The biggest distance-learning experiment in history

Justin Reich, CMS Assistant Professor and online learning researcher on best practices for remote learning

Justin Reich; image via MIT Open Learning

"Until you get to late middle or high school, there is no such thing as independent solo school via computer; most students just aren't developmentally capable of it."

— Justin Reich, Assistant Professor, MIT Comparative Media Studies

Research and Perspectives for the Pandemic
Main Page | Education

EXCERPT | MARCH 26, 2020

"Justin Reich is director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab which investigates the complex, technology-rich classrooms of the future and the systems we need to help educators thrive in those settings. In this commentary for NPR, he observes that "synchronous", or real-time, learning isn't necessarily the best approach to use, especially in the younger grades. 'Young people don't have the attention or the executive function skills to be able to sit and learn online for hours every day on their own.'

"He advocates instead a pattern sometimes known as 'hybrid,' 'blended learning' or a 'flipped classroom.' It's a combination of relatively short, live video check-in meetings and self-paced work, with teachers available to students over email, phone, text or any other method that is convenient to both. In fact, if you are working remotely right now as an adult, it might look pretty similar to that."

Full report at NPR's All Things Considered


Suggested links

Justin Reich

Word doc: Justin Reich's collected media commentaries

MIT Comparative Media Studies

MIT Teaching Systems Lab