Monday, September 14, 2020

The Social Consequences of Online Learning

"The district isn't sure exactly what the issue is. A district spokesperson said they are trying to figure out if the low attendance during the "Strong Start" days has to do with connectivity issues or if there are other problems."  from "Half of Seattle students haven't logged into remote learning system this fall"

Imagine that schools in the wealthy and tech savy city of Seattle, WA are having such troubles with online learning and student participation. Most probably, Seattle schools are doing better than many others. The low participation numbers are just probably an example of Seattle school district's ability to monitor its students. Most probably, students across the nation are simply logging off and finding something else to do with their day than online learning. Few epidemiologists I read seem to have the ability to calculate the damage lack of school attendance may create in American society.  ( One of the few who seems to understand is Anders Tegnell, the Swedish chief epidemiologist .). But I will weigh in from my east Oakland youth:  If your local school district doesn't keep track of your children, the narcotics trafficking industry will.  Let us all pray and hope that online learning doesn't lead to exacerbated wealth gaps, increased drug and arms trafficking and extended social chaos.

I am sure the Seattle schools are working hard to solve technical problems and that local press around this issue is simply another example of how King County and Seattle residents care about their community. I would bet most remote school districts nationwide not only don't track those that drop out but don't have a method to do so. That may sound harsh to you. Go ahead and ask your local SD what their attendance and drop out numbers are and how they determine that information. More links below the break.

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