A few months ago, I spent two days in an alternative school classroom, substitute teaching a Spanish language class. I read the lesson plans, notes for the substitute that outline how the classroom learning system works in general, and what’s on the plate for the day. I had mixed feelings upon finding that this particular learning system was almost completely online—I wouldn’t be exercising the Spanish skills I’d recently accumulated. The good news: in some alternative classrooms, the hardest task is getting the students to concentrate and get engaged in the learning system material. A lot of these students have so much going on at home and in their private lives that it’s an effort for them to focus all their energy on someone talking in front of them for hours. But for students who strongly need a space to feel confident and self-sufficient, online learning systems are vital.
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