What Parents Should Know About Distance Learning

Christine Betaneli

Bridgid Finn

More than 50 million students in the United States have been effectively sent home as a result of COVID-19. Understandably, the situation has raised a lot of questions about remote learning and what parents can or should be doing to help their children stay on track.

This is also true for many of the parents on our own team. That’s why ETS’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications, Christine Betaneli, joined a video meeting with Bridgid Finn, Senior Research Scientist in Research and Development, to talk about the potential impact of this prolonged episode of remote education based on what we know about how children learn.

View the clips below for Bridgid’s candid perspective on pressing questions for parents, based on her experiences both as a cognitive scientist and as a mother with school-aged children in the home.

  1. What kind of feedback do students get in the classroom that they may not be getting from me as a parent in the home?

Teachers are skilled at helping children to understanding that mistakes are steps toward learning. It is important for parents to reinforce that messaging as well.

  1. Can you explain the difference between passive and active learning?

If there’s not some aspect of the learning that requires some sort of active engagement or processing of the material, it’s less likely to be remembered.

  1. Considering the issue of equity, what’s your take on the different experiences parents and students are going to have in this environment?

COVID-19 has laid bare big gaps in equity based on a number of factors and we have to acknowledge the added stress and burden that many students have had to face.

  1. Is there anything I can do as a parent right now that would be more helpful to my children’s teachers?

This experience has given me a better, more detailed view of what my children’s learning looks like in real time and should lead to better communication with my children and with their teachers about areas that need strengthening and support.