It's never been easier to take a break from learning. When students can simply turn on their classes, appear to tune in, and drop out behind the screen, it's not very difficult for them to avoid their academic responsibilities, particularly when the parents are working & the instructor is responsible for overseeing 20-30 individuals. Can you even blame them when they tell you that they've been too sad or lonely to study? Many haven't seen a friend or teacher in person for weeks if not months, and social distancing rules have limited student opportunities to interact & build camaraderie to either six feet and a mask apart or through their screens. Though its not convenient nor simple, adapting to virtual education programs is crucial for nurturing academic potential in 2020 & beyond.
In California last Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list cannot reopen in-person instruction without 14 days off of the list; this list includes Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco & Los Angeles Counties (as of July 21st, 2020). The Superintendent of the Palo Alto Unified School District, Donald B. Austin, stated in his Announcement of Distance Learning that:
Under Board Policy 2210, and as a school district within a county currently on the "watch list", PAUSD will open on August 17 in distance learning for the elementary, middle, and high school levels
Donald B. Austin, Ed.D. Superintendent of PAUSD
Whether or not students do return to school, they can expect a new, less socially flexible, and almost medical center-like version of what school used to be. According to California's industry re-opening guidelines as of July 17th, Counties must be off the watch-list for 14 days before having in-person sessions; the guidelines also state that school days would begin with temperature readings & symptom checks, teachers and administrators will be regularly tested, mixing and mingling will be minimized, respect to personal space and hygiene will be maximized, and both students and teachers must be ready at any time to switch to and from completely remote learning (and keep the singing outdoors). You'd better get comfy behind those computer screens - you may be staying a while.
"Face Coverings" will be mandated on everyone but toddlers (age 0-2), among many other prevention practices detailed in the state guide like routine deep cleaning, spaced out seating, and hourly hygiene care becoming the norm of in-person school. Risk of COVID-19 infection and spread will be minimized at all costs and schools are preparing for any case scenario, including going fully remote for uncertain lengths of time. If local infections see a sharp rise, then in-person and hybrid learning curricula may have to shift gears to remote learning at a moment's notice. This means that students, parents, and teachers can practice all the best prevention protocol possible - but still close and revert to distance learning due to a nearby outbreak!
So what can you do as a student or parent preparing for school amidst the uncertainty?
As teachers and administrators design strategies for re-opening safely and modify lessons for remote learning adaptations, we hope students and teachers return to their academic year both safely and effectively, regardless of whether school is in-person, remote, or hybrid.
7EDU Impact Academy has long believed that the future of education will rely upon the technological tools that have improved both the teaching & the learning experience for teachers & students alike. From our fully online academic support & private counseling services to our weekly virtual live classes to our blog posts, 7EDU has consistently emphasized the strengths and advantages of online learning (when done right) - and we've learned a thing or two.
We've worked with students who struggle with in-person learning but perform flawlessly online, and we've had other students on the opposite end of that scale; rarely do we meet students who have little to no difficulty adapting at all. We've also learned that there are no one-size fits all solutions for students & that direct, personalized attention is key to academic development; after all, every individual has their own unique capabilities, shortcomings, and personality traits. Thus, our educators work closely with students and their parents, customizing lessons to meet individual needs & maximize personal potential. Some critical takeaways?
*Using technology to enhance the learning experience can be tremendously beneficial if treated & used productively. If set up poorly or lazily, expect dysfunctional results and recursive learning. Trust - don't be lazy.
*Teaching our students to efficiently manage their online learning environments to best serve their needs is an absolute must. Students who do not manage their environments well have an unnecessarily difficult time catching up than in traditional, in-person settings.
Despite the individual differences, there are universal tricks to smooth out the E-learning process for any virtual student, virtually anywhere. Many a headache can be saved thanks to the neat things we've learned over the years, so many headaches we aim to help prevent!
This Saturday at 6pm PDT, 7EDU's Founder and Principal Educator Jun Liu will be hosting our live weekly Open Class via Zoom with this week's focus on: Easing Frustrations on Online Learning Management (K-8th Grade) Live Panel + audience Q&A. Bring your children & save your seats today! Register today: here.
