, we’re seeing an exciting and necessary evolution—one to address the elephant in the online classroom. The reality is that online learning engagement and completion rates are famously low. Learning leaders struggle to boost engagement, even when learners have access to content on nearly every skill imaginable. Not enough people are making the progress they want with online education. What is standing in the way? there are three core reasons: accountability, effectiveness, and connection.
23rd Mar 2022 - Fast Company

Virtual teaching: How to share resources with your music students

With the pandemic affecting everyone’s everyday lives, virtual learning has become the norm for a lot of students, parents and teachers. Many tutors and teachers wonder how they can make the most of the online world to make learning fun and effective. The same goes for learning and teaching music. It might be quite a change for some, but there are still ways to keep each other inspired. In this article, we will be looking at several ways in which teachers are able to share various resources with students virtually, so that they receive the same level of learning as they would within the classroom. But most importantly, these digital tools can help us maintain our love for learning and music.
23rd Mar 2022 - Mail and Guardian

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Mar 2022

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How colleges and universities are reimagning remote learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only accelerated trends towards online learning, but it also has broadened the types of people who want targeted skills training. These tools can help prepare them for jobs of the future. However, the ideal model has yet to be developed, as remote learning needs can vary dramatically from person to person. Across the sector, private universities and colleges are seeking outside assistance and advice from organizations such as IFC to help improve online learning offerings.
22nd Mar 2022 - WEForum

Staff absences due to Covid could spark return of remote learning, council warns

Edinburgh City Council, Fife Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council all said remote learning may have to be considered as the pandemic continues to rip through teachers and pupils. Director of education for Dumfries and Galloway council, Gillian Brydson, said individual classes or year groups could face the return to online learning despite the easing of restrictions. This is due to rising case numbers, she said, leading to “very challenging” situations for “a number of our schools and early years settings”.
22nd Mar 2022 - The Scotsman

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Mar 2022

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Changing Classroom Paradigms Post-Covid

Mamta Saikia, Chief Executive Officer of Bharti Foundation, writes about the ways in which the pandemic has changed education in India: "we simply cannot go back to traditional teaching and learning processes. A lot has changed, and we have to rebuild our classroom strategies keeping in mind the way things have evolved."
21st Mar 2022 - BloombergQuint

Tasmania's education union calls for more support for teachers delivering virtual learning to COVID-impacted students

Teacher shortages in parts of Tasmania are making virtual learning impossible for children isolating at home due to COVID-19, the state's education union says. Children who are in the same household as an active case of COVID-19 are required to isolate for seven days from the date of the case diagnosis. This means that they are forced to do their education remotely, as is the case with children with COVID-19. Australian Education Union state president David Genford said these students needed the full learning support they deserved.
21st Mar 2022 - The Examiner

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Mar 2022

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Districts face difficulty luring covid-cautious parents back to school

In the US, the push to return to a pre-pandemic normal has tested the resolve of parents still worried about covid’s risks. Perhaps nowhere has the shift back to normal been more jarring than in Prince George’s schools. Though not its original intent, the Maryland district of about 130,000 students set up a massive virtual learning experiment when, to placate anxious parents, it extended enrollment in its remote program for K-6 students during last summer’s delta variant surge. Thousands of families chose that option, which the district said would last only for the first semester, when a pediatric vaccine was expected to be approved.
20th Mar 2022 - The Washington Post

Learning How to Blend Online and Offline Teaching

In the pandemic many higher ed faculty, forced onto Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms, have continued teaching online just as they always did face to face, delivering lectures over streaming video as they did in person. Many are unaware that teaching online can actually open new possibilities to innovate their teaching practice. Even so, there are some instructors who have found new and rewarding ways to teach, thanks to the forced experiment with online—by doing things that stimulate active learning, turning video conferencing classes into engaged, peer-to-peer discussions of what students explored on their own or with others between class sessions—activities such as viewing videos, visiting websites and reading scholarly books and articles, among other offline resources.
20th Mar 2022 - EdSurge

Universities' online teaching and 'blended learning' to be reviewed

In the UK, the quality of online teaching and “blended learning” at universities is set to be reviewed, over fears that students’ poor experiences of online learning during the pandemic may have undermined the potential of mixing face-to-face lectures with online study. The Office for Students (OfS) has launched a review to explore how universities are delivering blended learning, which will aim to give students and applicants information on whether the elements of their courses taught online are of a high enough quality.
20th Mar 2022 - North Wales Pioneer

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Mar 2022

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Digital teaching materials: moving away from print for better results

Waste paper is often discarded in classrooms, and Microsoft Word-based worksheets tend not to be particularly engaging, especially during online teaching periods. Moreover, interactive questions, audio and video can’t be included in printed materials. HTML 5 packages (H5P) provide a new way to create rich interactive content within learning management systems such as Moodle, Canvas and Blackboard. Content types include multiple-choice questions, gap fills, drag and drop, interactive video, parallax presentations and many more. An interactive book allows many of the content types to be embedded in a comprehensive browser-based workbook.
17th Mar 2022 - Times Higher Education

Universities’ online teaching and ‘blended learning’ to be reviewed

In the UK, the quality of online teaching and “blended learning” at universities is set to be reviewed, over fears that students’ poor experiences of online learning during the pandemic may have undermined the potential of mixing face-to-face lectures with online study. The Office for Students (OfS) has launched a review to explore how universities are delivering blended learning, which will aim to give students and applicants information on whether the elements of their courses taught online are of a high enough quality.
17th Mar 2022 - Evening Standard

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Mar 2022

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Singapore’s Chan Sees More Online School Learning in Covid Shift

Singapore plans to move more school lessons online and make better use of technology to improve the learning and teaching experience, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said Wednesday. Transmission of knowledge can be done via digital channels, which will free up in-person school time for pupils to sharpen their collaborative skills and creativity, Chan said in an interview. The minister also sees technology as “a great enabler” that helps lighten the workload of teachers and accelerate the pace of education.
16th Mar 2022 - Bloomberg Quint

Fix digital weaknesses to make up for learning losses

As Malaysia enters the endemic phase of Covid-19, it is time to look closely at the remote learning issues that cropped up during lockdowns and reimagine Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) education as a whole. This is crucial to ensure continuity and to prepare pupils for the workforce. The pandemic highlighted the importance of technologies in remote teaching and learning (T&L) amid the closure of educational institutions. But shortfalls in remote learning and the digital divide severely disrupted education access for many pupils, particularly those from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds.
16th Mar 2022 - New Straits Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Mar 2022

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Singapore's Chan Sees More Online School Learning in Covid Shift

Singapore plans to move more school lessons online and make better use of technology to improve the learning and teaching experience, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said Wednesday. Transmission of knowledge can be done via digital channels, which will free up in-person school time for pupils to sharpen their collaborative skills and creativity, Chan said in an interview to be broadcast as part of the Bloomberg Asean Business Summit. The minister also sees technology as “a great enabler” that helps lighten the workload of teachers and accelerate the pace of education. “We will move more and more of our lessons online, allowing our students to do more self-paced learning” Chan said, citing the experience from the Covid-19 pandemic. The city-state began preparations for virtual classrooms even before the start of the virus spread, he added.
16th Mar 2022 - Bloomberg

Over half of disabled students considered leaving full-time education during the pandemic, study finds

Disabled students were left without support during the pandemic and over half considered leaving full-time education, according to a survey of pupils at 69 UK universities and higher education providers. Just 23.1 per cent of disabled students received the support they needed over the pandemic, with many saying they felt “left behind”, “alienated”, and “forgotten” by university staff. Campaigners are calling on universities to maintain a hybrid of online learning and in-person teaching, with one student saying: “There shouldn’t have had to be a pandemic to make things accessible.”
15th Mar 2022 - The Independent

Breakout room anxiety: how to address this among students

Much of the anxiety of a breakout room comes from not knowing who one’s randomised group members will be. This feeling is exacerbated because students may not have had the chance to become familiar with most of their course mates, as they would have in traditional settings. And unlike physical class, they have no idea when a lecturer might randomly “visit” their breakout room. Here are a few steps lecturers can take to help make students feel more comfortable in breakout rooms: Build rapport among students; Focus on one or two specific, focused and inspiring tasks to complete under 10 minutes; Limit the use of breakout rooms; Ask for constructive feedback from students.
15th Mar 2022 - Times Higher Education

How can Artificial Intelligence in online learning support emotional and social development?

In reacting to COVID-19, the priority for education providers was ensuring face-to-face learning and assessment activities were transitioned to an online environment. In doing so, practitioners may have lacked the capacity to consider the implications an online environment might have on the emotional and social development of learners. Whilst some learners thrived under the remote circumstances, many struggled to adapt to this new way of teaching and learning. This view is supported by anecdotal evidence which suggests that many learners experienced feelings of isolation and demotivation as the rapid transition to online learning was made.
15th Mar 2022 - FE News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Mar 2022

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Hawaii schools to receive $72 million in federal funds for online learning

More than $72 million in federal COVID-19 assistance funds has been awarded to Hawaii public schools, and a handful of charter and private schools, to help close the “digital equity” gap suffered by students who don’t have a way to connect to the internet at home.
14th Mar 2022 - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Flexibility of virtual learning prompts some post-secondary students to pursue more online studies

Most Canadian post-secondary students experienced virtual learning of some sort during the pandemic. Although many were not fans, its greater flexibility and accessibility is prompting some students to seek out virtual classes and forcing universities to rethink how they structure online degrees, including science courses that depend on in-person laboratories, practicums, co-ops and residences.
14th Mar 2022 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Mar 2022

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Universities Reimagine Teaching Labs for a Virtual Future

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of university teaching labs worldwide. Students in STEM classes stopped using industry-grade equipment on campus, and instead tried to problem-solve independently with take-home kits that provided limited functionality. As classroom instruction moved from in-person to virtual, professors and teaching assistants quickly realized this new learning experience created many challenges. Real-time instruction and hands-on experience gave way to students trying to solve problems independently. Engineering professors at Morgan State then began using more advanced virtual lab options, which allowed students to access industry-grade lab equipment.
13th Mar 2022 - EdTech

Using immediacy cues in the classroom

As equity-focused educators, we can practise immediacy cues – both verbal and non-verbal, in physical and virtual classrooms – to signal to all students that they are welcome, that we respect and value them, and that we’re interested in them. These signals go a long way to creating an inclusive environment and promoting positive learning outcomes for all students. We’ll look first at verbal immediacy cues in person and online because these may be things we’re already doing, and therefore may be easier to increase as we deliberately strive to create more welcoming spaces.
13th Mar 2022 - Times Higher Education

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Mar 2022

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Why video creation encourages classroom innovation

Some of the best educational content develops with creative thinking and a willingness to try new things–and if teachers and students have the right tools, they’re on the right path. Learn more during this eSchool News webinar featuring educators and edtech experts who can speak to how video lets teachers gauge student understanding, enables students to access content at their own pace, and more.
10th Mar 2022 - eSchool News

Taking best of innovations, lessons of pandemic education

The Future of Teaching and Learning Task Force convened in the spring of 2021, and the group has now released its report. The initiative brought together faculty and staff from across Harvard’s Schools and units to explore the innovations and lessons that emerged from pandemic-era teaching and imagine how the University might create more engaging and equitable learning opportunities in the future.
10th Mar 2022 - Harvard Gazette

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Mar 2022

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Teachers Are Transferring Their New Virtual Teaching Skills to In-Person Instruction

One big result of the pandemic is that it is spurring many schools to embrace technology in deeper and more sustained ways than ever before. What’s driving that momentum? To begin with, digital learning devices have become way more common in classrooms and students’ homes, thanks in part to billions of dollars in federal relief funds. Nearly half of the educators—49 percent—identified improved access to laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets as a major boost to their expanded use of education technology in the classroom, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey. Almost as many teachers, principals, and district leaders—46 percent—said teachers’ new facility with technology has been highly beneficial for teaching and learning.
9th Mar 2022 - Edweek.org

Unis 'should capitalise on knowledge gained from their online learning experience'

COVID-19 restrictions required universities to move their classes online. It was a tremendous – although difficult – learning experience for all involved in this shift. As restrictions have been lifted, universities are moving back to in-person teaching. With campuses getting busy again, it may look like nothing has changed. Universities would be wise, though, to reflect on lessons learned during the pandemic. They should capitalise on knowledge gained from their online learning experience. Universities should continue to encourage and help lecturers to be creative and flexible in how they design their courses and interact with their students
9th Mar 2022 - Study International News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Mar 2022

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The 10 most innovative education companies of 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic blasted online education years into the future, and exposed its many challenges. At a time when educators and parents alike are still grappling with school disruptions and learning loss, this year’s most innovative education companies sought to supplement traditional schooling and democratize access to education. Some of these companies, like Duolingo and Coursera, which pioneered online learning, are expanding their reach into new markets with a slate of offerings targeted at moving higher education online. Others are offering a new spin on more conventional modes of instruction.
8th Mar 2022 - Fast Company

Many companies are offering employees the benefit of online courses. Do they actually help your career?

Many companies offer some form of tuition reimbursement, but some are taking it a step further and providing their workers with access to online skill development courses. But do these programs really lead to new jobs and promotions? The short answer is that it depends. While companies are investing in skills-development training, hiring based on those courses hasn’t caught up in a big way yet. However, that’s shifting in this increasingly tight labor market as employers look beyond the job potential employees have on their résumé.
8th Mar 2022 - Fortune

Further study moves to hybrid – but will the changes stick?

