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Distance Learning

Distance Learning Problems

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Hello. Distance learning will be a challenge for many students this upcoming semester. School Districts are providing most students with the resources needed to succeed, but problems go beyond that. Many elementry students won't have their parents there with them because in many cases both parents work. Low socioeconomic backgrounds bring the most concerns when it comes to distance learning. My main question here is, will students be penalized for not completing assignments due to family issues? Is it fair that students that lack resources will be the most affectede? I agree safety is a top priority, but many students/families are against distance learning because it brings many concerns and issues. 

Yesenia Perez Yesenia Perez 605 Points

Hello, distance learning is something completely different for almost everyone, from students to teachers to parents, and even administration. Some students don't have the adequate devices which makes it challenging. I feel like most teachers are understanding in the fact that they understand that some students don't have the available resources or like you mentioned their parents aren't around due to work. Since distance learning is new for everyone, teachers should and probably are extending due dates and trying different approaches to help these students, like communicating with them at different times of the day when parents are available. Teachers are there to help the students out to the best of their abilities. 



Aaron Rothfusz Aaron Rothfusz 160 Points


As a pre-service teacher at Wartburg College, I was placed in a classroom which had a blind student who was participating in the virtual learning. Other students who were learning virutally often had parents that were there but not involved, so I can completely see where you are coming from in regards to grading students who are distance learning. One suggestion I might make would be to focus on the content rather than the grading, as if you can provide more easy-to-implement hands on learning, there are so many mroe efficient ways to ensure that students are picking up on the content rather than always pushing for a letter grade on a test. One of the PD sessions that I recently attended provided me with a handout that I have attached here and hope it helps. Have a great year!

Makayla Schluter Makayla Schluter 515 Points

Hello Emilio! 

I think this is a very important topic that still holds relevance as we are now in the middle to end of the semester. My hope is that educators give their students grace. In fact, everyone needs a great deal of grace during these unprecedented times. Perhaps some teachers will choose to keep their virtual classroom setting very similar to their physical classroom, employing the same rules and policies. Personally, I believe it is crucial that educators consider the settings students are in during this period of time. As you noted, children will be in homes with varying resource availability and support. In the same way that we need to consider student backgrounds and experiences in the physical classroom, we need to put focus on this same component while students are forced to learn in these different environments. It is quite troubling to consider student safety during this time. On the one hand, we consider safety in keeping students home and separated from others for the fear of increased spread of COVID-19 and on the other hand we consider the safety of children forced to be in environments that may not be safe due to abuse, lack of nourishment and overall protection. 

Unfortunately, many schools around the world will continue to weigh on these lofty issues for the foreseeable future. I think one of the most important things to consider bringing to the forefront during this time is social emotional health. Educators need to make frequent checks on students’ emotional well being. For lower grades this may come through lessons and activities with Zones of Regulation. For older students, it may simply be having an one-on-one Zoom chat with students to see how things are going. Social isolation does not benefit one’s social emotional health, therefore some human interaction, even through video call may prove to be very beneficial and meaningful to students’ mental health as well as your own. 


I hope that some of what I have provided in response is useful for your continued research within this topic. 


Thank you for sharing this incredibly relevant post for us to consider and take into our own teaching careers!


Thank you,


3rd Year Elementary Education Major


Madison Hiestand Madison Hiestand 350 Points


This is such an important topic and I often think about this question as well. I think that most of this questions depends on the situation, town, or school district. Being there for the student to make sure they are happy, healthy, and safe is the first concern. There are many ways as educators that we can be creative in teaching when students do not always have things availbale to them as they would in the classroom. Again, these are things taht need to be taken into consideration when remote and virtual learning. 

An easy topic that can be made very useful during this time is social emotional learning. Students are going through a tough time during this pandemic just like the rest of us. Social emotional learning would be beneficial for students at this time and can be implemented in virtual learning because it does not require many materials or resources. Yoiu can build this off of students perspectives and past experiences. 

As for grading during remote learning, students should not be penalized when it comes to family issues or the lack of resources. This again comes from knowing the students and the situations they are in. All students are going to be different and having the connection with the student and their caretakers will help this process easier on the student.

