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Forums - General Discussion - Should schools reopen?

 

Should schools reopen?

Yes 9 13.04%
 
Yes but blended model 12 17.39%
 
No 48 69.57%
 
Total:69
Ka-pi96 said:
Hiku said:
No.
Teach from a distance over Zoom.

Teaching over zoom is shit though!

Older kids can be ok if they want to learn (or are being watched by their parents), but teaching younger kids via zoom just isn't good.

Even for the older ones I imagine it would be a pain in the ass for larger classes. The most I've taught via zoom is 10 kids at once so far and that was far from ideal. Zoom prioritises the person that was making noice most recently (until they stop making noise), drowning out everybody else. And with a lot of kids there's a LOT of background noise. It makes it hard to hear anybody or effectively teach.

So do you suggest a different app?

I don't know much about Zoom specifically, but noise shouldn't have to be an issue. You just have every student on mute, and then they make some sort of sign when they want to speak, and when the teacher ok's it, they unmute and speak.
Not sure if the teacher can control who is muted and who isn't in Zoom, but in worst case scenario they can mute themselves.



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Torillian said:
Ka-pi96 said:
Don't know much about the US, but here in Japan they've already re-opened.

And I've gotta say I'm glad they have. I'm a teacher too and teaching online only sucked big time! I'm glad that things are a bit more normal than they were before. There are still all kinds of extra regulations and what not, but I'm still glad to be back.

I know the rate of infection has massively increased here again since re-opening, but IIRC that's mostly linked to nightlife stuff so wasn't really caused be schools re-opening.

Not surprising to me that Japan has reopened things. I tried to compare the cases and deaths per capita in the two countries and Japan wasn't even on the same scale because the total is almost two orders of magnitude less in cases and deaths than in the US. If the US was in the same place Japan is I'd be pretty comfortable opening schools too. 

Yeah, it's definitely not the same situation.

Like I said, I don't know how it is in the US, but I don't know a single person here's that's even been affected by the virus itself. There are a lot of precautions and what not, but in terms of the virus itself it still feels like something that's only a problem far away.



Ka-pi96 said:
Torillian said:

Not surprising to me that Japan has reopened things. I tried to compare the cases and deaths per capita in the two countries and Japan wasn't even on the same scale because the total is almost two orders of magnitude less in cases and deaths than in the US. If the US was in the same place Japan is I'd be pretty comfortable opening schools too. 

Yeah, it's definitely not the same situation.

Like I said, I don't know how it is in the US, but I don't know a single person here's that's even been affected by the virus itself. There are a lot of precautions and what not, but in terms of the virus itself it still feels like something that's only a problem far away.

Yeah I don't know anyone personally that's been affected either but that's more a stats game even if 1.3% of our population has had it at this point I just don't know enough people for that to sink in. 

I understand what you mean about it feeling like something far away. I'm in a state that got hit early so thankfully we're not in the thick of it currently, but our schools are still taking it slow because there's nothing stopping the infection in other states from getting here. 

It's a tough scenario because we've built a society around the idea of public school as a means to let both parents go to work, and not every family has at least one parent that can work from home during these times. That's more an indictment of the policies in the US than the school teachers who would prefer not to die for their profession. 



...

Hiku said:
Ka-pi96 said:

Teaching over zoom is shit though!

Older kids can be ok if they want to learn (or are being watched by their parents), but teaching younger kids via zoom just isn't good.

Even for the older ones I imagine it would be a pain in the ass for larger classes. The most I've taught via zoom is 10 kids at once so far and that was far from ideal. Zoom prioritises the person that was making noice most recently (until they stop making noise), drowning out everybody else. And with a lot of kids there's a LOT of background noise. It makes it hard to hear anybody or effectively teach.

So do you suggest a different app?

I don't know much about Zoom specifically, but noise shouldn't have to be an issue. You just have every student on mute, and then they make some sort of sign when they want to speak, and when the teacher ok's it, they unmute and speak.
Not sure if the teacher can control who is muted and who isn't in Zoom, but in worst case scenario they can mute themselves.

Zoom is the only one I've used personally, I've heard that Skype is even worse though, so definitely don't know anything better.

The teacher can mute people, but can't unmute them. Can at best make a pop-up appear requesting they unmute. Plus making a sign to the teacher isn't really a useable method, especially when sharing pictures over the screen. The number of students you can see at one time can be pretty limited. One computer I've used can only show 3 kids at a time while sharing stuff.

