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The components of Virtual vs Classroom education

I wanted to dive a little further into the issues around virtual education but from a different side. First, let’s lay out the arguments.

  1. Safety against the virus schools should be virtual.
  2. Schools for students’ mental health should be in person.
  3. Schools for parents should be in person so they can go to work.
  4. Not all students have easy and good access to the internet

The myth is that COVID doesn’t impact kids. It does. The sad reality is that it affects everyone. But as I was reminded in a comment, there is a reality that the pandemic is not forever. But here is the reverse. Schools teach socialization. I know many people at the home school in the modern world. Those kids struggle at whatever point they reenter the education system, why? They lack honed social skills. So the value proposition of school is the creation of social skills. The other side is an inspiration. No matter how much you hated school, how much you hated going, you have a favorite teacher. That is the person that likely flipped the intellectual let’s go switch in your brain.

But, it isn’t safe to have physical school right now. In part because children can get this disease. Children can die from this disease. It isn’t as likely, and the percentages are lower with kids, but it is possible. The other side is that children can be what is called an Asymtamatic carrier. That is the name given to not sick, but carrying the virus. That is then shared with the siblings at home, parents, neighbors, and the bus driver. The risk of continuing to spread this disease until there is an effective vaccine is a horrible situation. The reality of vaccines is that most of the companies in question that are racing for a vaccine will possibly be able to create 500 million doses by March 2021. Who tells the other 6.5 or so billion people that they can’t get a vaccine now.

The last and probably most critical is the failure of technology—the sad reality of what is called the Digital Divide. I am talking about the existence of students (around 11 million in just the US) that do not have access to the internet, nor do they own a device to consume their education materials on. That digital divide forces considerations. The US has a lower number of those students than many countries do. There are more than 400 million students in the world that cannot access the internet today.

A child sitting in the laundromat using the free wifi to finish their homework is less able to concentrate than a child sitting in a comfortable chair.

So, your thoughts?

This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)

  • Question of

    Safety first, all virtual schools around the world?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Socialization is important as well, those skills are harder to learn (soft skills) when kids are older

    • Yes
  • Question of

    Parents need to work

    • Yes
  • Question of

    It is critical that we close the true Digital Divide now

    • Yes
    • No

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What do you think?

Legend

Written by DocAndersen

One fan, One team and a long time dream Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

21 Comments

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  1. I will still stand by my first opinion that safety should be given priority because the pandemic will surely wear off. Either due to natural herd immunity or via vaccine or some medicine that might prove effective.

    Socialization is NOT only obtained from the school but the school is the shortcut because let us face the fact that some parents either lack the time/patience or the knowledge to teach their own children.

    A child sitting in a laundromat will develop not only his intellectual but also emotional, creativity and resiliency skills which will hone him to become a better adult that can actually survive the real world.

    1
    • Assuming of course there are other people in the laundromat – there often aren’t. Socialization is a human structure tool and when we don’t teach it, or enforce some rules, we end up with something that doesn’t work.

      we can’t downplay the full impact of schools and the full requirement of socialization.

      FBI Profile – Serial killer

      1. cruel to animals.
      2. A LONER

      it is critical

      • Ted Bundy was a serial killer who was good at charming people. Charming people requires social skills 😛. Many creative people and scientists were/are loner 🤷🏻‍♀️. Therefore such is never a sweeping generalization. It is subjective.

        As I said, my opinion is based on the fact that there is no historical fact that said a pandemic stays for a very long time.

        And socialization? Most people are preoccupied with their phones and aren’t actually socializing in the physical world 😂

        1
  2. Well you sure have opened a can of beans on this one. So glad you touched on this subject as it is high debate in our household. Ethan will be 11 when school starts. As a grandma, I will fight tooth and nail to keep him safe and out of school. But, how long will this last? Is this now the new norm? What will a classroom look like in 10 years? There is no way I would want my child to attend school with a deadly virus out and about. On the other side, they do need socialization. When home schooling was first an option years ago, we saw the problems this caused. Then the schools started letting the home schooling students play sports, and that helped.
    Ethan just moved back down here from northern California a week before CA shut down. He has no friends. No way to make friends.
    Then there are the kids that had only one good meal a day, and it was at school. The kids with no internet, and there are many. What do they do?
    Now the housing assistance is about to end. What about all the homeless people that will be out of a place to live? Again, what will classes be like in 10 years?

    1
    • Honestly, you presented all the interesting issues and well.

      The reality of the situation is (as i see it) this

      1. the underprivileged are going to be impacted horribly.
      2. They may lose two or more years of school at this rate.
      3. those 1st and 2nd-grade kids, may fall 2-3 or even 4 years behind because of this.

      the impact on socialization is going to be huge. I remember when i was in my last year as a teacher a great kid that had been homeschooled joined my class. Geez did that kid struggle to fit in.

  3. Q: SAFETY FIRST, ALL VIRTUAL SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD?
    Yes (4 votes) – 100%
    Q: SOCIALIZATION IS IMPORTANT AS WELL, THOSE SKILLS ARE HARDER TO LEARN (SOFT SKILLS) WHEN KIDS ARE OLDER
    Yes (4 votes) – 100%
    Q: PARENTS NEED TO WORK
    Yes (5 votes) – 100%
    Q: IT IS CRITICAL THAT WE CLOSE THE TRUE DIGITAL DIVIDE NOW
    Yes (4 votes) – 100%

  4. This is a difficult decision. If I on this problem with the eyes of the “mother” I have to agree with you. The risk of infection is really high. But parents have to work and the children are left to themselves.

    1

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