Virtual School Meanderings

September 18, 2020

Have We Moved Beyond “Emergency” Remote Teaching?

Another Twitter stream that came across my desk throughout the week was this one.

Neil Mosley

@neilmosley5

Earlier in the year a distinction was made labelling the rapid pivot as emergency remote teaching, thus distinguishing from online education pre-COVID…1/

..I’m not convinced that we’ve moved much beyond emergency remote teaching, despite many universities talking about how they’ll be offering high-quality blended/online education in the new academic year….2/

..In real terms the amount of time faculty would’ve had to prepare online education between lockdown and now is pretty minimal and if you throw in time spent planning for some in-person teaching which is likely to be disrupted then it will be nothing like approaching…3/

..the time of careful planning, designing, producing etc that typifies high-quality online education…4/

..Add to that the fact that there is neither the culture or the people to form interdisciplinary teams at scale to support teaching and learning of greater complexity then we have something that’s just a nudge on from emergency remote teaching…5/

…We should be careful that we don’t allow the passage of time to normalise this form of online/distance learning and teaching – not only will it do a disservice to what’s come before…6/

..but it will also normalise an enormous burden placed on faculty and not foster a cultural change in learning and teaching that moves it from an individual to a team sport leading to a longer term investment in a whole ecosystem that allows learning and teaching to flourish.

One of the responses to this thread was from my good friend Chuck Hodges, who tweeted:

The specific image that Chuck is referring to is:

While Chuck specifically states for higher education, I have to say when it comes to the K-12 setting that I can’t disagree – that much.  I say that much because more and more I am seeing systems that for some unknown reason simply haven’t been ready for their Fall re-opening (and are still in Phase 1).  The number of districts that have had to delay their opening or you can see in the media scrambling to get hybrid and remote learning options in place is both amazing and, at the same time, incredibly disappointing.  And disappointing is my nice word for how I feel about these districts, as my honest opinion is much more colourful!  Simply put, these superintendents should be fired!

Anyone that could not have foreseen the reality that some portion of the 2020-21 school year would be delivered remotely just wasn’t paying attention.  As soon as the current state of affairs was declared a pandemic, it meant that there would be waves – the second of which would occur at some point this school year.  And while we didn’t necessarily know that we’d be starting the year with some kind of remote instruction, any idiot should have known it was coming at some point and not making preparations for it is simply a dereliction of duty!

What Do We Need To Be Thinking About When It Comes To Re-Opening Schools?

This tweet was quite interesting to me, and may be of interest to others.

https://twitter.com/drmwarner/status/1305153105114337280

September 9, 2020

[CARE-ED] Reminder of 9/11 CARE-ED Webinar on “The Shift to Online Education During and Beyond the Pandemic”

This item may be of interest to some folks.

Friends–this is a reminder of this Friday’s webinar by CARE-ED about our brief, “The Shift to Online Education During and Beyond the Pandemic” (info copied below).  Speakers include Christine Sleeter, Alison Dover, Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath, Roxana Marachi, and Kevin Kumashiro.  If you’ve already registered, you will receive instructions to join a few hours before the event.  If you haven’t already registered, you can do so at https://www.care-ed.org.  Please encourage others who might be interested to check out our brief and join the webinar.  Thanks and we look forward to seeing you there!

Kevin

On Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 11:33 PM Kevin Kumashiro <kkumashiro@gmail.com> wrote:

* For Immediate Release *

California Researchers Sound the Alarm about Online Education during Pandemic, and Call for Big Changes in Policy and Practice

Contacts:

Dr. Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath, rrangnath@usfca.edu
Dr. Alison Dover, adover@fullerton.edu
Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, kevin@kevinkumashiro.com

Download the Full Research Brief: https://www.care-ed.org/

San Francisco, CA (September 1, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, schools across California and the nation are beginning the new academic year with continued reliance on educational technologies to deliver instruction online.  The problem?  Overreliance on and misuse of educational technologies can widen the inequities and disparities that already plague public education.

To support leaders and educators in these challenging times, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education (CARE-ED) released a brief today titled, “The Shift to Online Education During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Concerns and Recommendations for California.”

The brief reviews the empirical research on the effectiveness of online K-12 education nationwide. It examines issues of inequities and injustices in online education, particularly in California, as well as the push for and risks of technologizing education. It concludes with recommendations for policies and practices for engaging in online education in ways that place priority on remedying the inequities and injustices that are being worsened during the pandemic.

CARE-ED is hosting a webinar, free and open to the public, to discuss the brief on Friday, September 11, 12:30-1:30pmPST. Educators, leaders, scholars, community members, and everyone interested in these issues are invited to join us.  Registration is required.

CARE-ED, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education, is a statewide collaborative of education researchers that aims to speak collectively and publicly and in solidarity with organizations and communities to reframe the debate on education.

To view the brief and to register for the webinar, please visit https://www.care-ed.org/

***

Kevin Kumashiro, Ph.D.
https://www.kevinkumashiro.com
Movement building for equity and justice in education

***


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September 2, 2020

Announcing The CARE-ED Research Brief On “The Shift to Online Education During And Beyond The Pandemic”

This is a brief and webinar that I’d encourage readers to check out.

