Los Angeles Times: Kindergartners struggle to learn online. But this mother-daughter duo keeps them glued

Los Angeles Times: Kindergartners struggle to learn online. But this mother-daughter duo keeps them glued. “A year ago, mother and daughter taught in classrooms one room apart at Bushnell Way Elementary School in Highland Park — Mrs. Carter with 4-year-olds, Ms. Tai in a mixed group of children ages 4 and 5. Many of the felt puppets and linking cubes they shared there are the same ones Karen Carter used when her daughter was a student in her classroom. Out of respect for her mother’s long tenure, Tai Carter goes by Ms. Tai at school. Now, the pair teach their pint-size students from home, keeping L.A.’s youngest learners engaged online even as kindergarten enrollment has plummeted and online attendance has slumped.”

ProPublica: Out of Jail and Back in School, Grace Finds Her Voice

ProPublica: Out of Jail and Back in School, Grace Finds Her Voice. “Ten minutes before her debut and three months after she became known as the Michigan girl sent to juvenile detention for failing to do her online schoolwork, Grace* hurried into a bustling doughnut shop in suburban Detroit and plopped into a leather chair next to her mother. She straightened her headband and searched her pockets, unsuccessfully, for lip gloss. She tapped a few final notes into her phone. Then, ignoring her mother’s request to sit up straight, Grace leaned in toward her laptop and, for the first time since her case gained national notoriety as a symbol of racial inequities in the juvenile justice system, she began to speak publicly about what had happened to her.”

Chalkbeat: With most U.S. students still learning online, parents say they want better virtual instruction

Chalkbeat: With most U.S. students still learning online, parents say they want better virtual instruction. “The majority of America’s public school students are learning exclusively online, according to a new national poll of their parents — and most of those parents want school officials to focus on improving that experience.”

Los Angeles Times: California parents mostly disapprove of distance learning, poll finds

Los Angeles Times: California parents mostly disapprove of distance learning, poll finds. “As most public and private school students in California continue to study from home, a majority of voters say the state’s schools are not prepared to offer high-quality distance learning, although they are more positive about their own local schools, according to a poll released Thursday.”

New York Times: How to Maintain Peace in Your School Pod

New York Times: How to Maintain Peace in Your School Pod. “Managing your child’s remote learning in conjunction with other parents can produce tensions over issues like splitting payments for a private teacher, unexpected expenses, health risks outside the pod, kids’ differing behavior or even the logistics of snacks and drop-off times. ‘These pods will not be perfect,’ said L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, a sociologist who studies educational equity at New York University. ‘This has been something that emerged in response to crisis, and so it is absolutely complicated.’ But you can address sources of conflict at their roots. Here’s how.”

ProPublica: The Students Left Behind by Remote Learning

ProPublica: The Students Left Behind by Remote Learning. “I have chosen to tell the story of Shemar’s remote-learning difficulties, with his family’s permission, because it was his plight that alerted me to the fact that remote learning was proving disastrous. As the spring went on, I grew increasingly distressed by the lack of public alarm over students like Shemar, who were sitting in countless dark rooms, safe from COVID-19, perhaps, but adrift and alone. Society’s attention to them has always been spotty, but they had at least been visible — one saw them on the way to school, in their blue or burgundy uniforms, or in the park and the playground afterward. Now they were behind closed doors, and so were we, with full license to turn inward. While we dutifully stayed home to flatten the curve, children like Shemar were invisible.”

Thousand Oaks Acorn: Volunteers break down barriers to learning from home

Thousand Oaks Acorn: Volunteers break down barriers to learning from home. “Making it clear she was asking as a private individual and not as an employee of the school district, Conejo Valley Unified Assistant Superintendent Lisa Miller took to social media seeking volunteers to build frames to drape a sheet over as a way to provide families with privacy during online instruction. The recruitment effort started after Miller, who oversees programs to help marginalized and high-need students, learned from the Latino advocacy organization Adelante Conejo Communidad that some students would not join their required Zoom classes because of what the computer cameras revealed of their home environments.”

