As School Moves Online, Many Students Stay Logged Out is the headline of an article in today’s NY Times, and it paints a challenging picture that any of us who are making the transition to online teaching already know.

Lack of devices and home Internet access, our students having to care for younger siblings, economic stress at home, health issues and many other factors (see The Best Places To Learn What Impact A Teacher (& Outside Factors) Have On Student Achievement), including – let’s be honest – in some cases a lack of strong teacher/student relationships,  are all contributing to us not getting 100% student participation in our online teaching.  It’s probably also safe to say at least a few districts and teachers having unrealistic expectations of students and their parents during this time isn’t helping the situation, either.

It seems to me that the best way to approach this crisis might be to:

  • avoid top-down dictates and, instead, have districts support teacher initiatives
  • have districts put a lot of effort into studying and analyzing what teachers are doing and what seems to be working and not working
  • get devices into the hands of all students, as well as getting them Internet access at home

Many epidemiologists are predicting potential “waves” of infection. Let’s all use this time to try our best and prepare ourselves to really get it right if we have to do this all over again in the fall.