Covid-19 Education

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From our Swindon Correspndent:

From the Daily Mail

The startling inequalities in lockdown learning are laid bare today after it was revealed that an estimated 700,000 state school pupils are not being set any work by their teachers.

Some schools have simply decided against online lessons because they say many children have only limited internet access. 

There’s simply no excuse for this. You can get a 90 day unlimited data card for £65 from Three. Or about £22/month. A trivial sum to make sure that the £500/month we spend on educating children can be carried out in this time.
By contrast, private and state schools in more affluent areas insist it is business as usual and boast virtual lessons and full timetables.
Parents who might threaten to cancel the direct debit and take Jocasta out if they don’t get something for their money. Tends to focus the mind when your clients can take their business elsewhere.
Parklands Primary School in Leeds, classed as outstanding by Ofsted, is not running online lessons because staff have not been trained to deliver them and some might feel ’embarrassed’ about teaching via screens.

Utterly pathetic. They’ve got a job to do and feeling a little embarassed is no excuse in a crisis where bus drivers are dying.
Head teacher Chris Dyson, said only 18 per cent of his pupils have a laptop at home.

‘At a school like mine, there may only be one electronic device between four children, so a strict timetable that’s all screen-based just isn’t going to work,’ he said.

And did you ask around? Did you put something on Facebook, put out a call to businesses, ask the local PC recycling charity?

This stuff is going on right now in the Facebook groups, the little platoons of the Covid-19 situation. People with a problem finding someone offering a solution. One of my few contributions has been getting an old laptop to a boy whose laptop had broken. it’s old, the battery life is terrible, but it works. If you asked the guy who runs our hardware in our company, he probably has some old machines sat in the store cupboard that could be cleaned down and donated.

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Spike
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Spike

Can we hope-against-hope that this artificial Covid panic will punch a hole in the notion that every child should be sat at a desk, listening to a day full of speeches from a tenured bureaucrat who spent 4 years in orthodoxy training to get a state certificate, and filling out paper forms? Online learning is much better, provided you have occasional recourse to an expert who will keep you from going down rat-holes and aim you in the right direction.

Bloke on M4
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Bloke on M4

I would upend the whole system. It mostly suits early years education (teaching kids to read, write and do arithmetic).

isp001
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isp001

is not running online lessons because some of our students would have issues participating in a strict timetable

are they doing nothing then?
why wouldn’t they drop the “strict” element,

easy to send out work, easy to mark what comes back, easy to spot the common errors and send an explanation ahead of the next lesson, and for the 2/30 who are confused arrange times for phone calls where one on one feedback is needed. that is the work they are paid for and normally manage to do.

John B
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John B

‘… because they say many children have only limited internet access.’

These would be the ones from the soap-dodging class which cannot afford essentials but can afford smart phones and crack cocaine.

Charles
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Charles

I suspect that some lefties are so enamoured of equality that they would prefer no student gets taught than only those with reasonable Internet access. Of course they probably wouldn’t express it like that, but it’s the natural consequence of refusing to teach a virtual class simply because most students cannot attend. (If the numbers are too small to be economical in a paricular class, that class could be merged with more such classes until they are collectively big enough. That’s one of the great advantages of virtual classes – attendees can be scattered over a wide area).

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

Presumably then all these teachers are fighting hard to get their children back to school? No?

Snarkus
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Snarkus

I noticed this in my own rural backwater. AntiSocial Media is usefully being used to swap, transfer or donate specialist dietary needs and goods to those who need it. Because it is being done by volunteers who know the actual need, no significant costs are being incurred to any one. Not unusual in emergency situations it seems. Adhoc networks spring up which work. Usually stuffed up by external experts and central advice when it arrives