April 8: Encouraging story of online learning success during the pandemic, plus another letter from Niagara to the editor

Students learn differently

Re: An Incredible Experience, April 2

As a former educator, I find it encouraging to hear about the success of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic for children and parents. The fact that students aged 6, 14 and 16 in various ways overcame a learning disability, a challenge with the abstract concept of time and a struggle with reading when switching to a virtual platform is testimony with the power of the online model.

Although the intention of the article is not to discuss the benefits of online learning over in-person learning, it is important to note that if not implemented effectively, significant learning loss for struggling students may occur in the virtual classroom.

While it’s complicated to understand why some students succeed and others don’t, what we know from research is that effective learning doesn’t happen one way. Students of all ages tend to learn best when they are actively engaged with their senses of touch, hearing, speaking, reading, moving and observing.

As noted in this article, watching it, reading it, and re-reading it can work for this particular learner. But each individual learns differently.

Every good teacher knows the importance of blending teaching strategies to meet the diverse learning abilities of all their students. Hands-on experiences building things, experimenting with materials and equipment, and playing with others are equally important.

Research shows that a mix of online learning and face-to-face classroom experiences is the best way to meet every student’s learning needs, especially in today’s schools with the large diversity of cultures and backgrounds of our student populations.

Pope’s ‘scripted’ apology lacked sincerity

Re: ‘It’s not the end of the road’: Here’s what Indigenous delegates say needs to be done in the wake of the Pope’s April 1 apology

I warmly congratulate you on your report on the frank reactions of the Canadian Aboriginal delegation to hear the Pope’s “apologies”.

Most, perhaps all, expressed reservations about the apology and the Pope’s and the Vatican’s real understanding of the horrors of residential schools.

Certainly, any apology was a step forward.

However, the Pope and the Vatican have literally strayed from their basic responsibility as the “head” of the organization who is responsible for the training, guidance and supervision of its priests, nuns and laity.

It is very, very clear from the very wording of the Pope’s apology that it was deliberately and deliberately scripted and that the Pope said the words and was not genuine in the sincerity of the Vatican or his own.

Letters welcome

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