Thank you for bringing attention to this topic becuase it is one that we will often run into!

Madison Hiestand

Noemi Garcia Noemi Garcia 245 Points

Hello, I agree that it will be hard and has been hard for many students. In all grade levels in general. Our district provided the necessary materials and technology that our students would need. But unfortunately, many times it is not enough. Even with the latest technology many students will still struggle. Now is it their fault? Is it the teachers fault? Is it the pandemic? The answer is no matter the situation, the teacher bears the greater responsibility. Students will not be penalized if they can not complete assignments, because the teacher will find a way to help the student succeed. But what happens in the instance where no matter what strategies and accommodations you make the student does not understand the concept, then what. As a teacher you are left to decipher how to best help the struggling student. Many students need the face to face in person learning that we do not have the luxury of providing presently. We have the capability to serve a few, but many others are still sitting behind a screen. Now, I do agree many students do lack the resources, especially here in the RGV. I myself ponder if my own children will be able to be as successful as they would be if they were in class. I know the teachers are doing all they can during the day. But in the evenings after work, it is my turn to become the teacher. 

Denise Wright Denise Wright 480 Points

Hi, yes, I am sure we will see issues with equity with distance learning. Especially if students live in a district where districts or internet cannot be provided.  When it comes to elementary students if teachers are flexible with due dates and do not deduct for late assignments/projects/work that is key. Teachers can utilize video and make sure that there is a variety of communication methods for parents/guardians. Keeping everyone safe and healthy is important.  Before the pandemic there were K12 virtual schools. 


Thanks, Denise Wright  

Yesenia Perez Yesenia Perez 605 Points

Hello, you mention that before the pandemic there were K12 virtual schools, can you let me know of some schools? This way I can see if they have some examples online of strategies for both teachers and students as they begin this new journey. Thank you.

Jessica Jones Jessica Jones 465 Points

In the county where I work, parents got the choice to send their child to school or they could learn from home. Teachers are having to teach classroom students as well as worry about making sure the students at home are getting what they need. All of my students that are staying at home are turning in their work, but I do not know who is completing it. It could very well be the students or it could be an older sibling or even a parent completing the assignment. Who has proof that the student completed the work? This leaves me to wonder, how much are the children at home really learning and is learning at home at such a young age really beneficial to students?  

Yolanda Williams Yolanda Williams 3330 Points


Our county had three choices: virtual, face-to-face, and self-paced. The children that are face-to-face were phased in with self contained students entering first, then PreK, K, and 1st. The next week was 2nd and 3rd and the following week 4th and 5th grades. The self-paced students are following the curriculum, but at their own pace. I am one of the facilitators for my school, so I have to check in to ensure that students are logging on and completing the recommended hours of the program. I handle 3rd through 5th, while my co-worker handles K-2. It has been difficult for many of the kindergarten and first grade students and parents to navigate the platform and complete assignments. Many of them have chosen to leave the self-paced program and do virtual with a teacher or coming back into the building. Also, when the kindergarten parents realized that there was no instructor, they quickly changed their mind for virtual then face-to-face instruction. So now we have two kindergarten virtual teachers and two face-to-face. It has been tumultuous that's for certain. 



Lawrencia Young Lawrencia Young 500 Points

Hello, distance learning will and has been a struggle almost for everyove this year. Being a tutor and ending the school year last year online was a struggle. I honestly believe no one was ready for what we are facing now. There is alot of parents who are struggling trying to keep up with their children's education from home. I am a tutor/teachers aid who also struggles with my children online learning because there are apps being used for learning that I had no clue about. If there was more resources for the parent, students, and teachers, I honestly believing the distance and remote learning process would be much smoother. 


Brittany Wolford Brittany Wolford 1162 Points

Give a try!

A colleague of mine has given me this resource, so big thank you to her! Generation Genius is full of K-8 easy to access lessons, vocabulary, extension questions, place-based activities that can be done with odds and ends from home, full-length lessons for the classroom or for virtual learning, and assessments in various forms for each lesson. Extremely well organized content as far as user-friendly and step-by-step. This resource is full of useful information based on grade level. The videos require a subscription, but I was able to access the rest of the content without a subscription.

