They are going through history, live!

Sifting through the mass of phrases, essays, long thoughtful (and not very thoughtful) pieces, one finds some sentences that clarify the picture. A sip of clear water in the middle of so much mud.

One such sentence was a comment by Bernardo Recamán to a facebook post of an NPR piece titled “4 In 10 U.S. Teens Say They Haven’t Done Online Learning Since Schools Closed”. Going beyond the details, the massive reasons (technological, cultural, sociological, psychological, economic) why in the United States (where online education has been seriously pushed and where one would think resources are not a problem) almost half the students are not following their online classes, Bernardo’s reply was perfect:

They are going through history, live!

Yes, absolutely. And we as faculty need to remember that and (hopefully) make some good use of this. Students worldwide are going through history, live, to a degree we older people only vaguely fathom.

3 thoughts on “They are going through history, live!

  1. I think you mean just living, especially now, is itself an education. I hope it is. As for resources, looking also from the outside, I think the problem in the US (as elsewhere) is that they are not well distributed. You know this, although you say “one would think” resources would not be a problem; I wouldn’t think that! Maybe students will have only a mobile (if that!) on which to join online classes in principle, but can’t go anywhere to get the free WiFi that they normally depend on. I saw many warnings on Twitter that this would be the case.

  2. I also hope it is. I meant that – not just for young students – but especially in their case. The free WiFi is indeed extremely unequally distributed. That seems to be a crucial issue to push these days: helping guarantee enough free WiFi for online classes. How is the online teaching situation in your case?

  3. Sorry, got distracted from answering. University administration effectively asks to find our own way, then report each week on what we have done. Some colleagues are, but I myself am not attempting long-distance “synchronous” teaching. In analytic geometry I have written up a project (in html on my blog and pdf files for A5 paper) summarized in some bilingual tweets (students are supposed to start with their *own* initial values). I’ve had about 50% participation so far, though most of it has just gone through the algebraic motions, with errors (easy to make if you don’t check by drawing graphs; I’ve sent the students back to the drawing board on this). I had pleasure in working these things out, and hoped some students at least might learn to have the same pleasure! How is your situation?

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