Schools are prepping for coronavirus quarantines by leaning into remote learning

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The potential for long-term school closures is boosting edtech companies—though some closed schools are just using Google Hangouts. When a high school student at Jackson High School in Washington State tested positive for the new coronavirus, the school became one of the first in the U.S. to temporarily close because of the illness while the campus underwent cleaning and disinfecting. With a looming possibility of longer closures, some other schools are preparing by turning to edtech. Around the rest of the world, millions of students are already relying on remote meeting technology as they spend weeks in quarantine. Read Full Story

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Schools are closed, but they’re scrambling to find ways to get food to students in need anyway

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30 million American children rely on schools for lunch. With schools closed, many are still offering food. Millions of students are now out of school because of the coronavirus crisis—and may be home for the rest of the school year. For many students, that also means that it could be harder to eat: 30 million American children rely on free or reduced-price lunches, and some also eat free breakfast and dinner at school. It’s one reason that some cities resisted closing schools earlier. As of March 18, 39 states have closed schools. 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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Our lack of will to expand broadband access has left millions of students disconnected during closures

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As schools close and students and teachers are forced to improvise ways to do distance learning, it’s exposing a big fault line in our society: our refusal to guarantee every household internet access. Over the course of the past two weeks, all but three states have announced a statewide closure of schools. As districts and teachers struggle to come up with viable distance learning plans, they do so knowing that their best laid plans will likely still leave approximately seven million children without the ability to “go to school” for the rest of the year. Why? Because those students don’t have broadband at home. Read Full Story

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The coronavirus crisis is hitting childcare workers especially hard

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As families try to limit their exposure to coronavirus, the childcare industry is becoming collateral damage. Five daycare workers and nannies share how they’re making ends meet. Between school closures and shelter-in-place orders to curb the spread of COVID-19, parents across the country are now quarantined with their children. For those who have the ability to work from home, this has meant juggling a variety of roles in addition to their full-time jobs. Read Full Story

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I redesigned a school playground for my PhD—and the children got better grades learning outside

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As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, schools would be wise to take the classroom outdoors. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the education of at least 1.5 billion school students. That’s more than 90% of the world’s children. Although many schools in the west, along with private schools in the developing world, have continued some school activities online, more than 50% of learners worldwide do not have a household computer. The absence of face-to-face learning and opportunities for playing with friends will hugely impact child mental health. Read Full Story

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5 tips you can use to land an internship during the COVID-19 crisis

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Jon Schlesinger, director of the career center at Brandeis University, offers five tips for students who are searching for internships or haven’t yet started internships that they’ve secured. Editor’s Note: Even though unemployment has reached a record high due to business closures and social distancing measures brought about by the new coronavirus, you can still snag an internship if you know how to adapt and get creative. That advice comes from Jon Schlesinger , director of the career center at Brandeis University and also a lecturer in a course designed to get students to think critically about the industry in which they intern. Here, Schlesinger offers five tips for students who are searching for internships or haven’t yet started internships that they’ve secured. 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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I’m a former superintendent. Here’s what really worries me about reopening schools

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Schools and classrooms attended by low-income students of color could become epicenters of a second wave of pandemic. Here’s why. Classrooms, gyms, and cafeterias at schools across the U.S. have remained empty for months now. And despite some districts beginning to reopen , many others will remain closed amid fears that prematurely restarting in-person classes could cost more lives in the pandemic . Read Full Story

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