Digital devices supported learning during remote instruction, but there are growing concerns about the effect of technology on teenagers' health and development. A report from Common Sense Media identifies those concerns, offers some guidance and points to the need for additional research.
Teachers are taking steps to help students recognize "fake" news online but consumers of all ages can have trouble distinguishing between accurate and biased media. NewsGuard co-founder Steven Brill suggests teachers take steps to educate students on spotting informative news, such as reading a dot.org site, instead of dot.com site.
Many school districts are working to recover laptops and other devices that were provided to students for the spring semester so they can be inspected, repaired, sanitized and redistributed with clearer guidelines on liability. Spokane Public Schools in Washington discovered some of its laptops posted for sale online, and officials in Greenville County Schools in South Carolina say they are hoping to recoup losses through insurance claims.
The US Department of Education is leaning toward not granting waivers for state assessments in the upcoming school year, says Jim Blew, an assistant secretary at the department. The department granted testing waivers in the previous school year after many schools abruptly shifted to remote instruction because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Close to 130 organizations, including school districts, participate in Ready4K, an opt-in text-messaging program designed to engage parents in students' literacy development. San Francisco Unified School District in California piloted the text-messaging program and found that students performed better on reading exams when their families received the texts.
New guidance on reopening schools from the CDC emphasize the "critical" importance of in-person instruction. In announcing the guidelines, President Donald Trump said districts should prepare to reopen schools and those that do not fully reopen could risk federal funding.
K-12 schools will need more federal funding to reopen safely for students and staff, according to guidance from almost 200 education researchers released Wednesday. The researchers also suggest adding instructional time to make up for potential learning loss and blending in-person teaching with independent work.
About 17 million school-age children -- including one-third of students in Black, Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native households -- do not have at-home internet access, and 7.3 million lack access to a computer at home, according to an analysis from the Urban League, UnidosUS, the National Indian Education Association and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The groups are calling for $6.8 billion from the federal E-rate program to be directed to close the "homework gap."
Phoenix doesn't have a health department, so city employees -- including librarians -- have been helping staff coronavirus testing sites. A representative of Mayor Kate Gallego's office said city workers were setting up, cleaning, supervising at and otherwise helping run the testing centers but were not administering tests.
Ghanaian-British writer Sylvia Arthur founded the Libreria Ghana in Accra, Ghana, in 2017 to collect and showcase Black literature. The library was renamed and relaunched this year as the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora, and it has about 4,000 books from most African countries, as well as other regions of the world.