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Coronavirus Is Shutting Schools. Is America Ready for Virtual Learning?

More than 10,000 K-12 schools in the United States have shuttered or announced closings because of worries about spreading the coronavirus, affecting some 5 million students. Entire states, including Ohio and Maryland, and some of the nation’s big cities, including San Francisco and Houston, announced closings on Thursday.

Though health experts disagree to what extent school closures will help, some parents are signing petitions demanding that more schools close and shift to online learning to protect families from the risk of infection.

Educators experienced with remote learning warn that closures are a serious threat to children’s academic progress, safety and social lives. They say that running a classroom digitally is much harder than bringing an adult workplace online, and that it can disproportionately affect low-income students and those with special needs.

Here are some of the warnings and tips that teachers well-versed in remote learning have for schools planning to move online.

Not every home has computers or high-speed internet. Younger children require lots of adult supervision.

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