* For Immediate Release *

California Researchers Sound the Alarm about Online Education during Pandemic, and Call for Big Changes in Policy and Practice

Contacts:

Dr. Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath, rrangnath@usfca.edu
Dr. Alison Dover, adover@fullerton.edu
Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, kevin@kevinkumashiro.com

Download the Full Research Brief: https://www.care-ed.org/

San Francisco, CA (September 1, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, schools across California and the nation are beginning the new academic year with continued reliance on educational technologies to deliver instruction online.  The problem?  Overreliance on and misuse of educational technologies can widen the inequities and disparities that already plague public education.

To support leaders and educators in these challenging times, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education (CARE-ED) released a brief today titled, “The Shift to Online Education During and Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic: Concerns and Recommendations for California.”

The brief reviews the empirical research on the effectiveness of online K-12 education nationwide. It examines issues of inequities and injustices in online education, particularly in California, as well as the push for and risks of technologizing education. It concludes with recommendations for policies and practices for engaging in online education in ways that place priority on remedying the inequities and injustices that are being worsened during the pandemic.

CARE-ED is hosting a webinar, free and open to the public, to discuss the brief on Friday, September 11, 12:30-1:30pmPST. Educators, leaders, scholars, community members, and everyone interested in these issues are invited to join us.  Registration is required.

CARE-ED, the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education, is a statewide collaborative of education researchers that aims to speak collectively and publicly and in solidarity with organizations and communities to reframe the debate on education.

To view the brief and to register for the webinar, please visit https://www.care-ed.org/

***
Kevin Kumashiro, Ph.D.
https://www.kevinkumashiro.com
Movement building for equity and justice in education
***

August 24, 2020

CANeLearn Report – Documenting Triage: Detailing the Response of Provinces and Territories to Emergency Remote Teaching

This past Thursday the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) hosted their annual Summit Leadership Summit.  As a part of that event, they also released their latest research report –  Documenting Triage: Detailing the Response of Provinces and Territories to Emergency Remote Teaching.  The report is described as:

  • This report highlights what each Canadian jurisdiction did to continue to promote learning throughout the Spring 2020 pandemic.
  • Information was gathered for each province and territory and the report was designed to delineate how each jurisdiction managed their emergency remote teaching during the spring of 2020.
  • The goal was to report on what occurred, and it is not intended to assess the quality of what occurred.

The executive summary reads:

Ahead of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) March 11, 2020 declaration that COVID-19 was indeed a pandemic, and as Canada began diagnosing its first cases of the coronavirus, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, urged Canadian communities to “prepare for stronger public health measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, including closures of schools” (CMAJ News, 2020). Two days later, New Brunswick was the first of the 13 provinces and territories to close their schools across the province. However,
within 10 days all K-12 schools across Canada were closed.

Through the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn), a leading voice in Canada for learner success in K-12 online and blended learning, this report highlights the moves each Canadian jurisdiction made to continue to promote learning throughout the pandemic. Information was gathered for each province and territory, through government websites, educational organizations, and current news releases regarding each jurisdictions strategies to provide supports, resources, and technologies appropriate for the continuation of emergency remote teaching and learning. This report is designed to delineate how each jurisdiction managed their emergency remote teaching during the spring of 2020. The goal is to report on what occurred, and it is not intended to assess the quality of what occurred. This shift was dependent on the supports and resources provided by each jurisdiction across Canada. By April 21, 2020 all of Canada had moved forward with emergency remote teaching for their K-12 learners.

In providing emergency remote teaching, the three territories took much longer to release their plans then their provincial counterparts. If the territories were excluded, the average length of time it took the 10 provinces to release their emergency remote teaching plans was 14 calendar days. The supports and resources provided by each of the jurisdictions manifested in various ways, such as access to mail delivery of educational learning packages, radio and television broadcasting, centralized learning management systems and access to a variety of digital tools. Some provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and British Columbia provided technology to students. All jurisdictions – except for Alberta, Ontario, and New Brunswick – provided resources that did not require internet access. Further, some jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut made specific considerations for Indigenous students who may be on-the-land and offered a land-based curriculum for learners who did not have access to both the internet or to educational packages.

While access to resources and supports for emergency remote learning is key for the success of any program, so too is the level of preparedness and professional learning of teachers. The vast majority of teachers across Canada had no training or professional experience with online pedagogies related to using digital tools in their teaching or even how to develop online content that was instructionally sound. Yukon, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia were the only provinces that announced some form of professional learning for teachers. These professional learning opportunities were evidenced in the form of online professional development days, access to webinars, educational toolkits, access to paid digital tools, virtual learning environment instruction, and University courses. Other jurisdictions referred teachers to other ongoing professional learning options already in existence.

You can access the full report at:

https://canelearn.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/canelearn-emergency-remote-teaching.pdf

Full disclosure: Please note that I am one of the authors of this report.

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