Online classes don't offer same benefits as in person learning, experts say

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Online learning not ideal for all students, experts say
Educators and experts say that online learning doesn't benefit students as much as in person schooling.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Distance learning is getting disappointing marks from some educators and from the Center for Education Reform, which found that many students are not getting the feedback and engagement they need.

Having too many students at once on Google Meet or Zooming is robbing children of the opportunity to engage or get the proper feedback from teachers. That's what Karen Aronian an education expert found when analyzing remote classes at some public schools.

"We're seeing children who whether they are elevated in their learning or below in their learning and even midline, coming in way below with this type of offering." Aronian said.

She says students are competing for the teacher's attention when school districts could have hired more staff during the summer when it became apparent that they would start the fall learning online.

"That needed to be a call of action so early in this pandemic," Aronian said. "There are so many in the workforce that were newly credentialed, even retired, part-time."

RELATED: San Francisco opens community learning hubs to help students navigate virtual classes

We talked to Bay Area teachers and school officials about virtual learning struggles and what they're doing to make classwork more robust this fall.

The Center for Education Reform in Washington D.C. releases a yearly Parent Power Index in which California scored a D in the area of digital and personalized learning because last April when schools went online the state lacked laptops and WiFi hot spots to connect all students from home.

In a study done by the center, they also found that parents across the country have not been given the opportunity to make decisions that affect their children during the COVID-19 response.

"There were very little opportunities for parents to say well hold on, have you thought about the fact that we have to work as well or we're all going to be in the same house working." Michael Musante, from the Center for Education Reform, said. "Those decisions were made very high up and handed down."

Handed down to parents, some of whom responded by creating those academic pods, while those who can't afford to join one, tend to fall even further behind.

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