I was recently sitting in a CLT (collaborative learning club) with a group of teachers who were planning the next week’s lesson plans. I was there to give support to a new teacher, make sure his voice was heard, and ask those very important coaching questions when the times arose. I listened as they planned their lessons for the week, asked about the rigor of the activities, assisted my new teacher when they had a question and was feeling good about my time spent with this team when one of them brought up homework.
Now, I must preface this next part with saying I am not a fan of homework since it is seldom effectively done, but I will save that for another day. My district has recently purchased a Pearson Write to Learn online tool for writing and editing instruction. So, you can imagine my surprise when it was to be assigned for homework.
My question to the team – “What about the students that do not have internet access at home?”
Answer – “They can hand write it.”
Me – “So, those students without internet will not be able to use Write to Learn?”
Me – “…How does that not punish students that do not have internet access at home?”
“Their parent can take them to Starbucks or something.”
Me – “Will that not punish the parents in having to take their child somewhere in order to have internet? What happens if they cannot complete the homework?”
“They will be given some time on Fridays to type, but if they can’t get it done…” she shrugs.
SO, I sat there confused as to how we went from purchasing a tool to assist our students with writing, to shrugging at them not completing work because they did not have internet or their parent was unable to take them to Starbucks. I asked if there might be some class time that could be set aside for Write to Learn where the teacher could also give instruction and feedback with 100% student participation. Since the teacher had to leave for a more pressing matter, I am still waiting on my response.
How do you battle the issue of internet access with students?