In the twenty-plus years of my experience living in a college town, I can’t think of a more challenging
time for students and parents across the U.S. than what they are facing right now. I am in this with you. I
too am facing the fact that my Granddaughter will now have to learn from a distance, which is a new
experience for her. Across all of the country, we are heartbroken for the students, educators and
families who are dealing with an abrupt ending of in-person classes for the spring 2020 semester. The
feelings are varied whether it was your student’s freshman year, or their last semester before graduation.
While these decisions have had to be made quickly, it is necessary and leaves little time to really sink in
before starting classes Monday, exclusively online. So now we wash away the sweat (and hopefully
germs!) of the past couple of weeks and forge ahead with this new learning “environment.” I have read
countless emails, messages and comments from parents across our nation who are worried about this new
way of learning. Last week, we were approached by OneClass.com with an opportunity to help spread
their word: HELP. Help your student with online learning but not just help them, give to them.
Immediately, I did my own research on OneClass.com (though I instantly recognized their name). Here is
what I learned and what you need to know: Student learning is clearly their number one priority. One
thing that stood out in my research was:
“Multiple studies have shown that any interruption to learning has a lasting and negative
effect on student development and achievement.”
As a parent who is always “all in,” I know too well that many of you, reading this right now, are as well.
OneClass.com is “all in” too. Their mission to is minimize, to the greatest extent, the above quote. To
prove this, they committed last week to give away 100,000 hours of free tutoring sessions for students
across the country. You read that right. They want to help and they want to give.
If your student is looking for help with math or chemistry, come to JanineTheTutor.com and get the help you need. During the school closures and for the rest of the year, they’ll
be here to help each and every student.
With an increasing number of school closures happening around the country, there are many questions
left to be answered. Here are some potential questions with solutions to help transition our students onto
an online learning environment:
1) Okay, we’ve moved to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. What will this look like for my student?
The format of the online instruction may change from a traditional classroom setting. It may be in the
same class sizes as the in-person set up, or perhaps it will it be in smaller group study sessions. Most
instructors will still stick to their regular syllabus and figure out how they can deliver an online session
over webcam/screenshare. Zoom and Webex are good examples of platforms that can allow teachers to
quickly jump on. Technical issues may arise when connecting to the virtual classroom. Be patient, as
everyone is adjusting and above all, be prepared. Don’t log into the Zoom class for the first time 10
minutes prior to your first class online. Check it out (meaning log-in) a day in advance to ensure your
connections are smooth and you can understand the functionality within your virtual classroom.
Remember be patient.
With the ongoing coronavirus affecting more and more schools and students, it has forced institutions to
think about how to engage students effectively outside of the classroom. Most students spend an equal
amount or more time outside of the classroom on their schoolwork, whether it be self-learning through
Youtube videos, receiving tutoring help or doing their homework. The institutions have an obligation to
their students, and it’s been proven that any interruption to student learning has negative and lasting
You will even find a few students who are already excelling in the class, giving them the opportunity to
help their peers. Find these fellow students and use them to help you!
2) What tools does a household need for students to learn adequately from home? (Wifi, computer,phone, etc.)
Any teleconferencing software such as Zoom and Webex can be quickly adapted into an online classroom
as they already have built-in screensharing and drawing tools for teachers to share their slides and
presentations. Your student’s instructor will reach out with specific next steps and expectations. At a
minimum, it will be essential for students who are learning at home to have access to a stable internet
connection, a laptop or desktop computer, and a working microphone. The student should also have their
physical notebooks/textbooks and binders ready so that they can also be prepared to take notes during the
3) Common pitfalls of remote learning and how to avoid them?
It will be important for students and teachers to enter into an agreement that during their class time in the
virtual classroom, that students are not browsing the web for entertainment purposes and that they are
fully engaged with the session. Even so, many teachers and students will require some time to adjust and
get used to the new learning environment.
In order to ensure that students are not falling behind, teachers should be setting aside additional time to
check in on their students. If it’s a classroom of 25, the teacher may choose to do so by dividing them up
into smaller groups of 5, where they spend additional time outside of the regular class time to ensure that
everyone is keeping up.
While the quality of 1-to-1 online teaching is largely comparable and in certain ways, superior to in person
teaching, having to address a group of multiple students may be a challenge to teachers who have
never taught online. However, with the recent developments in public health and safety, teachers must
learn to adapt to the circumstances in order to minimize the effects on their students.
Do yourself a favor, as you help navigate these new-found waters with your online-learning student:
check out OneClass.com and see the resources presented for your student, especially snagging one of the
100,000 hours of free tutoring