Each day there seems to be new data and important news related to how parents, students, educators, and others are coping with the shift to fully online and blended learning environments. The education-related reports, podcasts, and resources are proliferating. Events and circumstances are changing so fast that few people can keep up. We, at Silver Lining for Learning, found the recent articles listed below to be interesting and worth posting. We hope that you agree.
The first one by Anya Kamenetz at NPR has informative data and figures related to the fact that lower income children have more technology challenges and less access than those who come from families with higher levels of education. Unfortunately, distance learning environments do not treat all children equally. There are also less supports reported by families who have children in special education than those who do not. The second article raises many caution flags regarding the online educational services and technologies being provided by different vendors who are potentially misrepresenting and overstating their research results. Who are parents and educators to believe? The third K-12 article surveys how schools in the Indianapolis area are using technology to take attendance, and, in effect, monitor student learning. There is no one system that seems to work and there are huge attendance problems. The fourth K-12 article raises important questions related to what will happen if a large percentage of teachers and students decide never to return to traditional instruction. Will schools lose significant tax dollars if a large percent of students continues to be homeschooled after COVID-19 abates.
In terms of world of adult learning, the “Remember to MOOCs?” article from Steven Lohr at the NY Times is sizzling hot this week; everyone seems to be sharing it in social media. As noted in that article, the top MOOC provider, Coursera, added more than 10 million learners since March. And the data in the final article from Udemy is even more jaw dropping. As shown in the three figures from Udemy, MOOC enrollments vary by country with folks in Italy and Spain learning to play musical instruments like the guitar and piano via MOOCs. In contrast, there is a mad rush to learn about stock trading in Canada, business fundamentals and communication skills in India, and speed reading in Mexico. Some of the most popular courses are on mindfulness, Pilates, technical drawing, neural networks, and the ukulele. People stuck indoors are turning to MOOCs in very huge numbers for health and fitness, business fundamentals, music training, communication skills, virtual teamwork, stress management, and much more. Definitely read these two articles in you are interested in such trends.
- May 27, 2020, Survey Shows Big Remote Learning Gaps For Low-Income And Special Needs Children, Anya Kamenetz, NPR.
- May 21, 2020. Online programs used for coronavirus-era school promise results. The claims are misleading, USA Today.
- May 27, 2020, What’s the best way to monitor school attendance during distance learning? No one knows, Arika Herron and MJ Slaby, Indy Star, USA Today.
- May 27, 2020, Back to school? 1 in 5 teachers are unlikely to return to reopened classrooms this fall, poll says, Susan Page, USA Today
- May 26, 2020, Remember the MOOCs? After Near-Death, They’re Booming, Steven Lohr, The New York Times.
- April 30, 2020, New Udemy Report Shows Surge in Global Online Education in Response to COVID-19, Businesswire.