Muting/un-muting yourself is probably an option for older kids. I've used such a system for business meetings before and that's fine. But younger kids simply don't get that they need to mute/unmute themselves and expecting their parents to constantly watch the screen so they can do it for them is unrealistic.



Torillian said:
Ka-pi96 said:

Yeah, it's definitely not the same situation.

Like I said, I don't know how it is in the US, but I don't know a single person here's that's even been affected by the virus itself. There are a lot of precautions and what not, but in terms of the virus itself it still feels like something that's only a problem far away.

Yeah I don't know anyone personally that's been affected either but that's more a stats game even if 1.3% of our population has had it at this point I just don't know enough people for that to sink in. 

I understand what you mean about it feeling like something far away. I'm in a state that got hit early so thankfully we're not in the thick of it currently, but our schools are still taking it slow because there's nothing stopping the infection in other states from getting here. 

It's a tough scenario because we've built a society around the idea of public school as a means to let both parents go to work, and not every family has at least one parent that can work from home during these times. That's more an indictment of the policies in the US than the school teachers who would prefer not to die for their profession. 

I know people that have had it (and even died from it), just none of them were here in Japan. I definitely know it's a thing, but I just haven't seen it with my own eyes (other than the precautions). Even went to hospital in an ambulance the other day (something unrelated to the virus) and it felt like I was the only patient there. Definitely doesn't seem like there's a major pandemic going on, despite everybody wearing masks and all shops having alcohol hand spray outside.

I get that some people don't want to go back to work. I have some colleagues that would rather not be working at the school again and even when we did close down I was one of the few (less than 10%) that decided to still come to work and teach online rather than stay home unpaid, so I know a lot of people are worried about it.

I guess policies are key here. If there's an option not to be forced to do something you don't want to do, or don't feel comfortable doing (both for students and teachers) then that's definitely best. While we're properly open again now, and most of our students do come to school again, we do still offer online lessons to those that don't feel comfortable coming back. Plus, when things shut down, it took about a month, but eventually there was a stay at home and get half pay option too. And when it comes to a choice between doing my job properly, staying home but still being able to pay bills etc. or doing my job in a way that's not ideal for either myself or my students then the latter option is definitely the worst option as far as I'm concerned.



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NightlyPoe said:


Heck, 2 1/2 months indoors and adults started burning down cities at the first excuse.  This is not healthy.

Yeah, that's an argument against re-opening schools.

I mean, if your education system produces people that are incapable of behaving like functioning adults then clearly your educational system is fucked up. That's not an argument to re-open it as is...



Yes. Simple as that.



My (locked) thread about how difficulty should be a decision for the developers, not the gamers.

https://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=241866&page=1

No, it's not safe for the adults working in those schools, let alone the parents and grandparents of those kids, then of course the wider community after that 



NightlyPoe said:
vivster said:

It sounds simplistic because it is simple. Priorities exist, for example dead kid worse than kid who had to repeat a grade.

Those are not equal options.  However, is a dead kid equal to 1,000,000 kids repeating a grade, becoming more addicted to screens, less socially capable, more stratified along racial and economic lines?  Is it equal to the increase in crime, suicide, and basic adult functionality that will come with it?

Heck, 2 1/2 months indoors and adults started burning down cities at the first excuse.  This is not healthy.

Congratulations, you just won the worst take award.



NightlyPoe said:
vivster said:

It sounds simplistic because it is simple. Priorities exist, for example dead kid worse than kid who had to repeat a grade.

Those are not equal options.  However, is a dead kid equal to 1,000,000 kids repeating a grade, becoming more addicted to screens, less socially capable, more stratified along racial and economic lines?  Is it equal to the increase in crime, suicide, and basic adult functionality that will come with it?

Heck, 2 1/2 months indoors and adults started burning down cities at the first excuse.  This is not healthy.

You're also forgetting that it's the teachers that are most at risk here.

Again, most teachers work in an environment where they are the single adult and the students are unlikely to pass along the virus.  The dangers can be mitigated for them as effectively as any other essential profession.

You seem to be focusing on the exceptionally young kids when defending your position.  Not every kid in school is under 10 years old and unlikely to pass the virus along....  heck, during the spring I had 4 students that were diagnosed with it and that was with the virus at much lower levels than it currently is... the fact is, schools opening will lead to increase spread...