In recent years, more students have gone to a so-called “fourth-level” course after a few years – or even decades – in work, a shift away from a time when most postgraduates went straight from college into their master’s degree course. Many have families, full-time jobs and other commitments, so finding the time and money for a postgraduate course can be tricky. As a result of this shift and the changing needs of learners, higher education institutions have been moving towards providing more flexible, online and blended learning options. And when the pandemic hit, almost all postgraduate learning moved online. So, with society opening up, how are postgraduate courses being delivered now?
8th Mar 2022 - The Irish Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Mar 2022

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Online Learning Can Lead to Increased Success for Minority Students in Higher Education

Research shows that student performance in gateway courses can predict retention, the likelihood of graduation and all-around student success. Historically, minority students have been underserved in these courses. This leads to a higher number of minority students receiving grades of D or F, withdrawing or receiving incomplete grades, often resulting in lower retention rates. While online learning is not without its challenges, experts say it can be a catalyst for improving course outcomes for disadvantaged and historically marginalized students.
7th Mar 2022 - EdTech Magazine

Creating Meaningful Connections: E-journaling and Self-assessment for Online Courses

There are challenges in finding meaningful ways to engage with students in asynchronous online courses. Some students find learning new concepts difficult when taking a course with an asynchronous format. It can lack personalization and a clear path for self-directed learning. Additionally, instructors often look for options to engage with online learners beyond a synchronous virtual meeting format. Providing self-directed learning opportunities can feel overwhelming to instructors given that it is an additional step instructors need to grade. However, utilizing e-journaling as a tool for online instruction can establish connections and lighten the assessment load by utilizing student self-assessment strategies.
7th Mar 2022 - Faculty Focus

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Mar 2022

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Virtually the same?: Online higher education in the post Covid‐19 era

For this special section for the British Journal of Education Technology on the future of online higher education in the post-covid-19 era, we called for research papers to analyse and reflect on the lessons and experiences universities, East and West, have gained over the period of the ongoing pandemic. We intended that the special section would also explore the implications for the future of online university education.
6th Mar 2022 - BERA Journals

Western University's new 5G connection 'a game changer' in virtual learning

A new 5G network, exponentially faster than anything that has come before, is being touted as “a game charger” by Western officials who say they are the first university in Canada to have the technology. The internet upgrade will pave the way for a more immersive experience for students trying to learn online, among other things, officials there say. “Western is the only university in Canada that has a fully functional 5G network up and running,” said Peter White, Western executive director of government relations and strategic partnerships.
6th Mar 2022 - The London Free Press

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Mar 2022

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Students with disabilities are not getting help to address lost opportunities

Even before the pandemic hit, 98% of U.S. school districts said they didn’t have enough special education teachers to serve all the students who needed their help. During the pandemic, short-handed school districts were even more stretched to provide learning support to students with disabilities. Now, those students are struggling to catch up with where they should be. When then the pandemic forced schools to rapidly shift from traditional in-person teaching to virtual classes on laptops and smartphones in students’ homes, the sorts of services common in special education – additional support within a child’s classroom, and dedicated time with specialists outside the classroom – became difficult, or even impossible, to provide.
3rd Mar 2022 - The Conversation

Online tutoring effective at making up for COVID-19 learning loss

A pilot program intended to measure the results of online tutoring for K-12 students has shown promising results in helping them recover from pandemic-driven learning loss, researchers at UC San Diego announced Wednesday. Conducted in partnership with the volunteer mentorship nonprofit CovEducation, the program matched students with volunteer student tutors from research universities. According to the findings, students who got more hours of online tutoring experienced better results.
3rd Mar 2022 - KPBS

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Mar 2022

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Tech Leads the Way to Equitable Education for K–12 Students

The recent rise in educational technology has allowed K–12 students to become more connected than ever before, despite being physically farther apart. This is partially due to an increased focus on connectivity for students at school and at home, as — even at the state level — leaders are working to get learners online. Additionally, the increase in technology has broken down geographical barriers that formerly determined how students could learn. From virtual field trips to specialized classes, ed tech is taking students all over the world.
2nd Mar 2022 - EdTech Magazine

Masterclass on tackling remote learning for higher education

While the initial frenzy of switching from in-person to remote learning has subsided for higher education institutions, the process is far from over. Students and educators must continue to learn and teach as much as possible without the immediate interpersonal communication and in-person learning setting, not to mention acclimatising to the energy of a home while working. With this abrupt change from lecture halls to the online universe, some are wondering whether the acceptance of online learning will sustain post-pandemic and how such a shift will affect the global education system.
2nd Mar 2022 - The Star

How remote learning can help close the digital skills gap

John Perks, global principal architect of the NextGen professionals programme at ServiceNow, and Simon Maskrey, senior global partner manager at Salesforce for Trailhead, discuss why businesses will benefit from helping to close the digital skills gap. Both Perks and Maskrey see the benefit of readily available online content. The former notes that, at ServiceNow, “the training is somewhat traditional in that we still use a virtual classroom, but we’ve also taken those classes online to create an on-demand experience, with a combination of videos, simulators and the classic writing on screen.”Maskrey comments how the pandemic forced a change of attitude toward teaching methods. “Outside of the US, there’s been a huge degree of resistance to remote learning and virtual classrooms until about two years ago … Until then there were a lot of people who perceived that you couldn’t learn online and that, for the best premium learning, you had to be in a room with people. I think the reality is that it just isn’t true.” As a result of the lack of access to classrooms, as well as restrictions on travel, there has been a greater emphasis on remote learning.
2nd Mar 2022 - SiliconRepublic

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Mar 2022

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Ontario's first fully virtual high school hints at the future of public education

Providing students with choice on how they complete their education is a good thing, but only if necessary supports and resources are made available to ensure their success. Last week, Peel District School Board announced the creation of Peel Virtual Secondary School — an entirely online public high school available to the region’s students this coming fall. Establishing a publicly funded virtual school is a huge move for PDSB. As Ontario’s second-largest school board, it could influence other boards to follow suit.
1st Mar 2022 - Queen's Journal

The Future of Higher Education Will Be a Virtual Balancing Act

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, some pundits predicted that it might mark the entrance into a new phase of higher education: a virtual one. It would be the end of the residential college model, they said. Indeed, universities quickly pivoted to online classes in the spring of 2020. It was a grand experiment in a new mode of teaching and learning, one heavily reliant on technology. But, as Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun said during a recording of higher education podcast Future U. on Monday, the results emphasized the enduring importance of human interaction.
1st Mar 2022 - Northeastern University News

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Los Angeles Unified to expand online learning, improve independent study

To accommodate an expected increase in the number of students in remote learning once its school vaccine mandate takes effect, the Los Angeles Unified School District is creating new online schools that will open in the fall. The schools will take the pressure off the district’s current independent study program, which was inundated with students this school year after the state’s distance learning statute expired last summer. The district’s independent study program, City of Angels, was the main option for students who didn’t return to in-person instruction in the fall. This year, it enrolled nearly 10 times the number of students it did prior to the pandemic.
28th Feb 2022 - EdSource

MSU embraces virtual learning in online grad programs

Students, parents and teachers across the world have become accustomed to online learning in the past two years, with most schools opting for virtual learning at some point during the pandemic. However, the subject has proved to be divisive throughout the country. Some have objected to the return to in-person learning amidst safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. Others have protested the delay to in-person learning, citing studies that have shown the detrimental effects of virtual learning on students. In the case of Michigan State University’s Master of Science in Global Health and Graduate Certificate in Global Health programs, online learning has not been looked at as a pandemic obstacle or pandemic precaution but has been embraced as a way to allow people of all backgrounds to receive an education.
28th Feb 2022 - The State News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Feb 2022

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How the metaverse is transforming the edtech market

The metaverse has grabbed the attention of top industrial honchos, as learning through the metaverse provides a gamified learning experience and constant access to study material for students. The edtech market is one of the fastest growing of its kind. According to Future Market Insights’ recent study, revenues of the edtech market are expected to surpass $288.4Bn by the end of 2031 at a staggering 14.5% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). Top tech companies are investing in the edtech market to gain early mover advantage and promote learning through the metaverse.
27th Feb 2022 - Education Technology

The invisible children: how online learning failed special needs students

Too often, educators say, the debate on remote learning has ignored how the switch has hit hardest those children who were already struggling and whose needs make learning online particularly challenging. It is common, they point out, for any child to struggle to focus while learning from home; but for a child with ADHD (Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder) it can be near impossible; it is common for people working from home to complain about distractions, but for children with hearing impairments even modest background noise can entirely drown out what is being said on-screen. The danger, educators warn, is not only that special needs pupils are falling further behind their peers, but that many are regressing and losing hard-earned behavioural gains. As they do so, frustration mounts for both parent and child. Meltdowns become more common and isolation takes its toll, making learning even harder
27th Feb 2022 - South China Morning Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Feb 2022

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How technology is improving student engagement at home and in the classroom

The education sector has witnessed a drastic transformation over the past two years as blended learning has become the norm. Classrooms have needed the right technology to support this, providing remote learners with an experience that replicates in person teaching as closely as possible. Needs from teachers and students have evolved, and expectations of what can be achieved with technology are higher than ever. Now, educators are looking to invest in technology that not only allows teaching and learning to continue, but technology that helps to keep students engaged in new and creative ways, regardless of where they’re working
23rd Feb 2022 - Education Technology

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Feb 2022

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Ontario to require virtual learning option for next school year

The Ontario government is going to once again require school boards to offer virtual learning, as an option for students in the 2022/2023 school year. During a funding announcement press conference, Education Minister Stephen Lecce explained the virtual learning option has been seen as a strength in the school system by some parents. “There are roughly 150,000 [students] this year [who] exercised that choice. What I’ve heard from their parents and some educators who are involved in virtual learning is, [it] is a strength for that strong minority of children. So, we’re going to continue to offer it,” Minister Lecce said.
23rd Feb 2022 - The Star

25 Brilliant Preschool Virtual Learning Ideas

Distance learning is a massive struggle with pre-schoolers. Keeping their attention focused can feel like herding cats at first, but the internet is a cornucopia of resources making this daunting task more manageable. Keeping them engaged and active is difficult enough in a classroom but being connected by a screen increases the challenge tenfold. Pre-K and preschool teachers really have their hands full with distance learning but here are 25 ideas to make the virtual classroom every bit as fun and educational as hands-on learning.
23rd Feb 2022 - Teaching Expertise

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Feb 2022

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Education ministry boosts efforts to support online education as more schools adapt

In Japan, the education ministry is stepping up the establishment of online learning environments for public elementary and junior high schools as the coronavirus pandemic continues. A Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology project to provide a tablet computer to each student was completed within the 2020 school year, which ended in March 2021, three years ahead of schedule, enabling schools to adopt staggered attendance and online classes if a COVID-19 state of emergency or similar restrictions are introduced.
22nd Feb 2022 - The Japan Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Feb 2022

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An exploration of instructors' and students' perspectives on remote delivery of courses during the COVID‐19 pandemic

The world-wide pivot to remote learning due to the exogenous shocks of COVID-19 across educational institutions has presented unique challenges and opportunities. This study documents the lived experiences of instructors and students and recommends emerging pathways for teaching and learning strategies post-pandemic. Seventy-one instructors and 122 students completed online surveys containing closed and open-ended questions. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted, including frequencies, chi-square tests, Welch Two-Samples t-tests, and thematic analyses. The results demonstrated that with effective online tools, remote learning could replicate key components of content delivery, activities, assessments, and virtual proctored exams. However, instructors and students did not want in-person learning to disappear and recommended flexibility by combining learning opportunities in in-person, online, and asynchronous course deliveries according to personal preferences.
21st Feb 2022 - BERA Journals

Triumphs and Troubles in Online Learning Abroad

When the pandemic careened across the globe in spring 2020, U.S. higher ed responded swiftly by opening online in a few weeks, a feat made possible only because privileged American secondary intuitions long ago introduced digital access in nearly every college in the nation. As campuses locked their gates out of fear of infection, most American college students rushed to their laptops to study from home. Elsewhere, not everyone was as fortunate. During the global crisis, 1.6 billion young people in 161 countries were not in college. Shockingly, without internet access, COVID-19 locked out close to 80 percent of the world’s enrolled students. Africa was hit hardest, cruelly, with 82 percent of college students in sub-Saharan Africa without internet access.
21st Feb 2022 - EdSurge

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Enrollment in virtual schools is exploding. Will students stay long term?

Across the US, enrollment in charter schools, which are publicly funded and privately operated schools, increased by 7 percent — around 240,000 more students — during the 2020-2021 academic year, according to a report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In many states, virtual charter schools drove the outsize growth in charter school enrollment, according to the report, even as the quality of them has come under scrutiny. On top of that, state education departments, including Florida’s, experienced massive enrollment upticks in their statewide virtual schools.
20th Feb 2022 - The Washington Post

The Art of Remote Learning: How One Virtual School Recreated Traditional Class

When the COVID-19 pandemic halted in-person learning in March 2020, interest in virtual schools skyrocketed. One of two virtual schools in the state, Iowa Virtual Academy opened in 2012 with 61 students, and as of the end of last school year served about 540 students, said Steve Hoff, principal of Iowa Virtual Academy. For some students who were struggling academically in-person, virtual can help them tailor their own learning environment. For other students struggling with illnesses or who are in the hospital, virtual school helps them stay afloat academically. Sometimes students want a quicker academic pace so they can graduate earlier.
20th Feb 2022 - Yahoo News

For some children, online learning had unexpected benefits

Many students and parents complained about the hardship of learning at home, from technological glitches to little ones dissolving into tears having to stare at a screen all day. But some students thrived. For them, learning online carried unexpected benefits. This was especially true for children who had felt excluded or uncomfortable in their schools prior to the pandemic – those who had experienced racism or bullying in their classrooms, or have anxiety or learning disabilities. Experts say all of this raises deeper questions about how public education can adapt to meet the needs of students.
20th Feb 2022 - The Globe and Mail

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Feb 2022

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Ontario school boards required to offer remote learning option for 2022-2023

Ontario will require school boards to offer virtual learning as an option for one more school year. Government officials say they are making investments to make schools safe for in-person learning, but given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, they want to offer parents one more year of choice. The province is announcing its funding amounts for the next school year today, including $26.1 billion to school boards amounting to $13,059 per student, an increase from the previous year.
17th Feb 2022 - Global News

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Report Demonstrates How Virtual Communities Can Foster Belonging in Online Learning Settings

The College Innovation Network has published the results of a study that illuminates the importance of fostering belonging among online students, and demonstrates how intentional design of virtual spaces can enable impactful peer connections. Previous research has shown the benefits of improving belonging for college students. For example, underrepresented and underserved student populations at a broad-access university who took part in a belonging intervention had greater academic persistence over two years as a result of increased belonging.
16th Feb 2022 - Yahoo Finance

Access to tech key to pupils levels of remote learning engagement – study

Irish primary school children were more engaged with remote schooling during the first Covid-19 lockdown if they had access to adequate digital technologies as well as help from parents and teachers. This is according to the first nationwide study in Ireland investigating primary school children’s experiences of remote schooling, which was led by Dr Yekaterina Chzhen, assistant professor at the Trinity College Dublin Department of Sociology. The first Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020 resulted in the greatest disruption to children’s schooling in generations in Ireland and was a time of rapid and unexpected transition from in-person to distance learning. Schools in Ireland were closed for 141 days, which was one of the longest school closures across rich countries at the time.
16th Feb 2022 - TechCentral.ie

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Feb 2022

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Clear Goals and Engaging Hosts: How to Create Powerful Virtual Learning Experiences

Virtual learning experiences present some excellent aspects that in-person sessions may struggle to offer. To reach their full potential, however, online sessions require a mixture of strategies and techniques. This is why people designing and developing learning events should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and technology competencies to create engaging virtual sessions. In this respect, the article will explore some of the best practices to help you tailor a virtual learning experience that your attendees will truly appreciate.
15th Feb 2022 - fenews.co.uk

Top tips for establishing close relationships with students online

As anyone who has spent time teaching at any level will tell you, forming a close relationship with students is a crucial aspect of education – whether that’s in the classroom or in an online environment. The quality of the crucial relationship between teachers and students is a true learning booster for students and can become a source of well-being for teachers, too – after all, emotional exhaustion is reduced when close relationships develop. So with this in mind, how can a teacher forge and maintain close relationships in the classroom that foster commitment and learning? Here are some ideas for teachers to consider for establishing meaningful connections with students.
15th Feb 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

How Online Learning Is Reshaping Higher Education

“When the pandemic hit, it was a provocation, as well as a demand for innovation,” said Caroline Levander, the vice president for global and digital strategy at Rice University in Houston, during a recent webinar on the future of online learning hosted by U.S. News & World Report. While the changes were challenging for many, faculty members at Rice and elsewhere embraced the new opportunities that online learning offered. Levander shared an example of a Rice physics professor, Jason Hafner, who capitalized on the virtual environment to find compelling new ways to teach concepts to students.
15th Feb 2022 - U.S. News & World Report

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Online learning for the underprivileged: Simple steps towards a brighter future

The pandemic has changed the world of education dramatically in India. The closure of schools and switch to hybrid model of learning have laid bare the existing digital divide. Underprivileged children, who don’t have access to basic resources of online learning are now challenged by the perils of the pandemic and they deserve maximum attention. Transforming community centres or developing educational centres as smart classes for communities with internet facility, digital screens, phones and computers can solve the problem of unavailability of resources and provide better access to education.
14th Feb 2022 - The CSR Journal

Less than one in three students rate their online education as good – study

Less than one in three students in full-time education rated their online education experience during the pandemic as excellent or good, a survey has found. More than six in 10 people in part-time education rated their online education experience during the pandemic as excellent or good. The figures were revealed after the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published its analysis of remote learning from the Our Lives Online pulse survey. The report includes insights into online education experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as analysis on future online learning opportunities.
14th Feb 2022 - The Independent

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Feb 2022

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Will Covid-19 bring edtech closer to overcoming challenges of virtual schools, colleges? Here's what experts have to say

