Online Learning - The Education Experiment

Updated: Sep 23


Hello everyone, my name is Kris Metea, and welcome to today’s episode of What’s Cooking with Coach?! Today marks the start of season 2 of our podcast.


We have made improvements from our experimental season one and look to improve the listening experience. This season we will be bi-weekly and discuss a popular topic every few weeks. We will be bringing on guests to discuss the world of health, nutrition, education, and sports. Lastly, every episode will have an end segment answering any health-related questions from the week. We will be taking feedback and questions from people via social media and direct correspondence.

We look forward to the changes that will continue to help educate people on the world of health, wellness, and sports!

Back at the end of my season one podcasts, I discussed the dilemma across the country of schools returning safely during the middle of a pandemic. The polarizing arguments of COVID-19 made the education system a distinct topic. To refresh your memory, you can read the script or listen to the podcast Ready for School, or Not? on our site whatscookingwithcoach.com.


Over the last few weeks, schools from across the country have been getting back into session. Some schools have started full-in person, some hybrid, and some strictly remote or online. Arguments abound on whether each district made the right choice all depend on where in the country you live and the size of the school. Either way, school leaders and political leaders were never going to please everyone. Some leaders have stayed firm, some have been proven wrong, and some have pivoted their thoughts. The problem with this situation it is during a pandemic, the greatest scientific experiment in human history playing in front of everyone’s eyes.


Several schools have taken the hybrid model or full remote learning approach to this year. This has created an online learning platform that is used more than it ever has. The news, various social media posts, and word of mouth has described remote learning as next to disastrous. I do not think that is a fair representation. Remember, bad news and rumors travel faster than the good news, and for every piece of bad news, there are 10 positives that could be celebrated.


Today, we will look at the positives and negatives of online learning. After discussion with several colleagues and students, it is safe to say that opinions are everywhere, and despite some negative thoughts that you might find in your local social media posts around the country, there is a lot more good than bad. Nevertheless, we will examine both. Keep in mind, I mentioned earlier COVID-19 and society is the greatest science experiment in human history. The current learning model is going through the great Education experiment in American History.


I will start with the positives. I honestly feel that the positives far outweigh the negatives. This comes with a disclaimer. Although online remote/online learning can have some benefits to young students, majority of the positives and negatives come for older students, 13 and older. This is the age where most begin to develop a sense of personal responsibility. I believe that students 12 and under are better off in classroom setting and can eventually work towards remote learning later in their education career.

Here are the positives. I have broken them into 5 categories: Learning, Discipline, Financial, Transportation, Technology.

Learning


- School will get back to being focused on Education. Limited need for other supports within the learning period. See Distractions.

- Teachers and students are going through the material quicker. Potentially coverage and teaching of more material than before.

- Curriculum stays relevant and up to date. No need to use old or outdated physical materials (ex. Books)

- More productivity from students and teachers. Not bogged down with other duties or distractions (continue to read below).

- Reduces teacher duties and puts focus back on lesson planning and focus on students.

- Reduces the need for mandated testing and costs associated with it. This will limit state take-overs and community comparison.

- Equality in attendance. The mileage rule for buses is wiped out. All students are now equal to get to school on own time. No differences in effort now.

- Participation rate of students is higher.

- Student learning can be done at own pace.

- Online lessons can be recorded and become forever learning materials.

- Students and teachers can still possibly work while “sick”.

- It is more convenient.

- Increases learning comfort for all students. Potential decrease of stress.

- Reduces the spread of sickness and disease in schools during traditional sick season October-March.

- No need for pullouts of class anymore. Meetings can be set up at other times throughout the day. If pullouts happen, recorded lessons will not be missed and therefore does not reduce student learning opportunity.

- Grading process is more streamlined and done in real time.

- The online learning process provided opportunities for new experiences not otherwise done before.

- Students can learn time management better.

Discipline

- Classroom distractions reduced drastically. No object throwing, screaming out loud, students getting out of seats. Students who do not behave are muted. Responsibility back on student.

- Students may have reduced anxiety. Feel safer at home. School is not always a student’s safe place as once thought. Potential for more violence, bullying, harassment, and mental health issues.

- Decrease in tardy and absenteeism. No excuses for waking up late, missing bus, not having a ride, etc. This cuts the state’s ability to punish schools for attendance.

- Equality in attendance. The mileage rule for buses is wiped out. All students are now equal to get to school on own time. No differences in effort now.

- Decrease in potential administrator referrals such as physical violence, tardiness, absenteeism, verbal disrespect. Most potential conflict situations have been taken away.

- Removing a student from class is much easier. Student can be logged out and muted. There is no need for conflict or waiting for security. Limited behaviors because of all other positives decrease conflict.

- No travel in halls of school.

- More breaks are available for students. Can get up in room or at home without being reprimanded by teacher or being a distraction to other students.

- Communication between families, teachers, and students is now forced and much easier due to blanket technology.


Transportation

- Busing costs can potentially go down. Limited need to travel places.

- The savings in travel can fund more teachers or aides for student support and learning.

- Cuts down travel time to and from school. This can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour in time lost.

- Equality in attendance. The mileage rule for buses is wiped out. All students are now equal to get to school on own time. No differences in effort now.