Esquire: The Crushing Reality of Zoom School

Esquire: The Crushing Reality of Zoom School. “Every choice has been terrible since the start of the pandemic, when we were told we had to choose life or an economy, a false dichotomy from the start—mass death and sickness are also bad for the economy—but the awful choices we face as parents at the start of school feel especially difficult because we’re all burnt out. The idea of facing all of this for one more day, let alone the seemingly endless months ahead, feels basically impossible. The pandemic balancing act for parents—choose two: your kids, your job, or your health—has always been difficult, but six months in it’s in full collapse.”

Pandemic parenting: Choosing educational apps and balancing screen time with remote learning (Mashable)

Mashable: Pandemic parenting: Choosing educational apps and balancing screen time with remote learning. “The most serious concern with screen time is that you don’t want a child to experience negative mental health effects of too much time inside the bubble of social media. This is a hard line to walk right now as many kids and teens are otherwise cut off from their friends. Balance among social media, other screen time, exercise, schoolwork, and hobbies is still the goal. But screen time can be a wonderfully rewarding and enriching activity when done conscientiously. It can even help kids cope with the changes in their lives right now.”

Washington Post: A Black seventh-grader played with a toy gun during a virtual class. His school called the police.

Washington Post: A Black seventh-grader played with a toy gun during a virtual class. His school called the police.. “Dani Elliott was at work last month in Colorado Springs when her 12-year-old son’s vice principal called with alarming news: A police officer was on the way to her house — all because her son had played with a toy gun during his virtual art class. Elliott says she was terrified, especially considering her son is Black.”

CNN: Parents’ biggest frustration with distance learning

CNN: Parents’ biggest frustration with distance learning. “Helping your child navigate Zoom tech support can be daunting. So can balancing work and household duties with making sure your children are engaged and learning. But the single biggest challenge, many parents say, are the math topics taught through Common Core — a standardized teaching method rolled out in 2010.”

University of Arkansas: College of Education and Health Professions Site Enhances Online Teaching, Enables Collaboration

University of Arkansas: College of Education and Health Professions Site Enhances Online Teaching, Enables Collaboration. “[Derrick] Mears, who teaches educational technology to practicing teachers and prepares instructional designers in the College of Education and Health Professions, is now a pro at teaching remote classes. His expertise is in high demand now, as his peers seek to give students a great education amid the pandemic. Mears is just one of several professors in the College of Education and Health Professions sharing online teaching expertise, or hard-won wisdom from the past few months, on a new website called COEHP Together: Remote Teaching Collaborative. Mears’ Flipgrid tip is among many he’s shared on the site, which is divided into three sections: organizing, interacting and evaluating.”

Daily Herald: How grandparents are stepping in to help with remote learning

Daily Herald: How grandparents are stepping in to help with remote learning. “Harried working families are becoming increasingly reliant on grandparents to help with virtual learning in the age of COVID-19. As virus cases rise in Illinois, more than 2,200 schools have moved to remote instruction for the fall, or nearly 31% of the 848 school districts surveyed by the state board of education. The shift has forced grandparents to supervise full-on digital learning while their adult children manage professional obligations.”

GMA News: 5 Useful Google Chrome extensions for school and productivity

GMA News: 5 Useful Google Chrome extensions for school and productivity. “Students, from grade school to college, are facing a vast technological landscape that is why it’s important to develop the skill they need to navigate in this ever-changing world. Thankfully, Google Chrome extensions can help with that. Google Chrome extensions are small programs that help extend the functionality of one of the most popular web browsers. At a click of a button, students can eliminate ads, check the definition of a trivial word, convert files to PDF, and so much more.”

Speed up your home office: How to optimize your network for remote work and learning (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Speed up your home office: How to optimize your network for remote work and learning. “Your network has become mission-critical. You need it to keep the paychecks coming and your kids need it to get through school. In this context, getting the most out of your network is essential. But what does that really mean? This comprehensive guide will help you answer that, and help guide you towards changes and improvements you might want to make. I’ll be covering three major topic areas that are inextricably related: understanding your bandwidth requirements, understanding your broadband provider’s offerings, and optimizing your home network.”