Until then, we will leave you with THREE of the most critical & practical pieces of advice for setting up productive distance learning environments.
3 CRITICAL PIECES OF DISTANCE LEARNING ADVICE
1. Get comfortable in your virtual seat.
In other words, learn all the ins & outs of your (or your child's) school's Learning Management System & prepare yourself to use the tools at hand. Make sure that you (or your child) can readily
type proficiently (aim for typing to empower, not consume, their thought process)
contact peers and instructors when help is needed,
download and edit course documents
share and submit completed files, and
navigate to see one's course calendar, grade, and modules
access Google, a Calculator, and a Word Processor
To ignore these fundamental prerequisites to being a virtual student is to set yourself up for a hard game of catch-up before class even begins! Falling behind in online courses from a lack of technological know-how and preparation is avoidable to say the least, and having a poor start can leave students trailing behind their curriculum and their peers. Get yourself (or your child) ready - it's the least you could do for these stressed out, overloaded teachers responsible for you (or your child's) daily education plans.
2. Learn to enjoy it.
Seriously - if you're a student, nothing is more important than finding enthusiasm to try and learn new things, and being internet-savvy can lead you to discover new hobbies, develop skills, and encounter life-changing content and communities.
Perhaps for your child, that is learning to code - in which case, we recommend getting the Github Student Developer Pack - a toolkit with free memberships to high end, real-world applications and tools specifically for students. In this package (available to qualifying students) lies access to tens of thousands of dollars worth of programs and applications, most of which center around learning to effectively code. Even if coding is not your thing - but digital art instead, then using the Developer Pack's 1-year FREE Premium Canva Account offer might be the perfect place to begin graphic designing. The point is - there are tons of tools to use & at the very least, students should know where to find them!
If you're a parent, remember - children need a good model for learning in general, and to see you reading, enjoying, and interacting with your distance learning material (i.e. Learning how to Manage Online Learning) can leave a positive impression and framework for virtual learning. Furthermore, if you don't handle it well but still subject your children to take classes online - in their eyes, you're being a hypocrite.
3. Gradually implement and increase the use of applications, extensions, and other tools to personalize and enhance the experience.
The more positive exposure children have to a tool or a technique, the more confidence and interest they'll have in using it themselves. Throwing in a quick synonym check-up, dictionary definition, or translation of a word by a simple double click can be almost magical to a child; if teased right, they'll aim to one-up you eventually - and then if you've taught them right, indeed, they will.
Make sure to sign up for our webinar this Saturday to get the best advice from Jun herself! http://tiny.cc/7EDU0725WEBS
In case you missed out last Saturday or just want to see it again, we've uploaded the recording of last week's Open Class on Developing Extracurricular Projects to Youtube; SUBSCRIBE for more 7EDU Open Class Webinars & More Class Lectures to come!
Summer Bootcamp Seats still open! Call us at (650) 284 6408 or send a text message to schedule your free consultation or to get your Free Diagnostic Test today (or both)!
About 7EDU Impact Academy
"For success in academics and beyond, our foremost goal is to guide and support our students through all types of challenges, preparing them to exceed their current capabilities." - Founder of 7EDU, Jun Liu
7EDU’s primary mission is to deliver the most effective quality of education to every student we serve. We believe that all individuals learn differently, each with varying of needs, preferences, and degrees of readiness; thus, our educators understand that strategically personalizing every student’s learning experience is the key to unlocking their academic potential. Furthermore, 7EDU Impact Academy has embraced technological advances with adaptive teaching principles since its conception in 2014, with our programs routinely delivering tremendous results and academic breakthroughs for all 7EDU students. By consistently nurturing young minds to unearth their hidden capabilities while maintaining our position as a leader in educational technology, 7EDU Impact Academy promises to continue advancing our teaching methodology to accommodate for modern learning environments and to provide unique, personalized learning experiences designed for students to reach their highest goals in academics.