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Row-by-Column, Plexiglass & Zoom, Oh My! A K-12 COVID-19 Storm / A Pilot

Lennie Scott-Webber
Journal of Education and Learning , Volume 10; doi:10.5539/jel.v10n2p9

Abstract: We are 21 years into the 21st century, and educational practices across North America were woefully unprepared to ‘flip the switch’ to online learning; at times no education occurred at all, not online or onsite. The COVID-19 pandemic disruptor storm peeled off the layers of blindfolds time accrued in an instant. Issues included three areas. Area one—unpreparedness: digital illiteracy relative to online learning and corresponding teaching models, equity issues pertaining to internet access and computer access, platforms that varied and were unreliable. Area two—inconsistent: (if any) guidelines on how to teach onsite, or those from a disease control group dictating a six-foot distancing, masks, plexiglass, and row-by-column with eyes facing forward (back to a 19th century teaching didactic model), and smaller class sizes. Area three-time/space continuum: the combining of online and onsite, teaching loads, and maintenance. This ‘alpha’ research study tried to capture a historic moment in time. A Human-centered Research Design (HcRD) protocol with three techniques to mitigate bias was used: (1) online survey, (2) focused interviews, and (3) crowd-sourced photographic content across two countries—USA and Canada as a convenience sample. The findings will reveal a ‘just-in-time’ snap shot of the tactics used pre- and current-, as well as ideas for post-pandemic—this research’s differentiator. The storm of COVID-19 played unprecedented havoc on schools across North America, but there are important learnings and these, along with some insights will be shared.
Keywords: survey / models / teaching / pandemic / STORM / online / Differentiator / North / onsite / COVID

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