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Posts tagged ‘online learning’

Survey: Tell Us About Distance Learning Inequities

photo-of-girl-smiling-while-holding-tablet-computer-4144103Teachers are rising to the challenge and educating their students in the most extraordinary circumstances.

As disruptions to daily life continue, teachers are doing all they can to help ease the transition for students and families. The move to distance learning has exposed huge inequities among our school districts and often between students in the same district.

We want to hear about those equity gaps. What are your students and their families facing?

Take Survey ►

Some students don’t have laptops or Internet service. Others face food insecurity or issues related to health and safety. Please take a few minutes to tell us what is happening in your district. We want to hear how these issues are impacting teaching and student learning. Your answers can help us shape decisions regarding the reopening of schools.

The survey is completely anonymous. You do not have to identify yourself, unless you would like to provide contact information to discuss these issues further.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on how the pandemic is impacting public education.

Education Commissioner Addresses What’s Next for Public Education

Hundreds of teachers tonight heard answers to some of their biggest questions about how public education will move forward in Connecticut, as the state begins looking at a possible phased-in reopening of businesses, schools, and other facilities and services.

How will teachers and students be protected? Will distance learning continue even as schools reopen? What happens if someone at school has COVID-19 symptoms?

These were just a handful of the many questions posed to State Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, Deputy Commissioner of Academics and Innovation Desi Nesmith, and Deputy Commissioner of Educational Supports and Wellness Charlene Russell-Tucker during a live, hour-long webinar hosted by CEA and AFT Connecticut.

CEA President Jeff Leake and AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel acknowledged members of both unions for taking time after a full day of teaching to join the webinar and make their questions and concerns heard, and Dr. Cardona thanked teachers for continuing to engage students academically and provide emotional connections while also caring for their own families and loved ones.

Highlights from tonight’s Q&A with Commissioner Cardona and his staff follow. Watch for a full video to be posted to cea.org in the coming days. Read more

We’re in This Together

During these challenging times teachers are going above and beyond to learn new skills to reach their students. Watch CEA members from around Connecticut describe teachers’ role during this health emergency.

 

More Free Online Training for CEA Members

Sign up for one or all of CEA’s upcoming webinars via the links below. To receive notice of future online training for CEA members, subscribe to BlogCEA.

‘The Big Seven’: Strategies for Healthy Emotion Regulation in Uncertain Times

Thursday, April 9
4 to 5pm

In uncertain times, it is easy to feel out of balance emotionally. Join Dr. Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, for a webinar on helpful emotion regulation strategies. Dr. Brackett will discuss how we can address some of the unhelpful ways we deal with our emotions and use evidence-based strategies to achieve greater overall well-being.

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence conducts research and offers training that supports people of all ages in developing emotional intelligence and the skills to thrive and contribute to society. The Center works with district and school leaders and educators to support the systemic implementation of social and emotional learning (SEL) and foster SEL skills in all stakeholders.

The goal of the Center’s work is leveraging emotions to create healthier and more equitable, innovative, and compassionate communities. RULER is the school-based approach to SEL developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence that is being implemented in over 200 Connecticut schools.

Register now> Read more

CEA President: Connecticut Teachers Are Rising to the Challenge

Teachers are taking on the challenge of educating during a pandemic and are innovating to keep their students learning, CEA President Jeff Leake told WTIC Radio during a recent interview.

“I’ve been a teacher for over forty years in Connecticut, and clearly nothing has ever been in front of me like what’s in front of our teachers right now,” Leake said. “They are rising to the challenge and really stepping up.”

He continued, “I am so admiring of the effort, the intensity, that teachers are putting into this—trying to make sure that, though we can’t replicate the classroom environment, we’re out there trying to make sure that kids are still learning.”

Addressing Governor Lamont’s executive order requiring school districts to continue to pay school staff during the pandemic, Leake said, “Our teachers recognize that schools are education communities. It’s not just about the teachers or the paraprofessionals, it’s about everyone who contributes to the learning of our students.”

Listen to the full interview.

The Etiquette of Video Conferencing: Teacher Shares How to Set Clear Expectations for Secondary Students

Stratford physics teacher Kristen Record after a morning video conference with her AP students.

As learning has moved online in many districts, especially among secondary students, there has been a learning curve for both students and teachers. Video conferencing tools can enhance student-teacher interactions, but only if proper steps are taken to manage security issues and make sure students know how to use the platform appropriately.

Stratford teacher Kristen Record, a physics teacher at Bunnell High School, says she has found video conferencing to be a great teaching tool, given the circumstances, at the high school level. “I get to see my kids’ expressions and have real-time interactions and discussions. It’s also really important for students’ emotional well-being to have time with their class community.”

Video conferencing has been so successful for the 2011 Connecticut Teacher of the Year partly because, before launching into her first online lesson, she made a point to teach students both how to use the platform and the proper etiquette for video conferencing. Read more

CEA Guidance for At Home Learning

Every teacher must start with this idea. No one knows how long working at home for teachers and students will last but it could extend to the end of the school year, and we do know that the pressures and expectations of this new paradigm can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay healthy and rested:

  • Take regular breaks.
  • Make time to exercise.
  • Keep to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Limit distractions when possible (turn off social media notifications, for example).
  • Set daily and weekly goals.
  • Make time to socialize virtually with family and friends.
  • Limit the time when you can be contacted to ensure you have time to recharge, be with family, and prepare for the next day.
  • Access Employee Assistance Program or other mental healthcare options to help meet any unique challenges.

Links and articles:

Education Week—Here’s How to Prevent Burnout During a School Closure

CNN—How to Work from Home Without Losing Your Sanity

Read more

CT Schools to Remain Closed Until at Least April 20

IMG_20200208_070320In a press conference this afternoon Governor Ned Lamont announced that the earliest Connecticut schools will be allowed to re-open is April 20.

To support students who are out of school for an extended time, the governor said that the state is working to get laptops and internet access for more children.

The Partnership for Connecticut has pledged as many as 60,000 laptops to high school students in Alliance Districts, saying the laptops will be prioritized for students in the most need. The Partnership will work with the state Department of Education and school districts to get the computers in students’ hands as soon as possible. Laptops will belong to districts, which will retain ownership once students return to school.

The governor also said that the state is working with internet service providers to expand WiFi access to families who do not currently have internet access.

Little Evidence Digital Learning Improves Education

It’s not news to teachers, but a new study is reinforcing what educators already know: Digital learning is not the panacea some have claimed it to be. A report from the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) has found that digital learning is neither necessarily cheaper nor more effective than more traditional methods of instruction.

Schools are experimenting with many different digital learning initiatives, yet for many programs, there’s little research to indicate whether or not they work. The NEPC study found that the programs most likely to benefit students are blended instruction programs — ones that complement traditional classroom teaching with online components. However, doing blended learning well is more expensive than traditional education.

The report’s author, Noel Enyedy, associate professor of education and information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, said, “It may be that we need to turn to new ways of conceptualizing the role of technology in the classroom — conceptualizations that do not assume the computer will provide direct instruction to students, but instead will serve to create new opportunities for both learning and teaching.”

Read more from NPR.