- Now waiting for buses in the cold or walking to school in cold. Helps children with limited clothes and resources to stay safe. Also helps with sickness since the body becoming cold can decrease immune system quality.

- The decreased travel time increase teenager sleep by 1-1 ½ hours.

Financial

- Building and maintenance costs will decrease as buildings are not used as much.

- Need for as many classrooms goes down. Teachers can use offices instead. Makes future buildings smaller.

- Existing school buildings can be used to spread more high need students and younger students out and lower teacher-student ratio.

- New jobs focusing on student learning can be created.

- Does not affect the school lunch program. School lunch programs are federally funded. This can create a separate pickup area for a local community and not within the school. Pre-prepared meals for each day can be done ahead of time with packing technology. Less Responsibility on the school districts and now on municipal, state, federal officials

- Reduces the need for mandated testing and costs associated with it. This will limit state take-overs and community comparison.

- Snow days and other cancellation days are now obsolete with all students getting technology.

- Students and teachers can still possibly work while “sick”. Need for as many contracted sick days decreases.

Technology

- Online learning forces more people to become more technologically sound improving transferable skills for future career preparedness.

- Equality in technology accessibility. Closes the gap of all people’s technology skills.


Now let us shift to the negatives. They are broken into the same categories: Learning, Discipline, Financial, Transportation, and Technology.

Social & Learning

- No face-to-face socialization.

- There is no learning about how to handle oneself in “uncomfortable situations”

- It is not the type of learning we are used to.

- Group work and ability to collaborate decreases.

- Impacts school get together, sports, and events.

- No hands-on learning. Vocational and physically performing classes get affected.

- Some students may be worse off being at home.

Technology

- Technology glitches (freezes, shutdowns, connection issues)

- Some teachers and students are not good with technology.

Financial

- Initial costs to fund online learning are high.

- Some jobs with the school systems may become obsolete.

Discipline

- Potential for online harassment or other forms of mental health violence.

Transportation

- Travel to school for those above events becomes a logistical issue down the line.

Now, the positives and negatives are not representative of all educators, students, and stakeholders, and no matter what is decided this school year, or going forward, not everyone will be happy. As it was, not everyone was happy with the previous model either.

The American Education system has not really changed in 100 years, and the current school year is experimenting with a possible change. Will it be perfect, no! Will there be bumps, yes, but does it mean that the model should be scrapped? We live in an era where we want instant gratification. That is not practical. Anything worth pursuing takes time and the remote learning experiment is no different.

I encourage everyone to use the positives at motivation, and re-frame the negatives, not into soul-crushing, anger driven problems, but as a manner to improve and get better. Life is about solving problems and overcoming them. Every problem can result in an amazing solution.

Health Questions:

1) How do you motivate yourself to improve yourself in all aspects of wellness?


It all comes down to purpose and self-interested goals. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish, and most importantly why? This answer varies from person to person. The answers could be providing for a family or grand kids. It could be furthering financial goals. It could be becoming healthier and being happy with oneself. No more the reason, all aspects of wellness are interconnected, and making good choices for each comes down to personal choices and reasons. Define your purpose and your why? The rest will come to you quickly.

2) How do you start eating healthy if you have not done so in your whole life?


Breaking old habits are extremely hard. They are even tougher if these habits have been learned from parents or role models. The first step is understanding your own eating habits and figuring out what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat. A journal is a great start. Second, become more educated about food choices. Where does the food come from? What foods are processed? What are some tips to avoid certain foods? Health and nutrition is a lifelong process but asking those two questions is a great start.

3) What food is best after a workout?


Anything protein. Meats, some dairy, beans. After physical exercise, the body has torn muscles (in a good way, do not fret). You need to replenish your body with proteins to rebuild any tissues that were affected by workouts. For athletes, I suggest Chocolate milk, or nuts (if you are not allergic). Chocolate milk and nuts give you the protein you need plus fats/carbs for energy use. This will prevent your body from using ingested proteins as energy and used for its intended purpose.

4) What is the best diet to follow?


There is no right answer for this. Every person is different and has different nutritional needs. My suggestion is whole, more natural foods. Anything on the outside of the grocery stories. Eat proteins as a base, meats, and then supplement with vegetables. Add some dairy if needed. If carbs are necessary, potatoes, rice, beans are a great start. Ultimately it comes down to personal taste. Avoid processed food, watch snacking, and eat for sustenance, more than enjoyment.

5) Why is exercise important to our health?


I hear this all the time. Many people do not understand why people go to the gym or long walks/runs/hikes. Simple answer is our bodies are designed to move! We were designed to be strong. Exercise improves muscle movement, cardio strength, respiratory strength, flexibility, energy, and mental health. There are thousands more benefits than there are negatives for exercise. Move more than you sit, and I promise you will not be disappointed.

That is all for today, but we have had a great day! We discussed the positives and negatives of Remote learning for the public-school system and closed out with some health questions from the week.


I hope you enjoyed the podcast. Be sure to tune into the next episode in two weeks! If you wish to send feedback please do so by e-mail Kristopher.metea@gmail.com.


Please follow What’s Cooking with Coach on Twitter and Instagram @CookingWCoach, and like us on Facebook.


Thank you for joining me! Enjoy the rest of your day! See you next time, goodbye!

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