Educational technology (EdTech) entities have been operating since the emergence of niche technologies. The EdTech sector witnessed exponential growth following the disruption due to the Covid 19 pandemic. India-based data confirms that the EdTech revolution is not going to subside anytime soon. It is an ongoing process with newer and better developments in the pipeline. The lack of a proper tool to operationalise the virtual classroom is the primary challenge in online education. Most institutions are just relying on video conferencing tools and messaging applications to run the classes.
13th Feb 2022 - India Today

Let's not allow tradition to stifle innovation in higher education

Britain’s higher education sector could miss a major opportunity to cement its reputation as a world leader if innovative online learning measures introduced during the pandemic are phased out to accommodate calls to return to a fully face-to-face university experience. While leading universities across the globe use online tools to enhance their offerings and create a world-class educational experience for their students, there’s an embedded school of thought in the UK (and elsewhere) that online learning is of inherently poorer quality or provides a poorer experience. As a nation with ambitions to be digitally driven, we should realise that this couldn’t be further from the truth. If we want our students to really thrive and get the best value for money for their education, shouldn’t technology play a part?
13th Feb 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Feb 2022

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Four Tips To Increase Student Engagement In Hybrid Learning

One of the most common complaints from teachers and parents is that it is difficult to engage with students remotely. Educators constantly worry that students’ attention will wander, and they may slack off during school hours. Therefore, it is important that the education experience is the same for all students regardless of their location, whether they are learning from the classroom or attending the lessons remotely. Here are four tips on how educational institutes can get the most out of their hybrid education setup
10th Feb 2022 - BWEducation

How to work with Forage to implement virtual internships

In January 2020, the University of Westminster embarked on a new work-based and placement learning (WBPL) project with the aim of embedding employability across all undergraduate courses. The aim is to enable all undergraduates to gain valuable employability skills that will help them prepare for a competitive job market. With the onset of Covid-19, we needed to find quick and innovative ways to be able to move WBPL online so our students could gain these vital employability skills.
10th Feb 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Feb 2022

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Malaysian student gives free gamification workshops to enliven virtual lessons

Like other schoolgoing children, teenager Sheldon Chong has been attending online classes throughout the pandemic and finds it mainly one-dimensional, without much interaction and engagement. So to make elearning more enjoyable, Chong decided to offer gamification workshops so that teachers and students can create games for virtual lessons. Gamification in education applies game elements to a learning environment. Chong, an award-winning game developer and digital illustrator, will be holding two 90-minute online workshops entitled, Create A Virtual 2D Game (for students) (Feb 10, 8.30pm) and Create A Gamified Virtual Classroom (for educators) (Feb 11, 8.30pm) for free.
9th Feb 2022 - The Star Online

15 Ways to Engage Your Students In-person, Online, and in Zoom

Marti Snyder, PhD, PMP, SPHR shares 15 strategies he uses most often in various formats - in-person, hybrid, and online - to engage students. Many of these strategies overlap and can be used regardless of delivery mode.
9th Feb 2022 - Faculty Focus

Cornish language has new learners after pandemic moves courses online

A rise in learning apps and online classes as well as a project in schools is behind an increase in the number of people learning the Cornish language. Pre-pandemic there were no apps or online courses for the language that had died out in the 18th Century. Now there are several apps including European Union funded Indylan - recently launched by Cornwall Council. Cornish language teachers said online courses had enabled a "huge rise" in demand.
9th Feb 2022 - BBC News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Feb 2022

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TCEA 2022: Online Learning Success Starts with a Strong Foundation

Teachers have come a long way since March 2020, when many were thrown unprepared into the remote learning world. But instructional technology consultant and author Lindy Hockenbary says there’s still a lot more teachers can learn about online learning success. At this year’s in-person TCEA 2022 conference in Dallas, the A Teacher’s Guide to Online Learning author used her session, titled “The Recipe for K–12 Online Learning Success,” to share with teachers, instructional technologists and other educators how to cook up a satisfying online learning experience.
8th Feb 2022 - EdTech Magazine

School's Out: Mental Health and Virtual Learning

It has been nearly two years since the coronavirus disease was declared a pandemic. Social distancing measures have led to school closures in many countries around the world, and repeated follow-up measures have led to a large degree of inconsistency in the delivery of education for many children. In the Americas alone, schools remained closed for more than 41 weeks. One year into the pandemic, nearly 50% of students worldwide were still facing partial or complete closures of school. Although many students were able to navigate these circumstances with and even saw an improvement in their mental health status, a significant number were unable to do so.
8th Feb 2022 - Medscape

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Feb 2022

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UK parliament launches online SEND sessions

Set to launch in April 2022, the UK Parliament Education and Engagement team have announced a new free online SEND workshop aimed at young learners aged 7-25. The workshop will involve sensory-based digital sessions. During the online class, students will use their senses to explore Parliament, find out who works there, and explore what they do. A poem will form the basis of the workshop, which will guide the students using rhyme, repetition and actions around the building.
7th Feb 2022 - Education Technology

President Speaks: Stop asking whether online learning is 'worth it.' Start focusing on how it helps working adults.

Don Kilburn is the CEO of UMass Online, the online arm of the University of Massachusetts.He writes: "I hope we are, particularly in light of recent events, well past the stage where the value of online learning as a modality is in any doubt. Yes, there can be a stupefying spectrum of quality of online learning programs, ranging from the shoddy to the world class, but that same spectrum applies to face-to-face learning. Rather than engaging in a conversation about whether online learning is "worth it," we need a more evolved debate that examines the nuances of strong online programs and how we can make them work better for today's students, particularly those already in the workforce."
7th Feb 2022 - Higher Ed Dive

‘Pupils feel attendance doesn’t matter following lockdown online learning’

In England, pupils feel they do not need to be in school because of the remote learning provided during national lockdowns, which is driving poor attendance, the education watchdog has found. In a report published on Monday, Ofsted said that, in secondary schools in particular, “it appears that the provision of remote education during national lockdowns has negatively affected some pupils’ perceptions of the need to be in school”. Some parents also expect that online learning will be provided for their children if they go on holiday during term time, Ofsted found.
7th Feb 2022 - The Independent

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Feb 2022

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Ottawa's public school board will offer virtual classes in the fall

Ottawa's public school board will offer virtual learning for a third straight school year in the fall. The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says it will offer in-person learning, along with the "Ottawa-Carleton Virtual School" for the 2022-23 school year. The virtual learning community is made up of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students across the board, engaged in 300 minutes of remote classes each day.
6th Feb 2022 - CTV Edmonton

Gamification in virtual education

Living in a world with technological advances that are difficult to keep up with has seemingly created a rift between old school and new school - making for an interesting discussion around the impact it has on the education sector, globally, and in South Africa. With so much opportunity for online learning available today, and the various platforms offering a vast variety of virtual learning content, it is impossible to look past the impact of online gaming.
4th Feb 2022 - Bizcommunity

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Feb 2022

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We need to move beyond the synchronous versus asynchronous debate

The pandemic’s push to experiment with online materials has brought to the fore the possibility of replacing traditional educational models with ones enhanced by technology. On the supply side, rather than watching a video of your professor give an introductory lecture on a topic, there are now world-class faculty offering such videos for free. No university expects to produce all of its own textbooks – might we one day think the same of lectures? On the demand side, computerised adaptive learning and testing offers more personalised educational models.
3rd Feb 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Covid-19: Universities move to online learning for semester 1 as Omicron looms

Auckland University is moving most of its teaching online until the mid-semester break due to the threat of Omicron. The university’s executive committee announced the decision on Thursday, saying it wanted to give students and staff clarity and predictability. The decision comes shortly after the university decided to move exams online for 2022, regardless of Covid-19 traffic light settings.
3rd Feb 2022 - Stuff.co.nz

Westminster has 'no remit' for UK-wide online academy

The Welsh and Scottish governments have hit out at UK government plans for a national online academy offering "the best lessons" from "the very best teachers". They say Westminster has "no remit" to establish a UK-wide academy, that they have not been consulted and that the existence of separate education systems in Scotland and Wales has not been taken into account. Meanwhile, edtech industry leaders have questioned whether the UK government has evidence that there is headteacher demand for the "new digital education service". The plans for the free online resource were contained in the Levelling Up White Paper
3rd Feb 2022 - TES News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Feb 2022

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Online learning provider looks to boost academic programmes with new senior appointment

Cardiff based postgraduate online medical learning provider, Learna, has appointed a new Head of Programme Development and Innovation. Helen Davies joins the firm from BMJ (British Medical Journal), where she was Head of Online Learning and Assessment and has over twenty years experience working in the online medical education sector.
2nd Feb 2022 - FE News

Children acted out more during distance learning, parents say, deepening learning loss

One recent Harvard study of roughly 400 families suggests that children’s behavior worsened during Zoom school. Children were often more prone to misbehave or become aggressive or withdrawn during remote learning, according to parents surveyed as part of the broader Early Learning Study at Harvard. “By following individual children over time, we found that their behavioral health was worse while they were in remote learning as compared to when they were in in-person or hybrid learning,” said Stephanie Jones, Harvard researcher and co-director of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative.
2nd Feb 2022 - EdSource

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Feb 2022

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‘Remote Learning’ Takes on New Meaning in Virtual Reality

As the pandemic continues to disrupt academia, some teachers are turning to alternative ways to keep students engaged. At the University of Connecticut, Tina Trinh visited one class held partly in virtual reality.
1st Feb 2022 - Voice of America

Unmasking the scientist: breaking down anonymity to build relationships when teaching online

During online teaching sessions, many staff prefer not to ask students to turn on their cameras, so as to acknowledge and respect their right to privacy and recognise the fact that many may be working in a space never intended to be a learning environment. In many sessions students are encouraged to use their cameras and microphones if they wish, but it should not be required and typically few students choose to show their faces. So, while students become familiar with the faces of staff, the students themselves remain an anonymous cohort to their lecturers. There are ways to improve on this
1st Feb 2022 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Feb 2022

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New Glasgow 'virtual school' for kids who can't make it to the classroom

A new school has been launched in Glasgow for children who can’t attend lessons in person. ‘Glasgow’s virtual school’ teaches pupils who are unable to go to class, including vulnerable kids, patients in hospital, children in care and those struggling with mental health problems. With 25 staff the virtual school works with hundreds of children annually - supporting their education and health and well-being.
31st Jan 2022 - Glasgow Live

Does virtual learning achieve fairer outcomes for students?

The growth of digital education and the rising numbers of online schools across the UK has certainly made learning more accessible and more personalised for students today. Gone are the days when being home schooled meant learning in isolation. Children can now learn virtually with peers and via live lessons. They can socialise both virtually and in-person during meetups. They can attend school assemblies, events and after school clubs. Most importantly, they access the entire GCSE and A-level syllabus, all from the comfort of their home and from anywhere in the world. Exposure to digital learning also means students can learn at their own pace, obtain ‘in the moment’ feedback and take more responsibility for their overall education. The question is, does online learning lead to fairer outcomes for all pupils?
31st Jan 2022 - Independent Education Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 31st Jan 2022

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Can Online Tutoring Help Schools Dig Out of Pandemic Learning Hole?

Tutoring is the top-billed remedy to help students make up for disrupted learning. States and districts are spending millions in federal funds to pay for it. But can it work online when so many other efforts to move instruction online have fallen short?A new study from a team of researchers is the very first to test the hypothesis using a randomized experiment. And the results, while far from a silver bullet, show some promise and suggest some lessons for other online tutoring efforts.
29th Jan 2022 - Education Week

Eight Russell Group universities won't pull plug on virtual learning

In England, many students at elite universities are still learning remotely despite ministers' pleas for face-to-face tuition. Of the 24 universities in the Russell Group, eight have kept at least a portion online even though Government Covid restrictions have been lifted. Only six said they could guarantee all teaching would be in-person, while the rest would not confirm either way. Some are keeping large lectures remote while holding smaller sessions in person.
29th Jan 2022 - msn.co.uk

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Jan 2022

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Parents Protest End of Virtual Learning Option for K-6 Students in Prince George's

The virtual learning option for Prince George’s County Public Schools students in kindergarten through sixth grade is coming to an end Friday, but many parents are not OK with the return to in-person learning and held a demonstration in protest. About 12,000 K-6 students enrolled in the virtual education program at the beginning of the school year.
27th Jan 2022 - NBC4 Washington

These 3 charts show the global growth in online learning

The number of students accessing its online courses now exceeds pre-pandemic levels, a leading global online learning platform reports. Following the COVID-19-induced shift to remote working, people are increasingly looking to digital learning to develop the skills to navigate today’s constantly evolving world of work.
27th Jan 2022 - WEForum

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Six Ways to Build Instructional Immediacy During Online Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way college students and instructors relate. Thanks in large part to how instructional technicians have elevated their support in the growing online environment, online and hybrid instruction are now a permanent part of higher education. This means that teaching styles must change accordingly. In the traditional classroom, educators know immediacy is crucial for engaged learning. The author details six ways to build instructional immediacy
26th Jan 2022 - EdTech Magazine

Using action learning to improve interdisciplinary online teaching

Online technology makes it easier for instructors from different disciplines to jointly teach students. This enables students to investigate complex issues from multiple perspectives. However, when teachers of various fields come together, they face a new challenge: how can they collaborate effectively to teach an interdisciplinary course? Despite ample helpful resources of best practice for delivering online teaching, there isn’t one golden rule to fit all. Action learning (AL) – a practical and flexible problem-solving method – deploys the art of asking questions to locate core matters in an authentic and contextual issue before offering a solution.
26th Jan 2022 - Times Higher Education

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Johns Hopkins experts offer suggestions to address challenges of online learning for children with cancer

Thousands of schools transitioned to online learning in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which time many children with cancer and other chronic health needs, as well as those with special education needs, faced significant challenges to learning online. An opinion paper by Johns Hopkins experts, published Jan. 4 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, highlights some of the issues faced by families and offers suggestions to move forward.
25th Jan 2022 - News-Medical.Net

DC Students Stage Walkout For Safer Learning Under COVID-19

D.C. public school students walked out of schools Tuesday afternoon as part of a campaign to get the city’s school system to create safer learning conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the students’ demands are a virtual learning option for all students, safer meal times, deep cleanings of schools, and better COVID-19 data reporting.
25th Jan 2022 - msn.com

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What Is the Flipped Classroom Approach in K–12?

Armed with more educational technology and the professional development to meaningfully use it, more educators in K–12 are considering the flipped-classroom approach. At the onset of the pandemic, schools found ways to make virtual learning work. They rolled out one-to-one device programs and made investments in educational technology. Educators learned to use new tools and found new ways of bringing content to students. With the technology barrier broken down, some educators took the opportunity to shift their methodology to a flipped-classroom approach. Others, who already employed this model, found that it made the transition to and from remote learning easier on students
24th Jan 2022 - EdTech Magazine

What Have We Learned About Remote Learning?

