Online learning was a godsend to low-income students before the pandemic


A transitional kindergarten student draws clouds when asked remotely by her teacher to describe the weather in Orange on April 28. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times)</span>
A transitional kindergarten student draws clouds when asked remotely by her teacher to describe the weather in Orange on April 28. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: John R. Murray’s article about his experience of teaching one class online at USC marks him as a luddite.

Having taught virtually at Los Angeles Trade Technical College for four years, I can attest that online education is a godsend for my students. Most community college students work full-time jobs, sometimes two of them, and often rely on public transportation. Being able to take a class without leaving home enhances their educational experience.

As with all human endeavors, online education has a learning curve for both teachers and students. There is an abundance of pedagogical tools available that don’t involve Zoom meetings.

Murray should explore them before he dismisses distance education.

Ralph Tropf, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I suppose that if anyone has the right to say that teachers, other school staff and students should accept the risk and return to their classrooms, it is members of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Since California is one of 20 states where COVID-19 cases continue to rise, and since our governor, when asked recently while visiting Leimert Park about plans for the second wave said that we’re still in the first wave of the pandemic, I for one am not willing to assume such a risk.

With neither a vaccine nor a plan in place to trace and locate where infections are occurring, abandoning our best defense of shelter-in-place would render the past three months a waste of time.

Joel Freedman, Los Angeles

The writer is an adjunct instructor at Los Angeles Southwest College and a retired high school teacher.



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