A classroom sits empty ahead of the statewide school closures in Ohio, inside Milton-Union Exempted Village School District in West Milton, Ohio, U.S., March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Students taking online Advanced Placement tests last week faced technical issues after images taken on iPhones of hand-written answers failed to upload. The error resulted in a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of students, demanding the College Board score their answers instead of forcing students to retake the test. As high school is disrupted at a number of schools, some colleges have committed to waiving standardized testing requirements for 2021 applicants. 

With coronavirus forcing most education to move online, students have run into various issues. One school district in Los Angeles, CA saw 26% of families reporting they lacked enough computers at home and nearly half lacked high-speed internet. When learning shifted to a solely online platform, educators saw a need for computers that supported teaching software. Research also found claims from online programs used for distance learning are misleading, as the effectiveness of education technology is still inconclusive. 

Despite these difficulties, students are seeing a more flexible classroom environment become the norm, allowing students to work at their own pace. This adaptive learning approach may be widely implemented in classrooms once schools reopen. Additionally, even amid the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, a majority of high school students are still considering pursuing education after high school according to a survey from Sallie Mae and Ipsos. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

With higher ed in limbo, students are switching to community colleges – The Hechinger Report – 5/20/2020
Now far more are signing up at or considering community colleges for not only the summer, but also potentially the fall. If they’re going to have to pay for coursework that remains online, said students who are part of this growing “corona swirl” movement, they might as well do it at community colleges that charge less than half as much for it.

Ed Dept extends online education flexibilities to year end – Education Dive – 5/18/2020
As colleges weigh whether to open campuses for the fall term, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance Friday that extended temporary flexibilities around distance education through the end of the year.

How to Develop Culturally Responsive Teaching for Distance Learning – KQED – 5/20/2020
Shared language matters and there’s a lot of confusion about culturally responsive teaching.  At its core, culturally responsive instruction is about helping students become independent learners.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Jeffrey S. Solochek on Twitter, 05/20/2020: It wasn’t hard to find a student who had problems submitting his AP exam responses. He’s in our story about the new class action lawsuit over that issue.

WeAreTeachers on Twitter, 05/19/2020: “Googling” instead of “thinking” is a symptom of our tech-obsessed society, and its practice has become all too easy in the world of distance learning. #edchat #edtech

Tom Nichols on Twitter, 05/17/2020: I was an early hater on things like MOOCs and virtual courses. If something good comes out of this for education, I hope it’s the realization that distance learning is important, but “let’s virtualize education” was a crazy idea that no one really thought through.

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