A child clinical neuropsychologist interviewed more than 50 students with attention, learning, and social-emotional difficulties about their experiences with remote learning during the pandemic. These interviews provided an anecdotal glimpse into strategies that worked and those that contributed to some of the dismal results in the spring of 2020.
24th Jan 2022 - Psychology Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Jan 2022

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How teachers in training are learning to make remote school work

Teachers in training are learning how to work differently, now that it looks like remote classrooms will be sticking around for a while. COVID-19 has forced people in many fields to adopt new technology. Tess Miller, the interim dean at UPEI's faculty of education, says the next generation of teachers needs to have the skills to be effective both in the classroom and online. And those learning to be teachers now — remotely learning, themselves — will benefit from the experience in the future.
23rd Jan 2022 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Jan 2022

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Flint schools extends virtual learning period indefinitely

Flint students will remain at home indefinitely starting next week, as the school district today announced that it will not be returning to the classroom on Jan. 24. The decision to continue virtual learning comes from Superintendent Kevelin Jones, who made the call to go virtual to begin the new year after winter break. “While this decision was not made easily, it is necessary for the greater health of our community,” Jones wrote in a statement to parents. “To lower the transmission number, and to keep it low, we must actively continue distance learning until further notice,” Jones said.
20th Jan 2022 - MLive

How to fund 3 must-have classroom tech tools

Classroom technology is essential, and nothing made that more obvious than the COVID-19 pandemic that forced learning to go virtual and hybrid. Technology upgrades help make students feel included and achieve their full potential. But funding for classroom tech tools is always a challenge. Funding challenges aren’t impossible to solve, however. Join a panel of experts who, during this eSchool News webinar, will explore the most relevant technologies to help you upgrade your district’s classrooms and enhance learning for all students.
20th Jan 2022 - eSchool News

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More than 1,200 Oakland students pledge to stay home unless schools improve Covid safety

More than 1,200 students in Oakland, California, have signed a petition saying they would stay home this week unless school administrators provide additional Covid protections, including more N95 masks, weekly testing and better social distancing – or a shift to virtual learning. On Tuesday, three district campuses were closed because students and teachers, in solidarity, stayed home. The protest comes as schools across the country have struggled with the latest, Omicron-fueled wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, students in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Washington DC and elsewhere have launched protests and petitions as well, demanding improved safety measures. Districts, meanwhile, have faced immense pressures from parents and politicians to keep school campuses open as the US enters its third year of the pandemic.
19th Jan 2022 - The Guardian

Mt. Pleasant schools continues to provide meals during virtual learning

Though school cafeterias throughout Mt. Pleasant Public Schools (MPPS) may be quiet while students are home for virtual learning, the district continues to provide breakfast and lunch to students and local children at no cost. MPPS schools went virtual on Thursday, Jan.13 in response to elevated COVID-19 cases in the district. In-person classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, Jan. 31.“Providing our children with healthy, nutritious meals is one of the many ways we support their growth and development, and we’re happy to continue offering these meal choices at no charge while students are home for virtual learning,” Superintendent Jennifer Verleger said.
19th Jan 2022 - The Morning Sun

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Jan 2022

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Is Virtual Reality a Good Fit for Your Blended Learning Curriculum?

Blended learning models are shaping the future of education, but how can technology best serve teachers and students in achieving their goals? Ruth Hill, Head of Learning Design at Bodyswaps, looks at four common challenges that ed-tech could help educational institutions to address in 2022 and asks – is virtual reality the right tool for the job?
18th Jan 2022 - FE News

COVID-19: Two Saskatoon public schools moving to remote learning

The Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) has made the decision to temporarily move Centennial Collegiate and John Dolan School to remote learning. This comes after consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA). The SPS announced that starting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, all classes at Centennial Collegiate will move to online learning and all extracurricular activities will be paused until in-person learning resumes
17th Jan 2022 - Global News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Jan 2022

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9 social-emotional learning strategies to use in the new year

Following the 2020-2021 school year, educators can look back with pride–and exhaustion–on all we have learned. We have learned to teach in brand new modalities like remote and hybrid learning, foster more student independence, and adapt instruction to a huge variety of learning needs. But one of the most important lessons to come from this pandemic year is a greater focus on the importance of social-emotional learning. Throughout this school year, educators, coaches, and school leaders have engaged in virtual professional development and one-on-one coaching sessions to hone their social-emotional learning skills and knowledge to meet the needs of all learners.
17th Jan 2022 - eSchool News

NYC Education Department Quietly Opens Door For Teachers To Allow More Remote Learning

The New York City Department of Education has updated its attendance policy to give educators discretion on allowing students to learn remotely during the current COVID surge, and to count those students as present for attendance purposes — a possible sign of movement towards a remote option for all students. The policy update appeared online Friday afternoon without any formal announcement, a day after Mayor Eric Adams acknowledged the school system is considering a remote option.
14th Jan 2022 - Gothamist

Pivoting to Remote Learning: Why It Is Harder in Some States Than Others

When it comes to the question of who gets to call the shots on a switch back to remote instruction, states have wildly different answers, an Education Week analysis found. Education Week contacted every state education office to determine how states are handling district decisions about transitioning to remote learning. Forty-six states responded. In at least five states, virtual learning days are highly restricted, due to state regulations. Districts have limited flexibility to transition to full-time remote instruction in at least 10 other states. More than half of states let districts decide on their own.
14th Jan 2022 - EdWeek

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Chicago students protest for virtual learning, COVID-19 stipends

Students in Chicago participated in a walkout on Friday, demonstrating over a lack of adequate safety measures and resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic, just days after the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) agreed to reopen schools again. Students demanded laptops for virtual learning, including students in discussions over plans regarding COVID-19 safety, adequate quantities of cleaning supplies and better social distancing, among other concerns
16th Jan 2022 - The Hill

Students Walk Out Over Covid in New York, Michigan, Oakland, Boston

In the US, teachers’ unions and local governments are in a tug-of-war over remote learning policies, but little attention has been given to students’ preferences, instead putting youth in the middle. Recent days have seen a resurgence of student organizing in response, specifically to accommodate online learning amidst the omicron variant and spiking COVID spread. William Hu, a senior at Boston Latin School, launched a petition on January 4 to push Governor Charlie Baker, who has been resistant to remote schooling despite the rise of the omicron variant, to permit online school as an option. Hu’s petition is approaching 5,800 signatures as of this writing.
12th Jan 2022 - Teen Vogue

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Jan 2022

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Creating an engaged digital learning space: Not just a pandemic necessity

Educators can do more to support online students in the post-pandemic hybrid learning climate, says chief operating officer at ViewSonic Bonny Cheng: "Given the often ad hoc nature of hybrid learning during the pandemic, some might have the impression that hybrid learning is a second-best option compared to in-person learning. Modern digital learning tools, when properly implemented, can bridge the gap between in-class and remote learning. This new approach to education will also open up new opportunities to teach more broadly."
13th Jan 2022 - Education Technology

Omicron Continues To ‘Significantly Impact’ In-Person Learning As 2 More Philly Schools Go Virtual To Bring Total Over 100

The number of Philadelphia schools switching to virtual learning this week is now over 100. Two more schools have joined the growing list because of the COVID-19 surge brought upon by the omicron variant. Right now, a total of 101 schools are virtual.
13th Jan 2022 - MSN.com

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What will 2022 hold for the education and edtech sector?

Rahim Hirji, UK Country Manager of leading online learning platform, Quizlet offers insights and comment on the education landscape for 2022: "Whilst we have seen many students spending more time in the classroom in 2021 than in 2020, some universities are continuing to offer lectures and seminars online, following huge investments in blended learning tools – something we will see becoming the norm in education across all sectors going forward. Being thrown in at the deep end in terms of online learning was a challenge, but it also helped to demystify the medium for those that were unfamiliar with it."
12th Jan 2022 - FE News

Studies Find Virtual Learning Grows During COVID, Providing Safe and Flexible Options for Families and At-Risk Students

Virtual learning in K-12 education continues to grow due to the health threat caused by coronavirus variants and the assistance this learning model can provide to at-risk students, according to two papers released by Pioneer Institute. Though the two factors are distinctly different, their impact is the same, as more families have been prompted to explore the possibilities of digital learning. They have discovered that expert virtual learning differs from what many parents and students experienced after schools unexpectedly shut down in March of 2020. Others have seen how the use of technology can address the unique needs of certain children and high schoolers
12th Jan 2022 - Yahoo Finance

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Rise in pupils and teachers using online lessons through virtual school

In England, a Government-backed virtual school has seen a rise in pupils using online lessons this term as the Omicron variant threatens disruption to education. Oak National Academy, which provides free learning resources and online lessons, said its weekly user figure last week was 340,000 – the highest level since schools returned from closures in March 2021. The weekly user figure was only 166,000 for the week starting on December 13, the academy said. The virtual school, which began in April 2020, expects the numbers to grow as schools try to keep children learning despite Covid-related absences.
11th Jan 2022 - MSN.com

Opinion: Online education can be a great way for children to learn if we do it right

Suzanne Chisholm is vice-principal at SIDES, a public online school in Victoria. She has taught elementary students in both classrooms and online. She writes: "Online learning can be an excellent option for many students, and for some students it’s the best option. However, it must be done properly, and it usually works better when it is a choice." "Purposefully designed online education delivered by trained and skilled teachers plays a crucial role in our modern education system, and provides a vital alternative for many students and families, pandemic or not. The programs we offer at our school serve a diversity of learners, many of them among the most vulnerable in society. Families tell us how glad they are that we exist. Some parents say our school has been a lifeline for their child. Online learning is anything but cruel and harmful for these students."
11th Jan 2022 - The Globe and Mail

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Durham University moves to calm fears on online learning method

Durham University has moved to calm concerns about offering online learning on its campus this term, despite ministers calling on educational institutions in the UK for a return to face-to-face teaching. The university, which has previously turned to online methods earlier in the pandemic, announced that it would be starting the new term in a virtual capacity, due to the rising number of Omicron cases within County Durham and the wider North East.
10th Jan 2022 - The Northern Echo

New Brunswick parents raise concerns over another return to online learning

New Brunswick students are preparing for a return to some at-home learning for the third calendar year in a row beginning on Tuesday. The move comes amid an Omicron-fuelled surge in COVID-19 cases and as schools in most provinces and territories also delay a return to the classroom. Students in New Brunswick will stay at home for a least two weeks and then the situation will be reassessed weekly. Restrictions on school sports and extracurricular activities will also remain in place.
10th Jan 2022 - CBC.ca

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As omicron continues to surge, families despair over return to remote learning

The vast majority of U.S. districts appear to be returning to in-person learning, but other large school systems including those in Newark, New Jersey, Milwaukee and Cleveland have gone back to remote learning as infections soar and sideline staff members. Dozens of smaller districts have followed, including many around Detroit, Chicago and Washington. The disruptions also raise alarms about risks to students. Long stretches of remote learning over the last two years have taken a toll, leaving many kids with academic and mental health setbacks that experts are still trying to understand.
9th Jan 2022 - PBS NewsHour

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Jan 2022

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Schools sticking with in-person learning scramble for subs

Principals, superintendents and counselors are filling in as substitutes in classrooms as the surge in coronavirus infections further strains schools that already had been struggling with staffing shortages. In Cincinnati, dozens of employees from the central office were dispatched this week to schools that were at risk of having to close because of low staffing. The superintendent of Boston schools, Brenda Cassellius, tweeted she was filling in for a fifth grade teacher. San Francisco’s superintendent, Vince Matthews, has called on all employees with teaching credentials to take a class.
6th Jan 2022 - The Associated Press

Parents in 'limbo' as schools close, return to virtual learning amid COVID-19 surge

As schools returned from winter break this week amid skyrocketing COVID-19 cases, more did so virtually than at any point so far this school year. This week, there have been over 4,500 temporary school closures across the country. The prospect of a return to virtual learning, on a short- or long-term basis has some parents around the country concerned about the challenges of remote education and unpredictable childcare after great lengths were taken to keep kids in the classroom. By the same token, advocates say some parents feel the opposite, applauding the move temporarily to keep schools open in the long run. Others say they would like to return to virtual learning for safety reasons, but simply don't have the option.
6th Jan 2022 - ABC news

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10 school classrooms go virtual as Covid cases rise in East Lothian

More than 10 classes at schools across East Lothian were learning from home on Wednesday. Schools opened their doors following the festive break but staff shortages, due to Covid-19, meant some classrooms were empty.
5th Jan 2022 - East Lothian Courier

Schools shift to virtual learning in Ontario amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Students across Ontario logged on to virtual classrooms as a new school term began on Wednesday, triggering renewed frustration for some families who said their children have a tough time with remote learning. Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation president Karen Littlewood said teachers are feeling a “slight sense of relief” that the return to in-person learning has been delayed since many of the safety measures called for are not currently in place. But she said educators are frustrated at having to revert to online schooling once more.
5th Jan 2022 - The Star

Chicago cancels classes after union backs remote learning

Leaders of Chicago Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the latest development in an escalating battle over pandemic safety protocols in the nation’s third-largest school district. Chicago has rejected a districtwide return to remote instruction, saying it was disastrous for children’s learning and mental health. But the union argued the district’s safety protocols are lacking and both teachers and students are vulnerable.
5th Jan 2022 - Associated Press

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‘It’s really disappointing’: Ontario parents, teachers brace for virtual learning

Students, parents and teachers in Ontario are bracing for another stint of virtual education after the province announced Monday that schools would not reopen to in-person classes for at least two weeks due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. Premier Doug Ford announced the shift to remote learning less than a week after his government insisted in-person classes would resume after only a two-day delay.
4th Jan 2022 - Global News

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The Bright Side of the Virtual Classroom

Wendy Lustbader M.S.W. writes about her experience of virtual teaching: "Now I have to re-think the ways my teaching has been augmented on the screen. I didn’t know that certain advantages would take hold of me as a teacher or expand the options students had for being heard and seen. To my surprise, there were times when it felt like we had been together in a real room. When we are in-person again, I hope to make actual some of these discoveries from the virtual classroom – or at least the spirit of them."
3rd Jan 2022 - Psychology Today

Simulated and classroom culture in higher education

Educational institutions have adopted virtual learning across the world. For higher educational institutions, senior management has taken up the responsibility to supervise and monitor the effectiveness of virtual learning towards achieving strategic goals. The whole onus is on the course instructor to design the contents and delivery of the course in such a way as to promote self-learning and better engagement in the class. Effective knowledge starts with learner’s engagement. Hence, students’ engagement has emerged as a fundamental subject in Higher Education in the recent past. In turn, it has become a pervasive indicator for measuring the education quality of institutions.
3rd Jan 2022 - EurekAlert

COVID-19: New Brunswick students preparing to move to online learning for 2 weeks

New Brunswick students are preparing to move to online learning for at least two weeks, as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the province. Education Minister Dominic Cardy made the announcement on Friday. Originally, students were to return to the classroom on Jan. 10, but with rising COVID-19 case counts and Omicron being highly transmissible, the ministry changed course.
3rd Jan 2022 - Globalnews.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Dec 2021

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Newfoundland and Labrador schools switch to online learning as COVID-19 cases surge

Public school students in Newfoundland and Labrador will return from the holiday break to remote learning starting Monday, as the province, like the rest of the Atlantic region, battles a surge in COVID-19 cases. Premier Andrew Furey announced the change on Wednesday, one day after Nova Scotia extended the holiday break for students in that province by one week in order to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
29th Dec 2021 - Toronto Star

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Dec 2021

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Why Mission — Not Money — Will Lead Colleges to Truly Innovative Online Learning

During the past decade, online education has been driven by enrollments, especially out-of-state enrollments. Online courses have been developed as cash cows for years, by many of the institutions that have them at all. Not only is this approach pedagogically bankrupt, but it hasn’t worked. In-house course design and fiscal responsibility alone, though, will not be enough to create really robust online programs. We also need innovation and creativity. We need to expand beyond the primarily self-paced and asynchronous approach we have already tried.
28th Dec 2021 - EdSurge

Indigenous learners face more challenges with virtual learning, says report

A report about the impacts of remote learning on children includes a section specific to Indigenous youth, including perspectives from a Nipissing First Nation educator. The Information and Communications Technology Council published 'Uncharted Waters: A World-class Canadian E-learning Paradigm,' which explores virtual learning in Canada and the ways in which it may be useful beyond a COVID-19 context. The report said just 17 per cent of on-reserve households in Ontario have access to high-speed internet. Attendance rates have long been a challenge at First Nation schools, and absenteeism rates grew during the first shift to online school. Also a problem is that some parts of the curriculum, such as traditional knowledge sharing from elders, cannot take place online, either due to technological barriers or the belief that sacred knowledge should only be shared orally.
28th Dec 2021 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Dec 2021

