Recently, I was asked to ‘weigh in’ on ‘virtual’ learning as a replacement for ‘brick and mortar’ learning for an elementary age youth — you would think an opinion would be a no brainer. However, consider this scenario.
Yo are a kindergarten student who has graduated from a stimulating preschool filled with blocks and activities to now be shown (thanks to COVID) your next year long education experience: A computer screen. (see side New Yorker image). WHAAAT?
The Academy of American Pediatrics is clear that any more than 2 hours of ‘on screen’ time can be detrimental to kids, and encourage total ‘turn off’ to learning if they are forced more screen time. Experts suggest screen time for kids leads to obesity, moods swings, even speech delays. In the end, it would appear that if all you exercise is eye and hand movement, other areas of development will falter.
However, when you add COVID-19 to the mix with a school board that amends regulations in the face of changes in politics and strategy, you have an interesting conundrum — if the opinion is to return to school, how do you keep kids safe in a brick and mortar school to keep it as safe as a ‘virtual’ experience. The AAP provides guidelines as well as does the Association of School Superintendents in keeping kids within small groupings within ‘bubbles’ or ‘pods’ of learners.
Are you concerned as an attorney, a judge, a parent or professional in what the immediate (and long term) future holds in education? What other safeties need to be in place? I have my opinion, and I’m interested in hearing yours. Please contact me!