Extra Help with InsideSchools

Extra Help with InsideSchools

By InsideSchools
Every year, millions of readers come to InsideSchools to gain independent insight into the New York City public school system. In this podcast, members of the InsideSchools team offer their expertise and perspective in response to real questions from real readers.
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Episode 9: Admissions to NYC Specialized High Schools is Still Inequitable, So Say the Data

Extra Help with InsideSchools

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Episode 26: Survey Says: Some Parents and Teachers Getting Uneasy About Returning to School
There’s a report making its way around social media about a new survey. The survey asked over 500 K-12 teachers and 400 parents of K-12 students a series of questions about their experiences remote learning and their feelings about returning to school in the fall. 20% of teachers said they are unlikely to return to the classroom in September, concerning some that there’s a flood of resignations on the horizon. And 60% of parents said they would rather pursue at-home learning instead of sending their children back in the fall. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch explores what this survey does and doesn't mean for New York City schools.   -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
21:02
May 28, 2020
Episode 25: Balancing Students' Social Emotional and Academic Needs During a Pandemic
NYC officials are beginning to signal that remote learning could continue into the fall. That means parents, teachers, and administrators are going to have to work together to make remote learning more than just a stopgap measure. What does it mean to teach remotely and well? In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch interviewed Kaitlyn Zwicke, a math teacher at Queens High School for Information, Research, and Technology. They talked about the challenges of teaching remotely, and why students' social emotional needs are as important (if not more) than academics.   (NOTE: A special thanks to New Visions for Public Schools for collaborating with InsideSchools on this episode.) -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message 
16:22
May 21, 2020
Episode 24: Gov. Cuomo’s Post-Pandemic Education Committee Draws Swift Criticism, but Why?
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State was partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to "reimagine" the future of public education, critics were quick to raise alarm. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch responds to a question from listener Chrissy from the Bronx, who is worried about the billionaire's involvement.  Why are some stakeholders concerned that the Gates Foundation is involved in New York? What are some of the ways this might unfold? How do parents and teachers make sense of it all? That and more on this episode.  Links: Gov. Cuomo announcement // Diane Ravitch commentary // Gates Foundation annual letter -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
21:05
May 14, 2020
Episode 23: It is Time for a NYC Virtual School
NYC schools will almost certainly have some form of remote learning come September. Whether it is 100% online or some hybrid model with alternating day schedules is left to be seen. But if we know remote learning is here to stay, it is high time for the City to establish a NYC Virtual School. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch shares what a virtual school is, how it would work, and why it's more ready for launch than you might think.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
15:31
May 8, 2020
Episode 22: UNESCO’s Guidelines Can Help NYC Reopen Schools, Equitably and Well
The NYC school system is so big, it can be helpful to look for insights not just from what other cities or states are doing, but entire countries. That goes for learning in teaching in "normal" times--and it especially goes for what it means to reopen schools. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch explore a new document from the United Nations that offers guidance to countries on reopening schools safely and equitably. Tom offers two concrete suggestions for city officials, including the establishment of a citywide virtual school.  Links: UNESCO guidelines // UFT remote teaching pilot // iLearnNYC -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
20:28
May 5, 2020
Episode 21: $897 iPads Raises Eyebrows, But Not For the Reasons They Should
As New York City continues its foray into remote learning, questions persist about the city's digital learning strategy. The high price of iPads recently drew criticism. The committee that approves policy and budgets had to cancel their monthly meeting when their video conferencing service crashed. Officials are still distributing devices to students in need, over a month since their physical schools closed. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch explains why these kinds of things are important for families. In short: this is just the beginning of widespread digital learning in city schools, and officials need to engage families on instructional quality. Stat.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
10:51
April 30, 2020
Episode 20: Returning to School Will Be Way More Complicated Than You Think
Going back to school in the wake of Covid-19 will not be as simple as it sounds. That's the premise of a recent report by Opportunity Labs called "Return to Schools Roadmap." Fortunately, the report offers an abundance of tactics for schools and districts to act on--all with an eye toward public education AND public health. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch interviews one of the contributors to the report, former NYC Department of Education official Cricket Heinze. They talk about the report, including how parents and families will be affected in September based on the kinds of conversations districts and schools are having now.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
15:36
April 28, 2020
Episode 19: We Took Your Questions About Remote Learning via Facebook Live
It's been a month of remote learning in New York City, and the reviews are really mixed. With so many families continuing to struggle with making remote learning work, we thought we'd hold a Facebook Live session to answer real questions in real time. Here's the audio of the session. Or, to view on Facebook just go here.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
31:36
April 23, 2020
Episode 18: The City’s Asking Families What They Think of Remote Learning. Here’s Our Take On It.
The NYC Department of Education has launched a survey for students and families, one that asks them what they think of remote learning so far.  Surveys can be tricky things, so Tom Liam Lynch invited Senior Research Fellow at the Center for NYC Affairs, Nicole Mader, on the show to get her take. They discuss what the survey is, where to find it, and what good can ultimately come of it. Spoiler alert: They both agree it's important for families and children to complete.  (Looking for the survey? You can find it here.) -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
15:56
April 21, 2020
Episode 17: September Starts Now: What Might NYC Schools Look Like in the Fall?