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Edtech should work to replicate universities' social experience

As universities moved online during the pandemic, an emerging challenge is to replicate the real-world social experiences of universities in an online environment. While many social media giants have brought social interaction online, they have been geared towards the general public, and therefore are not built for the specific needs of students. There is an opportunity for purpose-built technology to provide solutions that are specifically designed to create an academic community. Edtech innovators should be looking at physical campuses and identifying which features can be replicated online.
22nd Dec 2021 - Education Technology

Get set for the return of virtual learning, warn teaching unions

Some schools in Kent are already preparing for the prospect of a return to virtual lessons after the New Year, despite the government’s insistence that no closures are under consideration. One of the county’s largest secondary schools has told senior staff to draw up contingency plans for remote learning when the holiday period ends. Wholesale school closures would be unpopular with both staff and parents, with the new term a crucial period for those taking exams. Covid has already accounted for a drop in attendance rates at schools, prompting fears that the learning loss gap between less-advantaged children and their peers may grow.
22nd Dec 2021 - Kent Online

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Dec 2021

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Omicron deals one more blow to schools that have weathered COVID-19 and violence

Across the U.S., school districts and families are stumbling toward the finish line of a punishing semester. At some points, nearly all schools appeared back to normal with daily, in-person instruction. But disruptions abounded. As the country braces for an onslaught of infections driven by the more transmissible COVID-19 variant, schools and districts are shuttering and some are preparing to return to virtual instruction – the very mode of education this year was supposed to jettison.
21st Dec 2021 - USA Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Dec 2021

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Harvard plans to go remote in January as Covid-19 cases surge

Harvard University announced Saturday that it will return to remote learning for the first few weeks of 2022 as infection concerns grow in the face of a new coronavirus variant. Cornell University, also an Ivy League school, moved its finals to virtual learning last week after a spike in Covid-19 cases on campus.
20th Dec 2021 - NBC News

Omicron variant hits US and Canadian shores: Universities shift to remote learning

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant in US and Canada is dimming the silver lining of face-to-face learning. Just when students are re-adjusting to physical classes, both countries are bracing for a fourth wave of surging COVID-19 infections ahead of the holiday season. The concern over alarming case spikes has led to many universities in Canada and the US moving learning online, with in-person exams delayed or cancelled. Some institutions have announced that online classes would extend until the beginning of the Winter 2022 term.
20th Dec 2021 - Study International

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th Dec 2021

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School districts across US are returning to remote learning due to staffing shortages, COVID surge

School districts across the US are returning to remote learning due to staffing shortages and a surge of COVID as cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has doubled in just 24 hours ahead of the holiday break, according to reports. On Friday, Prince George's County in Maryland became the first major school district to announce that all students will make the move to remote learning. Students in the district will begin online learning Monday, just four days before winter break begins.
19th Dec 2021 - Daily Mail

‘Very high’ levels of Covid staff absences could send learning online in new year, heads warn

“Very high” levels of staff absences linked to Covid could result in pupils learning remotely in the new year, headteachers in the UK have warned. School leaders told The Independent staff pressures posed the biggest threat to staying open to students in the next term, amid rising cases and warnings over the new Omicron variant. But headteachers said this could be affected by staff being unable to come into work due to Covid.
19th Dec 2021 - The Independent

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Schools prepare for online learning to return in the New Year

Schools across England are preparing for online learning to return in the New Year, according to reports, with some already starting their virtual lessons. According to the BBC more than 30 local authorities already have schools that have moved at least some lessons online already.The BBC says some children are being told to take laptops home with them over Christmas in case they are asked not to come back in in the New Year. The latest data for England shows 236,000 pupils were not in school on December 9.
16th Dec 2021 - Bristol Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Dec 2021

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How innovative methods helped playschools to connect with students during the pandemic

The pandemic may have challenged educators across the world in multiple ways but some Indian playschools managed to tide over the difficulties with insightful teaching methods. This article looks how five institutions continued to educate and engage their young students with fun and informative techniques.
15th Dec 2021 - The Hans India

Colleges go back to drawing board — again — to fight virus

Facing rising infections and a new COVID-19 variant, colleges across the U.S. have once again been thwarted in seeking a move to normalcy and are starting to require booster shots, extend mask mandates, limit social gatherings and, in some cases, revert to online classes. The threat of the omicron variant comes as a gut punch to schools that were hoping to relax safety measures this spring.
15th Dec 2021 - Associated Press

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Dec 2021

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UK/US Teachers & parents see VR as having a major role in the classroom

Research findings of 1,000 parents and 600 primary and elementary school teachers from UK & US: At least 70% of parents had the essential equipment for remote learning (e.g. devices) such as laptop(s), tablet(s), mobile phone(s) etc. in both regions. However, infrastructure (wifi) accessibility was the main issue with only 61% (UK) and 56% (US) households having access to online resources and virtual classes.
14th Dec 2021 - FE News

Online teaching's TikTok pedagogy is leading students a merry dance

Binoy Kampmark is senior lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne: "Colleges and universities feel both tempted and threatened by the presence of online instruction systems. Writing in 2018, Subhash Kak was already noting that online learning would “put as many as half the colleges and the universities in the US at risk of shutting down in the next couple of decades as remote students get comparable educations over the internet”. But, equally, online delivery has been a supreme opportunity for the budget minders."
14th Dec 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Pupils in Wales struggled with online learning during lockdown as study reveals impact on wellbeing

Secondary school children in Wales struggled to concentrate and engage with schoolwork when schools shut and work moved online during lockdown, new research has concluded. Their confidence and wellbeing were negatively affected, the study by researchers at Cardiff and Swansea universities showed. The research, published in a British Psychological Society journal, follows similar findings of the impact of the pandemic on young people from the Children's Commissioner for Wales and education watchdog Estyn, as well as warnings from headteachers.
14th Dec 2021 - Wales Online

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How to go about online assessment practices in higher education

Assessment is an integral part of the teaching-learning process. During the pandemic period, teachers are desperately looking for online methods to accurately assess a learner’s knowledge, ability and skill. There are diverse issues to be addressed, such as how to proctor an online exam; how to avoid copying so that grades are allotted in a fair fashion; and how to get descriptive/step wise answers through online exams. Several measures -- from simple online questionnaire forms to browser-locking artificial intelligence-based software -- have been adopted to address these issues. However, the question is, should we re-create all the existing offline assessment methods to a virtual platform or introspect a little and evolve more meaningful approaches
13th Dec 2021 - Telegraph India

Berkeley College Online Learning Program Among Best in Country, Newsweek Says

Berkeley College's commitment to serving its students a quality education earned recognition beyond the classroom this year after the school was recently named as one of America’s Best Online Learning Schools of 2022, according to Newsweek and Statista. “The higher education landscape has drastically changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Diane Recinos, interim president of Berkeley College. “While some colleges struggled to pivot, Berkeley College’s 23-year tradition of excellence in online education offered students a seamless transition to remote learning."
13th Dec 2021 - TAPinto.net

Schools are sending children home early for Christmas for remote learning in one part of Wales

In Wales, a council has announced children will return to remote learning for the last three days of term in response to soaring Covid cases and fears over the new Omicron variant. Anglesey council is bringing back hub schools for key workers while others are sent home to learn remotely. Last week headteachers told WalesOnline they were discussing ending term early. Many staff and pupils are absent and there are worries that anyone testing positive from Wednesday December 15 will have to isolate over Christmas Day
13th Dec 2021 - Wales Online

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Online learning platform would offset the disruption storms and pandemics cause

Storm Barra was like a bomb dropped into family routines, sweeping in and leaving teachers no time to plan virtual learning. Which is fair enough – lessons take time to plan. But this lack of ability and agility to offer online learning highlights the urgent need for a centralised, easy to access portal with the primary and secondary curricula, clearly laid out with links, videos and worksheets for every topic.
12th Dec 2021 - Independent.ie

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Virtual instruction is the future of modern teaching: How schools and educators can prepare

Virtual instruction in the post-pandemic era requires clear-headed attention to the value it brings to students, educators and school districts alike. However, as we’ve seen, many have struggled throughout the pandemic, adapting to a virtual model, leaving some lingering questions about the viability of this instructional model. School districts seeking funds allocated for student learning through initiatives like the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) will discover that the intellectual and business solution of adding a robust virtual element to their institutional construct is a critically essential component of student instruction. However, simply moving traditional curriculums onto a Zoom call isn’t an effective approach.
9th Dec 2021 - The Business Journals

The new normal: should e-learning be a part of education post-pandemic?

Whether you’re a tech sceptic or a technophile, most people can agree that technology played an enormous role in ensuring that education could continue during the pandemic. When Covid-19 hit, e-learning tools helped students to enjoy an unbroken educational experience, even at a time when they couldn’t physically visit the classroom or mingle with other students. But while tech helped schools to successfully pivot to deal with pandemic learning, what does the future now hold for online learning? Given the choice of returning to learning as normal, should e-learning stick around, post-pandemic, to aid teaching and learning or is face-to-face teaching the most effective method? That question is one that educators and stakeholders are now pondering.
9th Dec 2021 - Independent Education Today

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Lockdown harmful for almost every child's education, Ofsted warns

Nearly all children in England have fallen behind in their education and suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ofsted has warned. The watchdog has called on schools to offer pupils sport and extra-curricular activities to ensure children “regain a sense of normality” in their lives. Chief inspector Amanda Spielman warned that many of the youngest children’s progress and development “faltered” amid the pandemic, with some regressing in basic language and social skills.
8th Dec 2021 - Wales Online

What to do when technology fails: an educator's survival guide for online classrooms

Online teaching allows educators to reach students all across the globe, but the technology that enables this flexibility cannot be taken for granted. All of it can and will fail at some point, and the onus is on teachers to possess the technological know-how to resolve these issues at short notice. The article goes through seven tips on how to troubleshoot common technical issues encountered in online teaching
8th Dec 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

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Covid-19: No plans to close schools or for remote learning

In Northern Ireland, the Department of Education (DE) has said "there are no plans to close schools early this term or to move to remote learning". That is according to a circular from DE which has been sent to all headteachers and education bodies. Earlier Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said she understood concerns expressed by some teaching unions. However, she told the assembly that classroom-based teaching remained the best option for all pupils.
7th Dec 2021 - BBC News

Remote Learning Fails the Test

Accumulating evidence shows the damage of school shutdowns. Now a working paper published in the National Bureau of Economic Research documents how much remote learning reduced student achievement, especially for low-income and minority children. The researchers—from Brown University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and MIT—examine the relationship between in-person learning and third- through eighth-grade student scores in 12 states. They found that the share of students who scored “proficient” or above declined in spring 2021 compared to previous years by an average of 14.2 percentage points in math and 6.3 percentage points in language arts.
7th Dec 2021 - Wall Street Journal

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New Covid variant extends online learning period

The arrival of the fourth wave of Covid-19 via the latest Omicron variant has put online learning higher on the agenda, with another new option for South African parents to consider for their children in 2022.
6th Dec 2021 - IOL

Education ministry holds virtual symposium for open, distance and e-learning

In Indonesia, the Education, Culture, Research and Technology Ministry held the 2021 International Open, Distance and e-Learning Symposium (ISODEL) from Dec. 1 to 3. The theme of this year’s symposium was “Education technology in the new normal: Now and beyond”. As the title states, ISODEL’s 2021 focus was highlighting technological innovations to support schools across the country engaging in remote education during Covid-19.
6th Dec 2021 - Jakarta Post

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Strong parent-teacher relationships may be the key to virtual learning success

When school shifted online at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents were tasked with stepping in to support their children academically. However, it was difficult for many parents to juggle their own job responsibilities with household duties and virtual school. Now, researchers from Anglia Ruskin University found that students are more likely to succeed with online learning when parents and teachers have a strong relationship.
5th Dec 2021 - ConsumerAffairs

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan says online learning mustn't be used as cost-saving measure

In England, online learning must not be used by vice chancellors as a cost-saving measure or 'for convenience', the Universities Minister warned. Michelle Donelan said institutions must become 'more transparent' about the return to face-to-face learning. She has written to every university leader in the country, setting out an 'expectation' they listen to students' demands. In-person teaching has been allowed on campuses for all courses since May, after Covid lockdown measures meant some degrees had been online-only for months. But even though there are no longer restrictions on face-to-face learning, many universities have opted to keep some virtual lectures. Thousands of students across the country have signed petitions to protest at their lack of in-person teaching while still paying fees of £9,250-a-year.
5th Dec 2021 - Daily Mail

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Dec 2021

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Donations improve how kids learn amid ongoing COVID concerns

Grantmakers are increasing spending on education, hoping to turn the pandemic into an opportunity to fine tune the use of educational technology, develop better lesson plans, and build connections with families and after-school programs that could help reduce students’ mental-health challenges due to COVID. They want to help school districts change the way people like Mansur teach, while reducing learning gaps. The support could help reduce teacher burnout and get students on solid footing at grade level without resorting to remedial instruction.
2nd Dec 2021 - Associated Press

Universities claim shift to online education in pandemic has benefited students

Universities claim that online lectures and support are welcomed by students and are in some cases better than the face-to-face contact they replaced. Universities UK (UUK), which represents vice-chancellors, says in a briefing that a range of benefits from the pandemic are helping students. Many institutions plan to continue online careers fairs and open days and digital internships, it says. However, David Laws, a former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister, fears that poorer students would be hit hardest by a move away from face-to-face careers events.
2nd Dec 2021 - The Times

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Dec 2021

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Can Online Education Be a Force for Equity and Institutional Sustainability?

Robert Ubell’s new book Staying Online, offers a compelling argument that online learning can be a force for equity, despite the widespread claim that low-income and first-generation college students fare relatively poorly in online courses. Done properly, Ubell contends, online learning can boost outcomes for marginalized students, increase retention rates, improve student learning, and stabilize institutional costs. Staying Online is, in short, a clarion call for institutions to mainstream virtual learning.
1st Dec 2021 - Inside Higher Ed

Covid-19: Some pupils remote learning amid staff shortage

Entire year groups are having to switch to remote learning across Northern Ireland because there are not enough teachers to cover classes, a teachers' union has said. NASUWT's Justin McCamphill has called for schools to close early before Christmas as a "circuit breaker". One Belfast school has required some year groups to learn from home or leave early every day this week.
1st Dec 2021 - BBC News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Dec 2021

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Online school supports SEND children 'let down by system'

An online independent school has been re-introducing children with SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities), whose needs for adequate support in their learning and development haven’t been met, back into school. According to Ofsted, many families have been waiting as long as two years to obtain support for their children’s learning needs. As a result, Minerva’s Virtual Academy, which provides support and guidance to children with SEND, have been “flooded” with calls from desperate parents who have exhausted all options. Lawrence Tubb, Minerva’s Virtual Academy headmaster, said: “Many of the families we speak to have children with severe SEND issues including autism, which can affect a child’s capacity for learning in multiple ways. Several of our pupils have had their confidence knocked via the system and have struggled to fit in, adapt and progress in their schools. “The pandemic has of course, not helped matters. The reality is, many families have been unable to access appropriate support and care or have experienced delays in obtaining a medical diagnosis, which means they are left to battle in the interim with little or no learning provision.”
30th Nov 2021 - Independent Education Today

Keeping it real: Bringing practical dimensions into online teaching

Moreover, some tutors love disaster scenarios, as if the law only applies when things go wrong. This is understandable when teaching crime, where no one expects characters to be nice to each other, but must every seminar in contract law start and end in breach? This approach risks producing students who can tell you that a contractual provision is unenforceable but cannot redraft it.
30th Nov 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Online Learning During the Pandemic | Useful Tips for College Students

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed every aspect of human life, including the education sector. Due to restrictions of movement and other measures in place to minimize the spread of the virus, many colleges have chosen to offer some or all of their courses online.
30th Nov 2021 - The Portugal News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Nov 2021

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Most staff 'feel lack of support for improving online teaching'

Less than a fifth of UK academics say they are being given the time to develop their online teaching while just 6 per cent believe their university has given them recognition for the skills they have developed, a new survey has shown. Although most of the 3,700 teachers questioned between October 2020 and July 2021 by digital services provider Jisc said they felt supported when it came to teaching online, a large majority said that there was a lack of help for innovation.
29th Nov 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Teachers fear omicron will ‘rip through schools’ and could push learning online

Teachers fear the new Covid variant starting to spread across the UK will “rip through schools” and could see learning pushed online. Some schools have already sent pupils home to learn remotely due to a rise in Covid cases and staff absences. Julie McCulloch from the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) warned keeping schools open may end up leading to more remote learning. She said the “real difficulty” was managing remote learning for groups self-isolating as well as teaching students allowed to be in school.
29th Nov 2021 - The Independent

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Nov 2021

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What do parents in Saudi Arabia really think about distance learning?

