SubscribeStar Saturday: Reflections on Distance Learning: First Month Review

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Well, The Virus saw its shadow, so it’s four more weeks of distance learning, at least here in South Carolina.  It was Sunday, 15 March 2020 when South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster closed all schools throughout the State effective the next day, Monday, 16 March 2020.  That day I wrote about “Transitioning to Distance Learning,” which was an unprecedented move.

I’m fortunate in that I’ve been adjunct teaching online since 2015, and am comfortable maneuvering a “VLE”—a “virtual learning environment,” as the cool kids call it.  My school has been delivering assignments and other content via Google Classroom for years, too, so the infrastructure was already in place.

Now we’re five weeks (four if you deduct a week-and-change of Spring Break) into this unplanned, partially ad-libbed experiment in distance learning, which was initially only supposed to last two weeks.  With another four weeks to go (although two of those weeks are, essentially, exam-oriented, so actual instructional time is closer to two weeks remaining), we’re halfway through this process.

It’s the perfect moment to evaluate how digital learning is going.  Looking back at my first day and first week reflections, it’s interesting to see what is still true, and what has changed.  A colleague of mine remarked yesterday that it’s like learning to fly a plane while it’s already in the air; naturally, some tweaks and adjustments have occurred along the way.

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