Online Math Education During a Crisis

Whether the crisis is an earthquake, fire, flood, or COVID-19, online education is a way for students to move forward with their education. This article describes who is a good fit for online math education and what you can do otherwise.

Online math education is not for everyone.  In my experience of working with hundreds of students, online math education tends to work well for students who get A’s and B’s and students who have ADD/ADHD.  Typically, students who get A’s and B’s have a system for learning and once they figure out the online system, they are good to go.  Students with ADD/ADHD will complete more assignments and lose fewer completed assignments (i.e., fewer “missing” assignments), but they may still need study skills support.

However, online math education may not work as well for students in grades 1-5 who have less practice staying focused, students who learn more slowly or overthink problems, student who struggle with change, students who use a strategy of random guessing over learning, students who find particular topics difficult, or students who are visual learners; such students may take longer to complete exercises and they make not retain the material as well compared to learning in a traditional setting. Additionally, online math education may not be accessible for families with lower incomes due to the lack of quality computers or Wi-Fi. Depending on the software, online education might not be accessible to those with visual or other impairments.

Do a summertime assessment to help gauge whether your child is likely to be successful with online learning. Give your child three 30-minute tasks (math, reading, and science) for the day.  Assess your child’s ability to complete each lesson in 30 minutes, submit it for scoring, know their score, and provide notes about what they learned and where they need to improve (study). If your child completes assignments on time, as instructed, then your child will likely be able to manage online learning. Otherwise, assess where the bottleneck is; not understanding instructions or content, and doing the work but just not submitting it for scoring are popular barriers.

Contact MNT for a free consult and guidance on creating a summertime assessment.

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