Distance learning was a necessity imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the past 18 months there has been a great deal of debate, globally, about the merits or otherwise of remote education and how well its extended use has served students during these difficult times. In Saudi Arabia, however, parents appear to be overwhelmingly in favor of distance learning, according to figures quoted by Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh.He added that it is here to stay, in some form, even after the pandemic ends because it has become a pillar of the education system.
28th Nov 2021 - Arab News

Long Hours and Online Learning - Interview with teacher Sophie Jackson

Over the last 2 years, how schools approach learning has been through some large changes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdowns. When the topic of education is brought up in relation to these changes, most people highlight the impact of a changing learning environment on students. However, children weren’t the only people affected: schools and their staff had to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing environment as well. Primary school teacher Sophie Jackson explains how online learning has evolved for her school and how it is used now.
28th Nov 2021 - This is Local London

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Nov 2021

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How innovation is smashing digital learning barriers

A year ago, Unicef announced that more than one billion children were at risk of falling behind academically due to school closures in response to Covid-19. Education institutions have since adapted, deploying technology that enables teachers and pupils to continue to connect outside of the classroom, further accelerating the positive impact technology has played in education over the last few decades. With the reopening of schools, educational establishments are building on the digital foundations they have laid, helping to address the concerns raised in the Unicef report, such as lack of access to personal computers and technology that facilitates home-based learning.
25th Nov 2021 - Education Technology

Mumbai: Hybrid education mode ‘not working’ for online students

In Mumbai, with schools requesting the state to make attendance in physical classrooms compulsory, students attending virtual classes from home are complaining about being “left out” by teachers when hybrid lessons are in progress. “With classes going hybrid, students attending online are feeling left out during interactive sessions. Teachers are not adequately trained to handle in-person and virtual students at the same time,” said the principal of a Sion school.
25th Nov 2021 - Times of India

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Nov 2021

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Vivid language: teaching online students to assess writing

Teaching students how to self-assess their writing for focus, organisation and development is a big, yet incredibly important, challenge. Thankfully, the online classroom offers a chance to use word processing tools to refresh writing instruction and create a practical skill for student-writers to use in their academic lives. In the writing classroom, students use self-assessment to correct themselves as thinkers and composers of ideas. The online, video-based classroom supplies faculty and students with tools that make self-assessment visual, engaging, immediate and comprehensible.
24th Nov 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Nov 2021

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Combining virtual and in-person learning is the future of education, study finds

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything from work meetings to doctors’ visits has shifted online. For parents, this has also meant adjusting to virtual school for their kids. Now, a new study conducted by researchers from the Dresden University of Technology explored what the future of schooling may look like. They explained that though there have been benefits linked to online learning, it’s not likely to be the sole form of education moving forward; instead, education professionals are likely to utilize a combination of both in-person and digital teaching. “Digital teaching should be seen as a complementary means to further improve the quality of teaching, and the importance of face-to-face teaching should not be forgotten,” said researcher Dr. Anne Gärtner.
23rd Nov 2021 - ConsumerAffairs

Covid Saw A Boost In Online Learning Among Women

The Covid period has generally speaking been a difficult one for women. While labor market participation among women had been steadily rising in the decades leading up to the pandemic, it fell dramatically during it, with participation rates in America falling to levels last seen in 1987. It's a trend that is not echoed, however, in new data from the online learning platform Coursera, which shows that women have enrolled in courses at higher rates than before the pandemic. Indeed, whereas women made up 47% of learners in 2019, this had jumped to 52% by 2021. “Our research suggests that gender gaps in online learning narrowed during the pandemic, even as gender employment gaps widened,” Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO, says.
23rd Nov 2021 - Forbes

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Nov 2021

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Remote learning led to lower K-12 test scores in some U.S. states, especially for math, study finds

The coronavirus pandemic forced schools to pivot to virtual learning in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, but new research shows how remote learning hurt some students' academic performance. According to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), remote learning caused significant declines in test scores in English language arts and math compared to schools with more in-person learning.
22nd Nov 2021 - MSN.com

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Nov 2021

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VR and robots will have major role in the classroom but we must solve the engagement issue, say teachers across the UK and US

New research into children’s education post-pandemic finds glaring gap between engagement levels and tech-enabled teaching. It found that 18 months since nationwide lockdowns began, the top priority for teachers across the UK and US is bridging the gap between decreasing children’s engagement levels and using tech effectively in the classroom.
21st Nov 2021 - fenews.co.uk

Equitable access to online learning, safe reopening of schools: Students urge MPs on World Children's Day

On World Children’s Day, students in India emphasized on the learning recovery from the loss of study during the COVID-19 pandemic and urged parliamentarians to reopen schools safely and take actions to bridge the digital divide.
21st Nov 2021 - The Statesman

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Nov 2021

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Push for more online learning as universities pin hopes on 2024 recovery

NSW universities expect student enrolment numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024. University of NSW vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs said Australian universities could educate millions of students overseas with online courses. He said the world and Australia would be better placed with 85 per cent of people having some form of tertiary education. “I’d love to see online embraced in a massive way by Australian universities. Australia can be genuinely educating millions and millions of people around the world, who can’t access a good quality education, through using online technology.”
18th Nov 2021 - The Age

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Nov 2021

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Students speak out: What they will miss about distance learning

Students in the Philippines listed down the things that they will miss about distance learning after the pandemic task force approves limited face-to-face classes in higher education institutions under Alerts Level 1, 2 and 3.
17th Nov 2021 - Interaksyon

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Nov 2021

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New research shows virtual school can harm children's vision

When COVID-19 first shut down classrooms and virtual schooling became the new norm, ophthalmologists predicted an increase in digital eye strain in children. New research from ophthalmologists at Wills Eye Hospital confirms that the increased screen time did lead to more eye strain in children, as well as a more troubling eye condition called convergence insufficiency, which can cause difficulty reading. The study is being presented at AAO 2021, the 125th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
16th Nov 2021 - Medical Xpress

5 Reasons Why Online Schools Are Right For Students

Conventional high schools and classrooms don’t work for every student. For some students, the high school experience can be underwhelming due to the content covered and the mode of learning. The fear of falling behind the rest and the whole day-long structure can all contribute to malaise with traditional education. However, after COVID, things have changed and you can now enroll in virtual classes that will be better suited to your needs. Here are some reasons why online schools are right for students: flexible schedule, digital assignments, personalized learning, learning at your own pace, and a challenging and engaging environment.
16th Nov 2021 - eLearning Inside

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Nov 2021

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The Benefits of Online Learning Are Also Its Weaknesses. That’s Where Advisors Help.

While asynchronous online learning works well for many students, it is not without its challenges, and those can be the very same attributes that make it attractive—that’s the paradox of online learning. Students who are balancing multiple responsibilities of jobs, children or aging parents are generally attracted to the anytime/anyplace virtue of online courses, but they may also need the most help in managing all of these things. Let’s examine the characteristics of online education and how they both enable and constrain learning, plus consider tips for how advisors can help students resolve these tensions.
15th Nov 2021 - EdSurge

Developing virtual experiential learning: key takeaways | THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect

It is important for students to integrate classroom learning with practical application, real-world experiences and community engagement. How can higher education institutions find ways to offer students experiential learning that are compatible with remote instruction? The Chinese University of Hong Kong set out to embed the topic of sustainable development within its general education curriculum through the launch of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Study Scheme. A fund was created to help teachers to organise SDG-related experiential learning. Their creativity and determination in implementing activities through the pandemic was impressive and many useful lessons can be drawn. With in-person meetings and trips cancelled, faculty developed innovative virtual solutions
15th Nov 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Nov 2021

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Pandemic first graders are way behind in reading. Experts say they may take years to catch up.

In classrooms across the U.S., the first months of school this fall have laid bare what many in education feared: Students are way behind in skills they should have mastered already. Children in early elementary school have had their most formative first few years of education disrupted by the pandemic, years when they learn basic math and reading skills and important social-emotional skills, like how to get along with peers and follow routines in a classroom. While experts say it’s likely these students will catch up in many skills, the stakes are especially high around reading. Research
14th Nov 2021 - USA Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Nov 2021

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Covid-19: Online teaching suggested for unvaccinated teachers as mandate deadline looms

In New Zealand, teachers who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 could remain in a virtual classroom educating pupils whose parents aren’t ready to send them back to school. That’s just one of the ideas to have come across the desk of Cambridge East Primary School principal Hamish Fenemor,​ who is also the immediate past president of the Waikato Principals’ Association. Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced children in years 1-8 will return to school part time and students in years 9 and 10 will go back full time on November 17.
11th Nov 2021 - Stuff.co.nz

3 strategies for virtual student-centered learning

When secondary educators plunged into emergency online teaching in March 2020, they faced a slew of challenges. Among those challenges was the lack of student engagement after the novelty of logging in from home in pajamas wore off. The best classrooms build a sense of community, offer opportunities for growth, provide varying entry points for students to engage, and place an emphasis on interactive, collaborative, and student-centered learning. How to do this in a virtual space requires proactive relationship building, creative energy to pre-plan, and a sense of humor especially when the technology fails.
11th Nov 2021 - eSchool News

The School in the Cloud - Virtual learning as an opportunity

What does the future of education look like in a wired world? In this film, Indian education expert Sugata Mitra conducts an experiment. In an Indian village, he builds a school that only exists virtually, in the cloud.
11th Nov 2021 - Deutsche Welle

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Nov 2021

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CT legislators consider permanent virtual school as interest grows

A program called TEC Connections Academy Commonwealth Virtual School (TECCA), a tuition-free K-12 public school in East Walpole, Mass., opened its doors in 2014 with 200 students and 14 staff members. The idea behind it was to give students throughout Massachusetts a different learning option. Now enrollment has skyrocketed to 2,700 students with a waitlist in the thousands. Staff has also increased to 190, including teachers, counselors and social workers.
10th Nov 2021 - The CT Mirror

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Nov 2021

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The educator's imperative: creating intentional inclusivity in the digital classroom

Online teaching is about more than just the right technology. It is about building an inclusive online learning environment through relational and humanistic approaches that welcome diversity of all types. Diversity, equity and inclusion cannot begin and end as statements of principle – they must be carried out through actions by educators in the classroom. What may seem like small gestures, when undertaken with authenticity, will support an online learning environment that enables everyone to feel invited in and recognised.
9th Nov 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

The nightmare of online learning: Here's what I've learned as a teacher. It's not pretty.

We have learned – hopefully, once and for all – that no digital teaching tool can replace a talented, experienced, committed, hard-working teacher with at least the basic administrative support in a reasonably safe, clean and well-lit classroom. Much as some of us perfected our online teaching chops, it was never the same; it was hardly close. If we didn’t already know how much kids need to be around each other, we know now, especially those of us who are parents too. But not all students missed what is for them the chaotic crush of school. Many found solace in being away from us. For some kids, being isolated at home was an upgrade from the social isolation or bullying they had to contend with at school – and from which the educators in their lives failed to protect them. We need to do a lot better at creating a positive learning environment for all students.
9th Nov 2021 - USA Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Nov 2021

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The big idea: Should we leave the classroom behind?

Education was adapting to the digital world long before Covid but, as with so many other human activities, the pandemic has given learning a huge shove towards the virtual. Overnight, schools and universities closed and teachers and students had to find ways to do what they do exclusively via the internet. Naturally there were problems, but as Professor Diana Laurillard of University College London’s Knowledge Lab explains, they essentially pulled off an extraordinary – and global – experiment. “It can’t return to the way it was,” she says. “The cat is out of the bag.”
8th Nov 2021 - The Guardian

Some districts plan for new full-time virtual schools to outlast the coronavirus pandemic

A Rand Corporation survey conducted in June found 26 percent of districts said they would run a virtual school this year, compared with just 3 percent before the pandemic. The school systems that served primarily families of color reported particularly high demand from parents for a virtual option. Yet it remains unclear how many students will remain in virtual learning when the pandemic subsides and whether they should. Research before the pandemic often showed poorer outcomes for students in virtual schools versus brick-and-mortar ones. Only 3 percent of parents, in another Rand survey conducted in July, said they would send their youngest school-age child to full-time virtual school if the pandemic were over.
8th Nov 2021 - The Washington Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Nov 2021

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We cannot allow remote learning to create undereducated students

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how vital and valuable technology is to education. It’s also shown how far we still have to go in leveraging that technology to improve learning and prepare students for college and beyond. When the pandemic shuttered schools across the country and sent tens of millions of students home, many institutions quickly shifted to remote teaching to prevent catastrophic learning loss. While necessary, this stopgap solution had an inherent flaw: Few teachers were actually prepared for the transition to online instruction, particularly in K-12.
7th Nov 2021 - The Hill

Covid: How remote learning changed during pandemic

The way that teaching and learning patterns have shifted over the course of the Covid pandemic has been revealed by new analysis of Oak National Academy data by researchers at SchoolDash. In September, Oak National's research revealed that deprivation levels had affected the online classroom's impact, as in the most deprived IDACI (Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index) areas, only 69.4 per cent accessed lessons by a computer, whereas 78 per cent in the top quintile did. SchoolDash has now looked into how the Oak National Academy online classroom was used by pupils and teachers over the course of the pandemic.
7th Nov 2021 - TES News

Court order reinstates distance learning for disabled students

In California, State officials must act immediately to provide distance learning that is comparable to last year for students with disabilities and also adequate to their overall needs, a judge has ordered. The court finding, in the form of a temporary restraining order issued Thursday, will provide immediate relief for 15 students — with several dozen others that could follow — but there are broad implications for students across California. The practices at issue arise from Assembly Bill 130, which put in place rules meant to ensure that school districts provided and prioritized in-person instruction for all students this fall after the pandemic resulted in campus closures the previous year.
7th Nov 2021 - Los Angeles Times

NorthCap University launches smart classrooms to optimise virtual learning experience

NorthCap University in Gurugram, Haryana has launched state-of-the-art smart classrooms fully equipped with digital technology to optimise the learning experience of students who are struggling with online education. These smart classrooms will replicate a physical classroom in a virtual model, thus enabling students to attend virtual interactive lectures from anywhere in the world in a simulated classroom environment. It also enables the faculty to deliver lectures in hybrid mode in a classroom-like ambience.
7th Nov 2021 - Telegraph India

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Nov 2021

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The pandemic deepened inequities for Bay Area students. How can schools respond?

