Minnesota Parents, Educators Stress Need to Maintain Personal Connection with Students While Online Learning

Tawnya Heino held up her son, Michael Zakrajshek's, phone so he could have a Zoom call with his teacher at the end of their driveway in Chisholm, Minn. They have to connect multiple times a day.

Nearly 3 in 4 parents whose children had daily live conferencing rated their experience with distance learning as a 4 or a 5 on a 1-to-5 scale, according to the survey that ran in April which drew more than 500 responses. Overall, the survey results also revealed mixed feelings about the state’s move to remote learning — a shift that was extended through at least the remainder of the current school year.

Only one-quarter of parents, for example, reported that video conferencing was occurring on a daily basis.

In addition, while 60% of parents said they believed the amount of work was “about right,” and 60% said the work itself seemed “challenging enough,” just half thought that online learning was going well. Students in the lower elementary grades — kindergarten through second grade — who were thought to be thriving stood at 42%.

Consider, too: Only parents whose children shifted to online learning participated in the survey. Not every child has made the move.