What’s Going On As School-age Children Are Staying at Home?

Lynn ZimmermannBy Lynn Zimmerman
Associate Editor
Editor, Teacher Education

As an educator who is not currently involved in classroom teaching, I have been curious about what’s going on as school-age children are staying at home. On March 21, 2020, Frank Stasio, host of The State of Things, presented a program called “Pandemic Parenting: Tips, Tricks and Advice from the Experts.” The State of Things, produced by WUNC, focuses on what’s happening in North Carolina, but many topics, like this one, are of general interest.

Frank Stasio, host of The State of Things.

Duke University psychologist and professor, Robin Gurwitch, and eighth-grade English teacher, Amy Scott, were Stasio’s guests on the show. He and the guests talked with parents and caregivers about everything from how to talk to your child about coronavirus to realistic expectations of a stay-at-home-education routine for all children, including those with special needs and (gasp) teenagers.

I’d like to hear from K-12 teachers and parents of K-12 students. What is working for you? What lessons have you learned? What do you wish you had?

Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall Free for a Month

By Satoru Shinagawa

Berliner Philharmoniker is giving access to their Digital Concert Hall free for a month. I’ve just redeemed a voucher. I can listen to one of the best orchestras at home.

Overview of Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall

Click on the link below to redeem a voucher.


Continue reading

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: March 29

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

Are we about to enter a new world, and how brave will it be? -HK

Mar 29, 2020 at 9:30 AM: I absolutely must give a huge shout-out to the doctors, nurses, and health care workers risking their lives under sometimes impossible situations to save lives. All of the support personnel in our hospitals, from janitors to pharmacists, also deserve our thanks for entering buildings under these conditions that threaten their lives and those that they live with. It is beyond unfortunate that we did not respond more rapidly to the wake-up call from China.

Yesterday was a great day for me because I had visits from both of my children and a walk with my wife.

It began with my son calling to say he was dropping by. He said that his 14-day quarantine was over. He arrived with his wife and an Indian lunch for us all to share. We still did not approach each other too closely. It seems that you cannot take too much care these days.  Continue reading

How to Share AAPPL Material with Your Students

By Satoru Shinagawa

I introduced ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language) AAPPL as an asynchronous oral online testing tool a few days ago. (See “Free Asynchronous Oral Testing Service from ACTFL: A COVID-19 Response,” ETCJ, 3/22/20.)

Some people asked me to make a tutorial video of how to share AAPPL material they made with their students.

Click image to watch the video.

This is the video I made. The video length is about 3:40.


Basically, this is the procedure:

1) Students make their own accounts (free) with AAPPL.
2) Instructors send a class code to students.
3) Students log in to AAPLE and use the class code to access the shared material.

My Life in LA County During COVID-19: March 27

Harry Keller 80By Harry Keller
Former ETCJ Science Editor
& President of SmartScience

My daughter also informs me that her son’s elementary school principal has the virus now. -HK

Mar 27, 2020 at 2:01 PM: My wife and I continue in good health. We are now being more careful in what we do. We have found a local restaurant that is offering home delivery of boxes of fruits and vegetables in place of meals. My daughter has had one delivery and says it looks good. We may give them a try soon. She also found a restaurant that should meet our needs when we choose not to cook. I should say when I choose not to cook because I do all of the cooking.

Our beaches, bike paths, piers, and bathrooms have been shut down now. -HK

When you receive a box, it could be contaminated with the virus. It’s not likely, but it can happen because not every infected person has symptoms. You should put the box in the sunlight if possible. Ultraviolet light is very good at destroying viruses. Open it outdoors if you can. Some apartment dwellers do not have that option. Do not bring the empty box indoors. Recycle it outside.  Continue reading

My First Week Teaching Online During the COVID-19 Shutdown

By Guy Kellogg

For what it’s worth, here is a description of the past week, during which nearly all in-person courses were moved online in response to COVID-19. I wrote it to Sam, the volunteer campus gardener.

In your email, Sam, you asked: “How do you conduct your online instruction?”

I would rephrase the question and ask, “How do you conduct your instruction online?”

It’s a big challenge, but I have good students. I’ve taught online before, but since none of my current students signed up for an online class, I took spring break to up my skills, thanks to the indefatigable support of professional staff and volunteer peers, and I now offer a distance education class.

The best [Zoom] view to start with is like the old Hollywood Squares TV quiz show, but with 5×4 (20) students. -GK

Here’s how it works: We use a videoconferencing app (Zoom) to all meet. The best view to start with is like the old Hollywood Squares TV quiz show, but with 5×4 (20) students. We are all in our little boxes or windows, and we can all “see” each other and talk to each other that way. The students are now on two continents, but we all meet twice a week, and I have two classes like that.  Continue reading

Fillable PDF Alternative to Paper Tests and Assignments

By Satoru Shinagawa

Some of you might be wondering if there’s a way that students don’t have to print and scan to submit their tests and assignments. In other words, is it possible to do everything electronically?

The following method might work:

  1. Instructors make a PDF form.
  2. Instructors convert it to a fillable PDF form.
  3. Instructors send it to student
  4. Students work on the fillable PDF form on their computers
  5. Students return the fillable PDF they worked on.

You don’t need to use a printer to work on the test or assignment nor a scanner to send back the assignment. Everything is electronically done.  Continue reading