According to educators and youth advocates, the traumas of last year have carried over into a delta-hobbled fall semester and could manifest for years to come, particularly for female, LGBTQ and nonbinary students, as well as all students of color. In August, the alliance and YouthTruth, a national nonprofit headquartered in San Francisco, released separate studies built on the perspectives of youth and delivering sobering prognoses: Students felt overwhelmed and under-supported during remote learning, and the pandemic metastasized existing inequities for young learners.
4th Nov 2021 - San Francisco Chronicle

Homeschooling boomed in the pandemic—and many parents aren't sending their kids back to class

School enrollment in Kansas has dropped by over fifteen thousand students since 2019 as virtual and homeschool enrollment has increased. Nationwide, enrollment in public schools has dropped by more than 1.5 million students during the pandemic, according to the U.S. Department of Education. As some students stay out of public school, they’ve turned to pandemic pods, traditional homeschooling and virtual learning, Before the pandemic, Kansas City Public Schools, which serves much of Kansas City, Missouri, would see between fifty and a hundred students enrolled in its Virtual Academy. During the pandemic, that number skyrocketed—last school year, they started with three thousand students in the program.
4th Nov 2021 - Kansas City Magazine

Leveraging Technology to Scale Education

In recent decades, we have seen the power of technology not only change the way we live, work, and interact with each other, but also make it possible for the transformation of traditional classroom-based learning. EdTech is on a solid growth trajectory thanks to the combination of high-speed internet connections, robust digital platforms, compelling digital content, plummeting costs of data and devices and the emergence of adaptive learning. All of this innovation and change has fundamentally transformed traditional classroom-based learning. EdTech makes highly flexible and scalable online learning possible.
3rd Nov 2021 - MarketScreener

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Nov 2021

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DepEd, US Peace Corps train 1,000 teachers on distance learning materials

In the Philippines, a series of virtual training on using newly developed distance learning materials was conducted by the US Peace Corps and the Department of Education.The collaboration sought to develop and validate learning activity sheets before training educators can use them and before these can be distributed to students in indigenous communities, geographically isolated areas and some of the most resource-challenged communities in the Philippines.
3rd Nov 2021 - The Manila Times

Ministry trains 700 educators weekly to boost online learning

In Cambodia, since the end of September, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has trained 3,292 teachers from secondary resource schools and network schools on how to manage distance learning to run online classes in a high-quality and efficient manner. The ministry said on November 1 that it continues to train over 700 teachers each week on remote teaching skills.
3rd Nov 2021 - The Phnom Penh Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 3rd Nov 2021

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In this Washington-area school system, more than 10000 students remain virtual

In the Washington area, most school systems are going full-bore with in-person learning, considering it to be the best way for students to recover from the academic losses and mental health hardships of a nearly 20-month crisis. Across Maryland, about 25,000 students are learning virtually. Of those, more than 34 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, according to state data released this week. Among those enrolled in virtual learning, 50 percent are Black, 20 percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are White and 7 percent are Asian, the data shows. In D.C. public schools, parents fought for a virtual option, but D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and officials in her administration resisted, saying students, particularly low-income students of color, fell behind in virtual learning and it was vital that they return to classrooms.
2nd Nov 2021 - The Washington Post

Screen time for US tweens and teens doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic to nearly eight hours a day, study finds

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, lockdowns and stay-at-home mandates shut down schools. Kids suddenly went from using screens not just for entertainment and socializing but also for online learning. But, additionally, they were able to spend time using screens before and after attending remote lessons. Several studies have found that children and teenagers were getting more screen time, but none using national U.S. data. For the new study, published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, the team used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study.
2nd Nov 2021 - Daily Mail

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Nov 2021

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Leveraging the best of remote learning, communication and collaboration

While parents are rightfully concerned about missed learning opportunities from remote schooling, they are also more in tune than ever with their child's education. In many ways, this period has closed gaps in parent engagement through increased virtual communication channels and digital delivery of instructional materials. While we still have a long way to go to ensure that all students have the digital skills to succeed in a changing economy, remote schooling has encouraged some gains in technological availability and digital literacy. According to one educator survey, 54 percent of educators reported that access and knowledge of technology among students improved during the pandemic. Recognizing this silver lining, we also have to acknowledge that these digital systems are far from perfect, even after more than a year of continuous classroom use.
1st Nov 2021 - MSN.com

In return to campuses, students with disabilities fear they’re being ‘left behind’

Many students welcomed the return to in-person learning, but the change has revived pre-pandemic difficulties and created new ones for some students with disabilities. Some lamented the reduction of online instruction, which allowed them to read closed captions during lectures in real time, turn their cameras off when needed, and watch recorded lectures at home and at their own pace, among its benefits. Experts estimate that 1 in 8 U.S. college students have at least one disability, according to Scott Lissner, the public policy committee chair at the Association on Higher Education and Disability. Some of those students, including those with attention-deficit-related disabilities, say they found online learning harder. But overall, the return to in-person learning presents a pervasive challenge for students with disabilities as well as for every college across the country
1st Nov 2021 - Washington Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Nov 2021

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UK business schools set to heavily invest in edtech innovation following Covid-19 pandemic

Three quarters (75%) of Business School leaders say that their Schools are now using virtual classrooms – an increase from 51% at the end of 2020, according to the AMBA & BGA Education Technology Report. This report, based on a survey of 171 Business School leaders worldwide, tells the story of edtech in 2020 and 2021. In so doing, it reveals how Business Schools turned a crisis into an opportunity. Following a year in which Business Schools were pushed into enhancing their investments in edtech by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, 84% of participants to this survey have indicated that they want their Business School to retain the new technology that has been introduced.
30th Oct 2021 - Business Leader

Nearly half of teenagers said the pandemic had a negative impact on their academics.

The pandemic has become the signature feature of high school for this cohort of adolescents. The forced isolation and lockdowns wrought havoc on teenage lives and shaped them in ways they will never forget. Against this backdrop, some teens struggled in school, many of them managing virtual classes with teachers who were learning on the fly. Students who were lucky enough to return to in-person classes still had to contend with being quarantined or having their schools shut down. But amid this doom and gloom, there was a silver lining: Some students actually liked remote learning. They preferred being home, or having the flexibility, or feeling less frantic about college. Students who felt chronically overscheduled finally had time to stop and breathe. For some, that space allowed them time to figure out who they were.
30th Oct 2021 - The Washington Post

Kids who learned remotely felt they 'mattered less' than peers studying in-person, study suggests

A study of Canadian students suggests that children who learned remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic reported they felt they ‘mattered less’ than their peers who studied in-person. The researchers wrote that attention has been paid to the efficacy of online learning on the reduction of virus spread, its impact on learning loss and mental health, but not much consideration has been made to the social and emotional implications of the teaching approach for elementary and secondary students.
29th Oct 2021 - CTV News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Oct 2021

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The upside to long-term online teaching: one size seldom fits all

Lawrence Tubb, headmaster at Minerva’s Virtual Academy, writes about the various reasons why online teaching works for some children: "Speaking from experience, most children that choose to be educated online do so because traditional school simply doesn’t work for them. We are all aware of the need to nurture every child individually and when it comes to elements such as pace of learning, speed of attainment and of course mental wellbeing, there are a number of grey areas."
28th Oct 2021 - Independent Education Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Oct 2021

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The Pandemic Could Have Unlocked Remote Schooling. It Hasn't

In a rush to return to normal and leave last year’s remote learning debacles in the rearview mirror, states and school systems have thrown away a potential pandemic breakthrough: the ability to shift quickly and seamlessly to remote learning whenever they need. Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, school and system leaders hoped sick days and snow days could soon be a thing of the past. If future weather events or disease outbreaks forced children to stay home, schools could easily shift to remote learning. But as we transition from a summer of California wildfires and devastating hurricanes to an academic year disrupted by quarantines and staffing shortages, “anywhere learning” seems all too futuristic. The important possibilities the pandemic experience offers for helping schools overcome disruptions beyond COVID-19 aren’t being fulfilled.
27th Oct 2021 - EducationWeek

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Oct 2021

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Virtual exchange: What are students signing up for?

Many students are drawn to culturally immersive experiences that support their personal growth and academic performance. Offering students the chance to study abroad is an integral part of how many post-secondary programs have developed globally responsive curriculum. Virtual exchanges are technology-based, classroom-to-classroom programs that connect students located in different geographical locations to develop intercultural and project-based learning. While virtual exchanges have been implemented for at least three decades now, the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many practitioners and administrators in different academic disciplines to build online global partnerships.
26th Oct 2021 - MSN.com

Many Latinos chose virtual learning for children to minimize health risks to family

Many Latino families chose virtual learning for their children instead of returning to the classroom last fall in an effort to minimize health risks and protect vulnerable family members from COVID-19, according to a new study from a Rice University sociologist. Julia Szabo said Hispanic families in her study regularly had to put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19, usually due to work obligations. As a result, Hispanic parents who were unwilling to introduce any unnecessary threats to their families often saw virtual learning as a way to lower their risk.
26th Oct 2021 - Phys.org

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 26th Oct 2021

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Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Auckland's senior students sick of online learning but nervous about return to school

Senior students returning to school in Auckland say they want to get back in the classroom. They're sick of Zoom calls and emailing teachers for help. They say it's been a struggle to stay motivated as lockdown dragged on, despite their teachers' best efforts. But now they're replacing the frustration of lockdown with the uncertainty of gathering at school as Covid-19 cases climb across Auckland.
25th Oct 2021 - New Zealand Herald

Atlanta schools offer $3K to lure teachers for online class

Atlanta public school officials are offering a $3,000 bonus to try to recruit new teachers for additional virtual classes. The district announced the hiring bonus recently amid a jump in the number of students seeking online instruction, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Atlanta Public Schools will also provide relocation and housing allowances for successful out-of-state candidates, according to the newspaper. Starting pay in the district for a first-year teacher with a bachelor’s degree is just over $49,000.
25th Oct 2021 - Associated Press

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63% of students claim online learning platforms helped them reduce stress while studying from home

A survey conducted on World Mental Health Day aimed to gain in-depth insights into how students manage their stress and other mental health concerns. The findings point at the fact that a majority (75%) of students have noted mental health changes during the COVID-induced study from home period. At the same time school performance and preparation emerged as one of the key contributors to students’ stress and anxiety. 71% of students reported that this near-immediate transition and the following months have impacted their mental health. Meanwhile, respite did come from online learning platforms that positively impacted student’s mental health by allowing them to supplement their school lessons with further clarity on concepts and help with homework. A significant (63%) have mentioned that online learning platforms have helped reduce stress during their study from home.
24th Oct 2021 - The Tribune

High schoolers, educators decry split focus of hybrid learning model

Ontario school districts using the hybrid model of simultaneous instruction this year say it's the way to keep remote learners connected to familiar teachers and their regular school communities. It also allows for greater flexibility if sudden shifts between in-person and remote learning are required. However, the model — which some boards adopted to address the ongoing provincial mandate requiring them to offer virtual learning — continues to draw fierce criticism from students, parents, educators and more, who blast its sustained use this year as unacceptable at this point of the pandemic.
24th Oct 2021 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Oct 2021

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Navigating online education post-pandemic: advice for colleges

The landscape for digital learning has changed dramatically since Robert Ubell published Going Online in 2016: an explosion in outsourcing to online program managers, intensifying competition between would-be cheaters and technologies designed to thwart them -- oh, and a global pandemic that turned almost every student into an online learner and every professor into a technologist. In a new book, Staying Online: How to Navigate Digital Higher Education, Ubell, vice dean emeritus of online learning at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, brings together his writings in Inside Higher Ed and other publications about a wide range of topics.
21st Oct 2021 - Inside Higher Ed

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Is the Metaverse Finally Emerging?

The web is constantly evolving. Emerging now is a more immersive 3-D environment that features augmented reality, virtual reality and persistent connections. It is called the metaverse, and it may transform online learning. Where will higher education be located in the emerging metaverse? Will colleges and universities host their own “islands” of campuses? Will virtual megamalls of storefronts offer certificates and certifications hosted by a plethora of institutions? Will your institution be represented -- welcoming virtual students from around the real word to engage in 3-D learning around the clock? It is important that colleges and universities discuss the opportunities now.
20th Oct 2021 - Inside Higher Ed

Online learning platforms 'may become graduate talent brokers'

Corporations are increasingly keen on hiring learners straight from online learning platforms, edX business head claims.
20th Oct 2021 - Times Higher Education (THE)

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Remote learning during COVID doesn't work for students with ADHD

Remote learning has been a challenge for all children, but most of all for those with special needs. ADHD Australia chair Professor Michael Kohn said most children and young people with the condition have struggled with learning from home during the pandemic. The home environment is also filled with distractions such as toys, pets, siblings and snacks. Students have to go without the direct support of their teacher, so parents have had to step in to help scaffold their learning. On the positive side, students are shielded from negative social interactions and may be better supported at home.
19th Oct 2021 - The Canberra Times

Pandemic learning loss is real and kids need help to catch up, education experts say

Every summer, children forget some of what they learned during the previous school year, but now experts are warning that because of school closures and other disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, students will have a lot more lost learning to make up for. Prachi Srivastava, a professor in education and global development with the faculty of education at Western University, says learning loss is expected. She is proposing a plan for helping Canadian children thrive academically after the pandemic, and she thinks it should be implemented as soon as possible.
19th Oct 2021 - CBC.ca

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 19th Oct 2021

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How immersive learning will revolutionize education

Immersive learning experiences are a new type of educational experience that can be used in place of traditional lectures and classrooms. Immersive learning is meant to mimic the real world by providing students with an environment that is as close to reality as possible. It’s designed for learners who are interested in hands-on experiences, problem-solving, and discovery over non-traditional methods like reading textbooks and listening to lectures from a professor. There are also many potential applications of immersive learning techniques in schools. This article will discuss what immersive learning is, how it changes the classroom experience, and some current use cases of immersive learning.
18th Oct 2021 - eSchool News

High school dropouts: Remote learning during covid put Baltimore students at risk

Hundreds of thousands of students across the U.S. have been at risk of dropping out of school. A McKinsey & Company report released in July estimated that between 617,000 and 1.2 million teens nationwide were more likely to drop out because of coronavirus-related school closures. In Miami and Chicago, in New York City and Detroit, school officials had fanned out over the summer to reestablish contact with some of those kids. And they had done so in Baltimore, where spikes in absenteeism were particularly acute among students with disabilities and those living in poverty. The article follows high school student Corey Byrd.
18th Oct 2021 - The Washington Post

Online teaching and learning is not just for pandemics and it can help solve old problems

South African universities are currently considering the future of teaching and learning after the rapid shift to emergency remote teaching and learning in 2020 and 2021. During this time, two narratives have (re)emerged. One implies that teaching and learning online is more difficult or demanding than in-person education. The other that it’s not as good as in-person teaching and learning. In the South African higher education context these concerns seem to be closely tied to staff burnout and to the inequities and complexities of the sector, which were amplified by emergency remote teaching and learning.
18th Oct 2021 - The Conversation Africa

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Special Ed Students Have Been 'Left Out' From Distance Learning in Hawaii

In Hawaii, the DOE established a statewide distance learning program for students whose parents wanted to keep them home due to the pandemic, but it has limited seats, not to mention few accommodations for kids with disabilities. Special education students receive specialized services based on their Individualized Education Programs, such as counseling, or physical, occupational or speech therapy.
17th Oct 2021 - Honolulu Civil Beat

Active learning tools improve the learning outcomes, scientific attitude, and critical thinking in higher education: Experiences in an online course during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Active teaching methodologies have been placed as a hope for changing education at different levels, transiting from passive lecture-centered to student-centered learning. With the health measures of social distance, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a strong shift to remote education. A study concluded that engagement provided by active learning methods can improve performance both in hard and soft skills. Students' participation seems to be more relevant when activities require the interaction of information, prediction, and reasoning, such as open-ended questions and design of research projects.
17th Oct 2021 - IUBMB Journals

This Virtual Classroom Company Made Millions During The Pandemic While Students Languished

The coronavirus pandemic turned the American education system upside down last year, shuttering classrooms, leaving students isolated and adrift, and sending school officials scrambling for virtual solutions. But it was a boon for the many private companies that helped schools move their operations online. Among the winners was the company that several students said left them hanging: Edgenuity. During the first year of the pandemic, the Arizona-based software company added more than 500 public school districts to its client list and inked contracts totaling at least $145 million. Thanks to prepandemic acquisitions and rising demand during the crisis, Edgenuity nearly doubled what it pulled in from the public sector the year before. Some parents were satisfied with the education their children received through Edgenuity, and some districts appreciated the safe alternative to in-person learning amid the uncertainty of the pandemic. But at scores of schools around the country, the solution Edgenuity provided came at a high cost to students’ education, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation based on a review of hundreds of pages of court and school district documents and interviews with more than 50 people.
17th Oct 2021 - BuzzFeed News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Oct 2021

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Can edtech deliver on its pandemic promise?

