A hybrid education format is sticking around. Here’s how we can improve the model

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The most successful versions of combined online and in-person instruction will prioritize connectivity and foster community. In recent weeks, colleges and universities have had to radically adapt traditional learning to keep students safe as COVID-19 shows little sign of abating. Now, students and teachers are grappling with how to avoid learning disruptions and maximize engagement in a remote world. Read Full Story

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How remote learning’s flaws pushed me to leave my university teaching job

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A teacher who now tutors online left a traditional position because she didn’t want to be part of a broken system that wasn’t serving all students’ best interests. Teachers will forever be known as some of the most important heroes of 2020. As COVID-19 forced students everywhere to stay home and changed the way they learn, it fell to teachers to redefine the way they reach students. As an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida, I had to navigate and shift the way I taught my public speaking classes—and eventually, I had to step away from my classes altogether to be able to teach effectively at all. I now interact with students through an online tutoring platform completely remotely, which allows me to give each student an individualized experience that can ensure their success. Read Full Story

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Racial stereotypes can color how teachers view students’ technology use

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A UC Berkeley researcher found that giving all students Wi-Fi still won’t end a more insidious kind of digital divide. Schools that rely on remote learning during the pandemic are trying to ensure that all kids have the devices and internet bandwidth they need. While important, it takes more than everyone having comparable equipment and working Wi-Fi for all children to get an equal shot. Read Full Story

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Zoom is failing teachers. Here’s how they would redesign it

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Millions of students are learning through Zoom this fall. So why does it still feel like a corporate meeting app that has been MacGyvered into an education platform? This story is part of Fast Company’s Reinventing Education package. As millions of students begin school during a deadly pandemic and global recession, we’re highlighting the ongoing efforts to keep children safe in the classroom, educate them remotely, and help their parents manage a new second shift. Click here to read the whole series. Read Full Story

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The sudden shift to remote learning is exposing the huge gaps in which students have access to technology

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Can the solutions being slapped together during the pandemic help create more permanent solutions during the recovery? In North Carolina, school buses equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots are bringing internet access to underserved areas. In Texas, a school district invested in its own transmission towers to expand its Wi-Fi signals’ reach. One high school district in Arizona has committed to contacting every single student, every day, to check in on how families are coping and what other resources they need, as they navigate the coronavirus crisis. Read Full Story

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Personalized learning hinges on relationships, not just algorithms

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To recover all the ground they lost during the pandemic, students are going to need more than technology. No matter how many Clorox wipes they buy, or how far apart they place desks, schools will not be returning to normal anytime soon, due to continued public health concerns surrounding COVID-19 transmission. The grief of disrupted routines, short-circuited friendships, and delayed academic milestones that had sunk in by spring has been replaced with the stress of ongoing uncertainty. Read Full Story

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Remote learning exacerbates inequality. Here’s how we must support the most vulnerable kids

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Without a radical reimagining, this school year is set to multiply already gaping disparities. My son finished elementary school at our local, Title 1 public school this spring. Distance learning under emergency conditions was a challenge. For some it was especially tough. Some kids never made it to class meetings. Other students shared one device among three or more siblings. The experience highlighted the significant challenge in making remote learning equitable in a country with deep economic stratification. Read Full Story

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How the telephone became the first great remote-learning technology

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Long before Zoom’s moment during the COVID-19 pandemic, kids stuck at home needed to keep their education going. And they did—thanks to the “teach-a-phone.” As a pandemic rages, schools across the U.S. have shut down, and students are struggling to continue their education at home. In Long Beach, California, a group of high schoolers is among the first to cleverly commandeer a popular piece of technology to regain communication with their teachers. Read Full Story

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