School opens next Tuesday here in the overly-large school district. As they were last spring, students and teachers will be working in virtual classrooms, at least for the first few weeks.1
Some are calling this “online learning 2.0”. Actually it’s more like online schooling 1.1. A bug-fix rather than a major upgrade.
Almost from the start of the chaotic, but necessary, shift to online schooling last spring, articles started appearing about the amount of learning that students were going to miss. Including several studies claiming to “estimate the size of the learning loss students have experienced under such conditions”, although they didn’t make clear where researchers obtained meaningful data to arrive at their conclusions.
As students head back to school, still mostly online, we have even more stories about students falling behind, including one British study predicting that “lost school time will hurt economy for 65 years”. Again with few details about how they obtained their “huge base of evidence”.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while reading these reports.