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Pandemic “Educational Pods” All the Rage for Ridgewood Parents

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to the NYTimes , “Economists, business leaders and labor experts have warned for years that a coming wave of automation and digital technology would upend the work force, destroying some jobs while altering how and where work is done for nearly everyone.

In the past four months, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed some of those predictions into reality. By May, half of Americans were working from home, tethered to their employers via laptops and Wi-Fi, up from 15 percent before the pandemic, according to a recent study.”

According to a recent National USA Today/Ipsos poll, 60 percent of parents surveyed said they will likely choose at-home learning this fall rather than send their children to school even if the schools reopen for in-person learning. Thirty percent of parents surveyed said they were “very likely” to keep their children home.

Many schools will enter this post-COVID world better set up to mix online with face-to-face instruction. They are exploring new tools for online instruction right now and more widely distributing computers and other digital devices for student use. Advocates of blended learning hope educators will capitalize on these efforts to expand these practices even after students are allowed back into classrooms.

Wth the COVID19 pandemic affecting lifestyle and work choices all over the  United States. a variety of educational alternatives exist at the elementary, secondary and tertiary level in four categories: school choice, independent schools and home-based education.

The debate over public education has raged for decades , and while new technologies have impacted our daily lives they seem to have little impact on public education . The Ridgewood schools budget was $83 million  for the 2011-2012 school year and has grown to over $115 million for the 2020-2021 school year .

COVID19 has clearly demonstrated a weakness in the schools ability to conduct remote learning which has been available to college students for over 20 years .  Fall plans for a hybrid style learning situation  has raise more health concerns and as many public health experts insist  COVD19 is here to stay putting your child’s education at significant risk.

The second issue that has surfaced is content . It seems very clear from current protests and social unrest are driven more by ignorance over enlightenment .

Desperate for a better solution, parents around the country have started organizing “pandemic pods,” or home schooling pods, for the fall, in which groups of three to 10 students learn together in homes under the tutelage of the children’s parents or a hired teacher.

In a traditional public school setting (or any large classroom-type setting), very often teachers or instructors will break up the larger group into smaller groups. But why? The answer is simple: it’s about collaboration, sharing ideas, teamwork, and, well, overall engagement. The question is rhetorical as the vast majority of traditional K–12 educated people are experienced with small group learning. And while we can see the benefits, in hindsight, it does beg the question: why isn’t a small group or “pod” learning more prevalent? Why has pod learning remained a tactic in a much larger prescribed curriculum and has not become a more formal educational format? The answer to that question is firmly rooted in our archaic and largely outdated educational instruction and institutional history. But that’s changing, quickly.

For better or worse, the existing COVID-19 climate has pushed the examination of pod learning to the forefront of educational discussion, with many seeing it as a means of the meeting (and exceeding) students’ needs while keeping them away from large group settings.

One thought on “Pandemic “Educational Pods” All the Rage for Ridgewood Parents

  1. There is a *free* app you can listen to which includes links to everything it references for more info and teaches young people how to learn without school.  It was made with adolescents in mind, but the concept apply to all ages.  Most importantly, it was written just before Covid and it all still applies.  Covid cannot stop an empowered self-directed learning from continuing their education.  Don’t believe me?  Go to And listen for yourself.

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