Sunday, June 7, 2020

NYC Educator: Hybrid Learning

NYC Educator: Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Learning

I'm wary of hybrids. About a year ago, I bought the car you see here, a Rav4 hybrid. It's supposed to get over 500 miles to a tank of gas, but for some reason, it registers full at 10 rather than 14.5 gallons. Toyota tells me they're working on the problem, but they've been saying that since September. I'm growing to doubt their good intentions.

Speaking of September, it's rapidly approaching. What the hell are we going to do with 1.1 million kids who need an education? In our school, we're now discussing having a third of the students come in, while the other two-thirds watch us remotely. That way, we'd have no more than 12 students in a classroom at a time, and perhaps we could meet CVC guidelines. In a moderately imperfect world, that would work, I suppose.

So remote learning will go on, one way or another. My feeling is remote learning is better than nothing. The TV commercials pushing cyber-charters make it out as a panacea, but that's only because they're watching their bottom line and ignoring reality. Human interaction is a huge factor in education, and I'd never have been in it this long otherwise. But better than nothing, so far, is the best thing I can say about it.

Here's the thing, though. If we, say, group our students into A, B, and C, let's say alphabetically, that would indeed mean only a third of the population was in the building at any given time. However, that does not indicate that there would only be 12 students in my classroom, or yours. Maybe, because of the way the alphabet falls, there would only be eight. Or maybe there would be eight in your class and fifteen in mine.

Actually, as an ESL teacher, I have a lot of Chinese students, and a lot of their names favor the end of the alphabet. I'd probably have more students on the third day than the first or second. Of course we could redistribute the names, but your class may not have the same alphabetical idiosyncrasies. In fact, no matter how we fix this, I can't envision a way in which class sizes will be uniform.

So what do we do when the class sizes get too high for safety? Send the kids to the auditorium to watch the classes remotely? That might work, if we trusted the students to do so. Maybe they could wear earphones, so they don't have to listen to 99 other classes. Certainly a lot of students have them, and wired earphone, at least, are fairly inexpensive.

Are we going to continue to allow students to show avatars rather than faces? While the students are in their homes, and while their homes are none of our business, I'm certain CONTINUE READING: 
NYC Educator: Hybrid Learning