Also, take a look at the sci-packs in the NSTA website if you haven't already. All are very full of information and include mini quizzes throughout, and a final assessment at the end of the e-book.

Brittany Wolford

Elementary Education Major, IUSB

Andrea Myers Andrea Myers 3675 Points


Ashley Scarito Ashley Scarito 1420 Points

This is like the crystal ball question that nobody knows the correct answer to, especially because it changes per student and classroom and home setting. Students should not be penalized for not having access to materials, in fact the teacher should not be planning lessons that require students to have anything more than the school provides. I just finished student teaching in a low-socioeconomic district (8th grade science) and the school district provided each student with a Chromebook and a notebook/pencil. We asked families ahead of time if they needed a hotspot and tracked students technology issues and would continue to provide hot spots as the school year continued. Although it may be difficult to build lessons that do not require students to have a printer or scissors, it is defintely do-able. There are many simulations such as PhET and Gizmos that enable students to do investigations hands-on instead of just watching videos of someone else doing it. I did however experience that many students were not completing their work and some reached out to my clincial educator and I to tell us that they are struggling without their guardians home to wake up for class. My clinical educator and I worked very hard to constantly remind students of what is due and send home weekly emails to the families and the students. We tracked student partcipaton and sent positive and negative emails biweekly. We even extended the due date of assaignments, curved assignments, and made assignments ungraded to support our students. By the end of the first-marking period, many students still were failing compared to the average grades if we were in-person. However, there were a handful who had A's and those were the students who were engaged in class daily so it showed in their grades. As the saying goes, 'you can only bring a horse to water, you cannot force it to drink'. Meaning, as long as the educator is going above and beyond to do everything in their power to support students, then when it comes to whether the students finally complete assignments or not and engage in class is the responsibility of the students. 

Ash Mahadevan Ash Mahadevan 640 Points

I agree, I was just browsing this forum to get some ideas on how to grade students other than HW. Like Ashley Scarito said, 'you can only bring the horse to water, you cannot force it to drink'. Its been so tough to get the majority of my high school students to complete work. Even after posting the answer key, all they had to do is get familiar with the vocab, etc by copying. Still no turning in work. It's so disappointing. What else can we do to assess understanding? Or instead of worksheets, edpuzzle, etc what can be given? I am using Nearpod as well. I am stumped !!

Francesca Guido Francesca Guido 465 Points

Hello! I completely agree - distance learning is incredibly hard to balance with students who may not have the same resources as their classmates. This disparity is frustrating to both teachers and students alike because it places students on a variety of different playing fields. As an elementary education major, I'm trying to make my lesson plans and assignments as accessible as possible without wholly relying on technology, but in the digital age, it is very difficult - especially given COVID. The learning center has been a great resource to help find content, projects, and different talking points. Wishing you well.

Noemi Garcia Noemi Garcia 245 Points

During the prior school year our students were not required to STARR test nor do any end of year tests. They were advanced to the next grade level whether they met their grade level goals or not. Presently, many of our students are not at grade level. But yet, the teachers are still teaching them the strategies they will need when they STARR test. This is my concern, how can a test be used to measure their college readiness, when they will have learning gaps from the prior year.

Bad_account Bad_account Bad_account 40 Points

Though distance learning has some difficulties, it has been popular during the pandemic situation! Online class, video conference are now the popular way in communication and classes all over the world. I like to have something good related to the blonde nue for learning more ways for the entertainment with the others. Buy without being preparation with some accessories like headphone, charger level, sound control issue and calm and quit room are the prerequisit fcators for having a good environment for distanve learning. Thanks for sharing this post.

Makaila Saylor Makaila Saylor 690 Points

Hello. In my field placement last semester, we were distancing learning for almost the entire year. Even once we returned to in-person learning, we still remained online every wednedsay. Distance learning proved to be difficult for many students in my class. In the mornings, we would have small group time. During those meeting times, we had around 50% attendance. Furthermore, we had below a 30% submission rate on Google Classroom assignments. Alot of my students were reading and preforming below grade level. A few positives did come out of the distance learning. We were able to use various online resources like Jam Board, Epic Books, Storyline Online and Edulastic. 

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