Coping with Covid and changes in how we educate today

New book that deals with Covid from children’s perspective.

Excellent article in Colorado Sun talking about the how hybrid education is affecting teachers.
[Colorado Sun | November 2, | By Erica Breunlin]Colorado teachers are working twice — sometimes three times — as hard when their students learn both in person and online. A hybrid approach to school gives students the chance to see teachers and peers in person. But is it also burning out educators?  [Read story]

When the City Went Quiet

Children coping with Corona

Written by a school principal and young mother, and told through the eyes of a second-grader experiencing changes caused by the coronavirus. When the City Went Quiet is the story about a child’s emotional experience with  COVID-19 and the lessons she learned about supporting her community beyond herself. Beautifully illustrated with coping suggestions at the end. From San Juan Publishing.

A must-read for teachers, parents, families, children—all of us who are struggling with how to deal with changes caused by the Corona Virus.  

[Visit author’s website.  Buy the book.]

Today’s Education – A Technical Enterprise

Hybrid Learning Systems

Today’s education is a blend of in-person and remote learning. Illustration, Bryce Chismire.

[San Juan Silver Stage | September 2020 | Kathryn R. Burke 

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), “Schools are an essential part of the infrastructure of communities, as they provide safe, supportive learning environments for students, employ teachers and other staff, and enable parents, guardians, and caregivers to go to work. Schools also provide critical services that help to mitigate health disparities, such as school meal programs, social, physical, behavioral, and mental health services. Communities should make every effort to support the reopening of schools safely for in person learning.”

That all sounds great, but because of Covid, traditional in-person (or classroom) learning has, by necessity, had to adopt a variety of teaching methods and tools to ensure that education continues uninterrupted. This includes virtual (remote or online) learning, in-person learning, where students may be divided into cohorts (or groups), and various hybrid systems (alternating between virtual and in-class learning. But even with an in-person scenario, classrooms often look very different, with students and teachers masked and 3-6’ social distancing protections in place such as screens around students and/or the teacher. Often the teacher is also giving instruction remotely at the same time for students who are unable to attend in person or whose families have opted for strictly remote learning. So class presentations must be designed to facilitate both. For teachers, lesson planning becomes a challenge. For students, the new systems is complicated, but easily absorbable. For parents? Especially if they will have to homeschool? Complicated at the very least. The first step is to master the vocabulary. Next is learning how to implement it.

[Read full article here]

Education’s New True

Accepting and mastering change

Backpacks are giving way to tablets. Lot easier to carry! Illustration, Bryce Chismire. Illustration, Bryce Chismire.

[San Juan Silver Stage | September 2020 | Kathryn R. Burke 

I’m sitting here at the Stone House in Montrose, eating lunch alone and paging through news stories and background material on my phone while I wait for my food to be served. I look up information for this article and immediately I am bombarded with a landslide of “facts.” I Googled “education” and it returns about 5,820,000,000 results in 0.70 seconds. Narrow it down to “US new education” and up pop about 3.860.000.000 suggestions. The ice hasn’t even melted in my iced tea and already I’ve got too much information. Now I have to figure out which of it to trust, what to “open” and read. TMI—It’s an all-to-common conundrum in our digital world.

I miss the library. Only now, or at least here, I can eat lunch while I peruse reading material—or more accurately, peer at it through my “cheaters” on the teeny screen of my IPhone. The learning experience for all of us—student or writer, those disseminating information or those absorbing it—has irrevocably changed. Better? Not sure. Quicker? Definitely. Confusing? Absolutely.

The face of education has been changing for a long time. Slowly at first, perhaps, but as new traditions replace old, the tried and true fades into nostalgia. A fast-paced digital world is now the new true. Backpacks of books are no more, and we seldom see turtle-backed kids headed home with mounds of homework. Today, it’s a tablet and smart phone and high-speed Internet to meet high-speed learning.  [Read full story]

You’re Never Too Old to Learn Something New

Senior Solutions

For our senior educators, the new true comes with a learning curve Illustration, Bryce Chisire.

[September 2020 | By Eva Veitch, Region 10 Community Living Services Program Director]

We have all heard it a thousand times; learning keeps you engaged, staying engaged keeps you young and relevant. In today’s tech world there are a million opportunities to learn new things. Learning new things can be somewhat intimidating especially when things like technology are involved. I discovered many years ago that when I become too comfortable, I need to change things up and move out of my comfort zone, learn something new and stretch my boundaries so I can continue to grow. The older I get the harder it is, but I also realize that it is more important than ever if I want to maintain relationships with the younger people in my life. I want to understand what is important to my children and grandchildren and I want to be able to communicate with them.

COVID-19 has further increased the need to improve our tech skills to stay connected, but it has also improved the number of platforms for staying engaged and opportunities for learning new things.

The article explores a variety of different learning tools especially relevant to the 50+segment of our society, including the best communication apps for seniors.  [Read and learn more here.]

How Do You Connect?

How Elevate Internet serves local school districts

A Local Area Network (LAN) serves everyone within a school campus. Illustration, Bryce Chismiere.

[San Juan Silver Stage | September 2020 | Kathryn R. Burke 

To be truly effective, today’s new education model depends on cohesive connectivity within a school system and within each campus that is a part of it. We’re talking about a continuous, interactive internal and external digital dialogue.

Ideally, all physical units of a campus—classrooms, offices, and buildings—must experience real-time communication. The same applies to personnel: teachers, administrators, custodians, and security officers. This is collectively known as a “local area network” (LAN).

At optimum, the same rule would apply to all units (schools) and personnel that comprise the entire school system itself. Collectively, this is known as a “wide area network” (WAN).

Staff throughout the school system—from the superintendent down to the school principals and teachers, persons coming in after hours to clean, or individuals assigning subs when a teacher calls in sick—need to have access to communal information. Lesson plans are on file. Administrative records are mutually accessible as needed. Building maintenance and repair schedules are available to all concerned. Complex IT systems—comprised of networks, technology equipment, hardware, software, electronic databases, and information storage—are in place and mutually accessible. Properly installed and maintained, preferably by a single supplier or company, Internet communication is seamless between everyone in the school community.

Fortunately here in Montrose and Delta Counites, we have Elevate Internet which serves the schools’ complex needs.  [Learn more here]

More stories coming

— from the educator’s perspective
— from the student’s experience

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