Education technology was adopted widely during the pandemic as schools around the world were forced to close and sought alternative ways to teach children. While sometimes overhyped in the past — much-vaunted interactive whiteboards were often left unused — edtech now has the potential to support education in lower-income countries. The benefits can be as much for policymakers and school leaders as for teachers and students in the classroom and beyond. For example, online management systems can be used to track attendance and test scores, provide lesson plans and help allocate resources. Self-learning tools for students include supplementary apps, test preparation and live lessons. But not everyone is convinced of the merits of edtech. A review for the United States Agency for International Development last year found that there was “a lack of conclusive and robust research and study of distance-learning modalities, especially in the global south”.
14th Oct 2021 - Financial Times

How does national culture affect the adoption of learning technology?

The uptake of learning technologies has been, in many cases, disappointing. University managers, educational technologists, educators and other practitioners are looking for ways to overcome this resistance and boost the use of learning management systems, also known as virtual learning environments, or VLEs. However, researchers have found factors that influence the adoption of learning technologies are not universal, and they differ from country to country. This research hopes to unpack the secret of users’ resistance from a cultural perspective – resistance that existed long before the pandemic – and offer advice to counteract it.
14th Oct 2021 - Times Higher Education

Virtual Learning Expansion Sparks Both Hope and Skepticism

Since the D.C. Council’s unanimous passage of emergency legislation increasing virtual learning slots in District public and public charter schools, parents whose children had been denied that option must now consider taking advantage of the highly coveted opportunity. Even with a greater chance of approval, there’s some skepticism among parents about whether schools will approve their applications and allow their children to learn from within the safe confines of their home. The legislation, titled Protecting Our Children Emergency Declaration Resolution, applies to children who live with people posing a high risk of illness from a COVID-19 infection.
14th Oct 2021 - The Washington Informer

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CNN's 'Tech for Good' showcases the technology that could shape the future of education

The pandemic has made online learning commonplace across the world, turning digital learning tools into a lifeline for many students. On this month's episode of 'Tech for Good', CNN anchor and correspondent Kristie Lu Stout meets the entrepreneurs demonstrating how technology can be used to support education, in spite of lockdowns and uncertainty.
13th Oct 2021 - Yahoo Finance

The triple jeopardy of deprivation for online learning

Deprivation was a barrier to children getting an education during school closures. That’s not news. We all know of schools that had to print and post worksheets in the early days of the pandemic, and of pupils who struggled to join online lessons because they were sharing one computer with two other siblings. But what is new is some emerging evidence that graphically illustrates the scale of the problem. Pupils in areas of high deprivation faced three particular barriers: unequal access to devices, unequal quality of devices, cost of streaming.
13th Oct 2021 - Schools Week

New US data show jump in college students' learning online

An analysis of newly available federal data shows that a far larger proportion of college students take at least one fully online course than was previously understood. The analysis, first conducted by the ed-tech consultant and blogger Phil Hill, shows that based on 12-month reporting -- which the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System only recently began collecting for distance learning -- 51.8 percent of students took at least one online course in 2019-20. This number is much higher than the 37 percent reflected in the fall 2019 enrollment data that has been cited in the past, and on which most estimates of the prevalence of online learning have historically been based.
13th Oct 2021 - Inside Higher Ed

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5 ways to improve your virtual teaching

It has been 18 months since schools first closed, and we are still learning how to make virtual environments rich and engaging. And while remote instruction isn’t for everyone, it can be a powerful way to deliver instruction, build connections and foster a love of learning in students -- if you do it right. Very little in teaching can truly be boiled down to five simple strategies, but these suggestions can add to your remote-teaching skills.
12th Oct 2021 - SmartBrief

COVID took toll on kids’ learning, grades, American Family Survey finds

The latest American Family Survey, released Tuesday in Washington, D.C., indicates more than half of respondents whose children did not attend school in person chose not to return to the classroom when they had the option. This was the case for more than 6 in 10 Democrats as well as just under half of Republicans, the survey found. Parents surveyed said their children’s grades and learning suffered during the pandemic’s aftermath with nearly 20% of parents revealing that their children’s grades worsened and nearly one-third reporting declines in learning.
12th Oct 2021 - Deseret News

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Oct 2021

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Colleges Innovate to Support At-Risk Students, Inside and Outside the Classroom

Colleges are paying special attention to first-generation and low-income students and to those from historically marginalized communities, using data analytics to identify students at risk of dropping out. Access to broadband and computers is, of course, an essential factor in student success. As the pandemic forced institutions to go fully or partially online, it put a spotlight on at-risk students, especially low-income students who lacked devices, computers and internet access. In response, many institutions beefed up campus Wi-Fi and offered laptop lending programs
11th Oct 2021 - EdTech

College students report issues with distance learning

College age students reported issues with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, including trouble concentrating, limited access to technology, food insecurity, and mental health issues, according to researchers. Christian Athnasian, AB, a research intern at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, worked with fellow interns on a project led by research mentor Ruth Milanaik, DO, also of Cohen Children’s, who presented the research at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition.
10th Oct 2021 - Healio

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Oct 2021

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COVID-19: Online learning and the homework gap in the US

America’s K-12 students are returning to classrooms this fall after 18 months of virtual learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some students who lacked the home internet connectivity needed to finish schoolwork during this time – an experience often called the “homework gap” – may continue to feel the effects this school year. Research carried out by Pew Research Center highlights how a lack of internet connectivity and digital skills negatively affected K-12 students' ability to complete school work at home. Research shows these problems were faced by families of different incomes, race and location. One-quarter of Black teens said they were at least sometimes unable to complete their homework due to a lack of digital access, including 13% who said this happened to them often.
10th Oct 2021 - World Economic Forum

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Oct 2021

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Academics from Japan and Hong Kong say virtual learning no substitute

While online classes have become the norm for some amid the COVID-19 pandemic, academics from Japan and Hong Kong believe that online classes cannot truly be a substitute for face-to-face learning despite the merits of technology in communicating with students. Oussouby Sacko, president of Kyoto Seika University, said professors at his university have struggled to teach, for example, art-related courses online, and students were also losing interest in attending classes. To motivate the students, Sacko has introduced a hybrid system of direct interactive sessions between teachers and students once a week and online classes on other days. Recognizing the challenges teachers face in holding virtual classes, he said there is a need to develop a program for the faculty to train them to become accustomed to the new teaching style.
7th Oct 2021 - The Japan Times

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The pandemic changed American education overnight. Some changes are here to stay.

Why do most classrooms look the same as they did a century ago, with desks and rows and a teacher lecturing? That observation has been repeated for years, and it took a pandemic to finally change it. Almost every kid got a tablet or a laptop, plus an internet connection – though shortages continue for lower-income students and many who live in rural areas. Though some schools jettisoned virtual learning in favor of in-person instruction this year, others blended aspects of virtual learning with traditional instruction. Confident in the ability of teachers and students to pivot quickly to remote learning at home, some districts ended snow days and kept kids learning even in the face of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and fires, that would shutter buildings. Other districts, aiming to meet the needs of students who thrived virtually, created options for students to continue learning online this year.
6th Oct 2021 - USA Today

DC Council Passes Emergency Legislation Expanding Virtual Learning

The D.C. Council passed emergency legislation expanding the virtual learning option in schools -- a plan Mayor Muriel Bowser pushed back on, saying it goes against the best interests of students. Since the school year began with full-time in-person learning, almost 200 D.C. Public Schools staff members and more than 500 students have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in more than 1,000 students and teachers quarantining. The D.C. Council voted to offer a virtual option to any student who is either at high risk or lives with someone who is at high risk for COVID-19.
6th Oct 2021 - NBC4 Washington

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Oct 2021

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500 digital learning activities for the in-person or virtual classroom

When schools abruptly shifted to online learning in March of 2020, a flurry of announcements about free digital learning resources followed. Gradually, schools returned to hybrid learning and, now, most districts are back to full in-person learning. But a new move puts 500 daily resources into teachers’ hands for free, no matter where students are learning. In an effort to continue its support of educators during the COVID-19 pandemic, Discovery Education–an edtech partner offering a digital platform designed to support learning wherever it takes place–announced today that it will offer approximately 500 daily classroom activities available to teachers nationwide at no cost throughout the school year.
5th Oct 2021 - eSchool News

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Back in the classroom, teachers are finding pandemic tech has changed their jobs forever

Millions of teachers across the U.S. are in their second year of teaching either in-person, online or both — depending on the state, city and district they live in. Like many other professions, teachers’ jobs have become increasingly complex due to the pandemic. This year, many students are back in the classroom, but teachers have to constantly adapt if there is virus exposure. There aren’t specific guidelines on how best to teach students using the many technologies that are available. Teachers are also struggling to keep students engaged while learning new tech tools that are required to make online classes successful.
4th Oct 2021 - MSN.com

Japan, HK academics say virtual learning no match for real thing

While online classes have become the norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, academics from Japan and Hong Kong believe that online classes cannot truly be a substitute for face-to-face learning despite the merits of technology in communicating with students. "Learning does not take place in the classroom, it happens outside the classroom, on campus where students can interact," among themselves and with teachers, Oussouby Sacko, president of Kyoto Seika University, said in a webinar. Sacko said professors at his university in western Japan have struggled to teach, for example, art-related courses online, and students were also losing their interest in attending classes. To motivate the students, Sacko has introduced a hybrid system of direct interactive sessions between teachers and students once a week and online classes on other days.
4th Oct 2021 - Japan Today

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Oct 2021

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Virtual and hybrid teaching has many teachers relying on tech tools

Like many other professions, teachers’ jobs have become increasingly complex due to the pandemic. This year, many students are back in the classroom, but teachers have to constantly adapt if there is virus exposure. There aren’t specific guidelines on how best to teach students using the many technologies that are available. Teachers are also struggling to keep students engaged while learning new tech tools that are required to make online classes successful. Some teachers have created YouTube videos that students can watch when they need help with a lesson. They’re using Google Forms to give students a quick and easy way to submit assignments. Others are using Whiteboard. Fi, which gives students individual digital whiteboards, game website Math Playground for math competitions, and online learning tool Quizlet to make custom sets of virtual flash cards. Teachers also are learning how best to use the capabilities within video software
2nd Oct 2021 - The Washington Post

How did virtual learning impact youth?

Virtual schooling during the pandemic presented challenges that might have long-term effects on children and adolescents, according to Karen Dineen Wagner, MD, PhD. Wagner discussed findings from numerous studies looking at the well-being of youth and their parents as a result of virtual instruction at the 2021 Annual Psychiatric TimesTM World CME Conference. Wagner reported there have been increases in anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, conduct problems, pro-social behavioral problems, sleep issues, and worsening of preexisting mental health disorders. This, in turn, resulted in increased mental health related visits to the emergency department.
2nd Oct 2021 - Contemporary Pediatrics

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Oct 2021

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This Is What It's Like Being a Teacher with MS During the Pandemic

Erin Vore is a high school English teacher who lives with MS. She talks about her experience of working remotely as a teacher: "Only a few of us worked remotely, and while I know many people found teaching over Zoom to be tedious, isolating, and full of challenges both big and small, I had a wholly positive experience. I am not camera-shy, I keep things lively, and on the whole, my students responded to that. The peace of mind from getting to teach from home isn’t lost on me."
30th Sep 2021 - Healthline

Zoom edtech chief: Universities face digital disruption investment

The “Zoom Boom” of the last 18 months has seen more of us work and play in video calls, leading to a much-discussed sea change in employment and entertainment. But the impact of virtual conferencing on the future of education will be just as great as on the future of work, and there’s growing investment in edtech as a result. Former head of public sector for Zoom in UK and Ireland Jane Ross believes technology that is introduced into classrooms will need to add to the learning experience and be simple to use so that teachers can focus on teaching. She also believes Zoom’s edtech presence goes beyond children and lockdown-afflicted schools.
30th Sep 2021 - Verdict

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Sep 2021

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The new era of education is high-tech and high-touch

We’re starting to see the promise of digital learning take hold; teachers can use software to differentiate and personalize instruction. But we can’t stop here. Over the last 18 months, “technology” has been a synonym for “virtual,” where many kids felt isolated, sitting behind a device and craving connection with their peers and teachers. We now have the opportunity to take what we have learned and use it to usher in a new era of education — one that is powered to a meaningful degree by technology yet centered on human connection, and one where we reject the false choice between engaging software and an incredible teacher. As we return to school this fall, we can blend the best of technology with the best of the classroom experience.
29th Sep 2021 - TechCrunch

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Sep 2021

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The post-pandemic future of college? It's on campus and online.

Across America, students are back on campus and online at the same time. They like having the choice. For many, education is defined less by the mode of instruction than by how well it meets their needs. Despite the hoopla this fall over the return to campus, what was considered a normal academic routine at many colleges and universities is gone. In its place is emerging a remarkable blend of teaching methods that are face-to-face, online or a hybrid of the two. This trend, born of necessity earlier in the pandemic, may outlast it.
28th Sep 2021 - The Washington Post

Virtual Classrooms - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Sep 2021

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Surge in remote learning overwhelms L.A. public schools

A surge of parents seeking remote learning for their children has overwhelmed public school programs in Los Angeles, causing teacher shortages, administrative snafus and enrollment delays that in some cases have kept students out of school for weeks. The L.A. Unified School District program, called City of Angels, was an already existing independent study program that was adapted this school year to serve parents unable or unwilling to return their children to in-person classes due to ongoing pandemic-related safety concerns. The program has been sought out by many parents who have children with special needs as well as health issues.
27th Sep 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Huge New Demand for Remote Learning, Rethinking Bans on Virtual Options

During the spring, COVID-19 cases were on the decline, vaccines were being distributed and most states made bold commitments to fully reopen schools in the fall. In a bipartisan rush to incentivize in-person learning, some states restricted virtual options. However, this fall, districts across the country are pivoting to create remote options for families facing complicated health decisions and those not yet comfortable sending their unvaccinated children back to school. Still, these options are not available to all students. And many districts are setting enrollment caps on online classes.
27th Sep 2021 - Yahoo News

Why lockdown and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to increase the social class achievement gap

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers and parents to quickly adapt to a new educational context: distance learning. Teachers developed online academic material while parents taught the exercises and lessons provided by teachers to their children at home. Considering that the use of digital tools in education has dramatically increased during this crisis, and it is set to continue, there is a pressing need to understand the impact of distance learning. Taking a multidisciplinary view, we argue that by making the learning process rely more than ever on families, rather than on teachers, and by getting students to work predominantly via digital resources, school closures exacerbate social class academic disparities. To address this burning issue, we propose an agenda for future research and outline recommendations to help parents, teachers and policymakers to limit the impact of the lockdown on social-class-based academic inequality.
27th Sep 2021 - Nature.com

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