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What Is a Learning Pod?

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-11-16      Origin: Site

As school systems across the United States turn to distance learning in the spring of 2020, many students, parents and teachers are struggling with the experience. Schools offer all types of online learning, but even in the best of circumstances, students are missing out on important learning experiences and social opportunities. Parents continued to struggle with childcare and work throughout the summer.


office pod

In many states, with a surge in coronavirus cases, many parents expressed concern as many school districts returned to virtual classrooms in the fall due to concerns about students returning to the classroom, including the second largest in the United States, the Los Angeles Unified School District. The chaos repeated in the spring - turning to the concept of "learning pods" as an alternative way to help teach children and maintain some sort of social connection.


But what are learning pods and how can your child benefit from them? There are many organisations on Facebook, such as Pandemic Pods, which started in San Francisco and has nearly 30,000 members, and the Cobb County Small Learning Group in Georgia, which has 4,300 members. For families who can afford to establish or join a learning platform, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their children's academic success and life skills may be reduced. But those families who cannot afford to do so will only see the education gap widen further.

The idea of learning pods and miniature schools did not emerge in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, although the idea has been welcomed for its popularity. Maureen O'Shaughnessy, Editor She published her book Creating Micro Schools for Mismatched and Colourful Children in 2019. She is also the founder of the Microschool Alliance, which believes that microschools and learning pods should be unique and "reflect the values of the communities they serve." The Alliance does not act as a specific model, but rather as an example of how to feature small classrooms for multi-age students; and innovative teaching models with personalised learning and holistic curriculum.


Parents who started learning about pods during the pandemic are copying the concept, which means there are many different pod learning models across the country. Some parents are even reluctant to hire private teachers or tutors and are forgoing the online courses offered by their children's schools.

Learning pods and micro-schools offer families a valuable option that they can afford financially, with parental effort and involvement. However, there is concern that this model "will benefit economically advantaged families and worsen the situation for wealthy families, further widening the socio-economic divide in the United States," writes Rebekah Bastian for Forbes. The funding situation for schools could also worsen, especially if more students drop out of public schools in order to opt for private teachers' home school versions of learning pods, according to the New York Times.


Wolfson said the necessary shift to online learning exposes a pattern of inequality in education that existed and was developing before the pandemic.


office pod

"Just as in the pre-COVID period, resource-poor schools had to do their best to support our nation's most vulnerable students during COVID," she explains. "In addition to increased food, housing and healthcare insecurity during this period, the insecurity of learning without classes further widens the gap between available resources (i.e. communities built by trusted adults in the role of teachers) and school-age children's Need.


"This is where policy and decision makers should put their energy and effort: how to create equitable, just learning and support in a time of online education and epidemic education."

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