As wealthy parents turn to ‘pandemic pods,’ startups aim to make them equitable

 

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Affluent families were quick to explore pandemic pods as an alternative to solitary virtual school. Now, startups are looking for ways to make the model available to all.

In certain communities across America, learning pods, or pandemic pods, have become all the rage. Parents eager to offer their children socialization and some form of in-person instruction (and working parents simply eager to solve the problem of child care) are banding together to turn basements, garages, and living rooms into minischools for half a dozen families. Some families are hiring a teacher to supervise and lead activities, and some are relying on one another. Most plan to maintain enrollment in traditional school and use the pod as a supplement.

Almost as soon as learning pods emerged as a trend, concerns about equity followed. Not every family has the resources to hire a private teacher, and not every family lives in a community where homes have extra space for desks, bean bags, and art supplies. Indeed, in many cases, families are grappling with far more essential challenges, such as putting food on the table or finding stable shelter. In New York City alone, 114,000 children are homeless.

But for a growing number of entrepreneurs, that resource imbalance is a problem to be solved, not a reason to give up on learning pods entirely. They argue that with the right approach to design and funding, learning pods could become a solution that works for everyone.

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‘Schoolcations’ are the latest hotel trend to attract remote learners

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As the nation’s children head back to school, it’s clear that for many, the school year will be like none before.

 With many students learning remotely, some families are looking at ways to take advantage of what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to take their families out of their hometown and on vacation at a time of year when it would typically not be practical. It’s a silver lining in what many parents think will be a difficult year ahead.

Hotels in the U.S. and Mexico are offering distance-learning vacations with everything from dedicated “classroom” space to private tutors to tech support.

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New global data reveal education technology’s impact on learning

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The use of technology in education has become a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. As students return to the classroom, school systems must carefully consider the longer-term role of technology.

The promise of technology in the classroom is great: enabling personalized, mastery-based learning; saving teacher time; and equipping students with the digital skills they will need for 21st-century careers. Indeed, controlled pilot studies have shown meaningful improvements in student outcomes through personalized blended learning.1 During this time of school shutdowns and remote learning, education technology has become a lifeline for the continuation of learning.

As school systems begin to prepare for a return to the classroom, many are asking whether education technology should play a greater role in student learning beyond the immediate crisis and what that might look like. To help inform the answer to that question, this article analyzes one important data set: the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), published in December 2019 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Almost half of Universities may be gone in 5 to 10 years, professor admits

 

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Scott Galloway, lecturer in Marketing at New York University, speaking at the DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in Munich, Germany, 18 January 2016.

An NYU professor of business surmises that because of the effects of the coronavirus, anywhere from one-quarter to almost one-half of universities in the nation may go out of business in the next five to ten years. NYU professor Scott Galloway also admitted that foreign students paying full tuition are the “cash cow” for universities and “might decide not to show up.” He commented, “What department stores were to retail, tier-two higher tuition universities are about to become to education and that is they are soon going to become the walking dead.”

Speaking with Hari Sreenivasanon on PBS’ “Amanpour and Co.,” Galloway spoke of the impact of the coronavirus on colleges and universities, forcing them to hold their classes over the internet, and how that may catalyze flight from the universities and the universities’ subsequent downfall. Galloway stated, “Students I think across America along with their families listening in on these Zoom classes are all beginning to wonder what kind of value, or lack thereof, they’re getting for their tuition dollars … There’s generally a recognition or disappointment across America, and I would argue that it’s not that they’re disappointed in the Zoom classes, it’s more the recognition that Zoom has uncovered how disappointing college education is. I think there’s a lot of households saying, ‘This is what we’re paying for?’”

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