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C'est la Z

It's okay, I Get It

I was reading Mary Clair Wright's new blog the other day. It's always great to see another teacher sharing publicly online.

One line caught my eye in her latest post -

<blockquote> Remote instruction is weird, I can’t see them. I have to trust that they will message me with questions. </blockquote>

This is a real problem. It's hard enough in a regular class where we can pick up an all sorts of cues and use all sorts formal and informal assessments but when the students are on the other end of a teleconference or even more challenging an email or chat it's even harder.

It's also a reminder of how important those non verbal clues and student feedback can be.

It's great if we can create an environment where our students will ask for help if they don't know something but even under normal circumstances there's the danger of students thinking they get it. If a student is totally lost they'll usually know they're totally lost but after that, it's not so clear.

A student might think they get it if they can basically follow along with what's being presented. It's pretty easy to watch another student or a teacher go through explaining a solution step by step and think you really know what's going on. Similarly they can read through an example in a text or on a web site and think they understand. A little better is when they can do the first couple of problems in the book but those frequently mimic the samples and don't require any additional insight. Even in a traditional class a student can go week to week like this and really think they understand things and then they get hit over the head on a test or right before a big assignment is due.

This isn't the student's fault. It's hard to know what you don't know and truth be told, we don't really teach our students how to study and self assess. It's also really hard for teachers to assess this even in person. Now that we're all remote it's yet another huge red flag to look out for.

No solutions here today and no suggestions just yet another concern as we continue to work to do right by our kids.

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