It might seem premature, but we all need to start talking about September. Now. Why? Because there are possible scenarios in which public health officials might not want to see 1.1 million students headed back to overcrowded classrooms. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch offers parents and school officials what he suggests are key considerations for fall planning, preparation for which needs to start immediately. That includes planning for the scenario where not all students go back at once.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
16:39
April 16, 2020
Episode 16: The Saturday Letter Where the Mayor and Chancellor Commit to Families
Dated a few days ago, the NYC mayor and schools chancellor published a letter. It included their commitments to families to help improve the quality of learning citywide in the wake of Covid-19. Not all families got the letter (and if you didn't, click here), but what it offers is heartening--and herculean. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch shares the main points of the officials' letter and offers his insights on why their commitments are important, including what  makes them hard to realize.  NB: Tom also shares an update on the future of Extra Help. We are getting great feedback on the pod, and intend to continue bringing it to you each week. For details on what we have planned, listen toward the end of episode. ;)  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
18:00
April 14, 2020
Episode 15: We Must Do Online Learning Better. Enter iLearnNYC and WeTeachNYC
By now, many families are getting a sense of what online learning looks like in their child’s school. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch takes a moment to underscore something: Online learning could have looked VERY differently, even in response to a pandemic. Families and teachers need to know that the city has platform--right now--that can help immensely: iLearnNYC and WeTeachNYC. And if versions of online or hybrid learning are possible options for schools in September, we all need to better know what they are and what they can do.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
12:03
April 10, 2020
Episode 14: A New Hotline Where Students Help Students Cope with #CoronaVirusNYC
In previous episodes, we’ve focused on helping parents and teachers navigate the troubled educational waters of learning and teaching amidst Covid-19. But what about students? Fortunately, non-profit IntegrateNYC has created a hotline to help. It’s created by students, for students. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch talks with IntegrateNYC leadership: High School Executive Director Leanne Nunes and Adult Executive Director Zaps. They share details about the hotline, as well as what they think city officials are doing well and what they could do better to support young people in a time of crisis. Resources: Learn more about IntegrateNYC // The IntegrateNYC 5 R’s Framework for Real Integration // Hotline: 951-INTEGR8 or 951-468-3478 -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
16:15
April 9, 2020
Episode 13: How Much “Learning” is Really Happening “Online”?
There are two words in the term "online learning." But when you listen to the way we often talk about it, there's little being said about what "learning" is supposed to look like. How do we know our children are learning online--well? In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch explores that question by comparing learning online to learning in traditional classrooms. In the end, he offers ways that teachers can up their online teaching game AND ways for parents to better spot quality learning in action.  -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
14:56
April 8, 2020
Episode 12: State Exams Might Be Cancelled, But We Need To Assess More Than Ever
With state Regents exams being cancelled in wake of Covid-19, many New York City teaches and students breathed a sigh of relief. That's understandable. But the need for thoughtful assessments might be more important than ever. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch offers some perspective on why cancelling high-stakes exams was the right move by state officials, but also why it must be balanced with increased formative assessments by teachers. -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
11:07
April 7, 2020
Episode 11: This Video Solution Might Just Be What Schools and Families Need Right Now: Screencasts
Teachers' and families' heads are spinning. In 72 hours, NYC schools restricted use of the widely used Zoom video conferencing tool, required use of Microsoft Teams, and then added late Sunday (via Twitter) that Google Meet could also be used. Only, some school leaders had already messaged otherwise to teachers and staff.  And that was a weekend! There is little doubt that video has a meaningful place in digital learning. But what are schools and families to do? In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch shares some key moves schools can make to better support families amidst the chaos of a global pandemic, including doubling down on their use of another form of video: screencasts.  Resources: Screencastify // Screencast-o-matic -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter // SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS via 60 second voice message
16:55
April 6, 2020
Episode 10: Zoom is a Privacy Nightmare and Parents Need to Understand Why
Zoom is a video conferencing product that has seen exponential adoption as schools have switched to online learning during Covid-19. Students across NYC are using it with their teachers every day. But recent reports have raised alarm, saying Zoom disregards privacy and security protocols. In this episode, host and public school parent Tom Liam Lynch investigates further to see what all the fuss is about. Spoiler alert: In just a few minutes, he was able to attend his own child's online class--no access code, no credentials, no nothing. He shares more about why this is a problem, how we got here, and what parents and teachers can do.  Resources:  Zoom warnings published by The Guardian, NPR, and Washington Post // How to use private or incognito mode // Tom's recent op-ed on what NYC school officials need to do to improve online learning now -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
14:17
April 3, 2020
Episode 9: Admissions to NYC Specialized High Schools is Still Inequitable, So Say the Data
Specialized high schools in NYC is a hot topic. That was especially true when the de Blasio Administration made a move to radically overhaul their admission process several months ago. The process relies heavily on a single exam: the Specialized High School Admissions Test or SHSAT.  In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch talks with Senior Research Fellow at the Center for NYC Affairs, Nicole Mader, about what recent admissions data tells us about how equitable the SHSAT is.  Resources SHSAT Infographic Discussed in Episode Scrapping the SHSAT: Breaking Down Who Would Be Affected and How Diversity in New York’s Specialized Schools: A Deeper Data Dive -- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  // Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  // Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter // Sign up for our WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
12:45
April 2, 2020
Episode 8: Son: They Can’t Cancel Spring Break! Dad: Sure They Can.
When NYC schools announced that they were cancelling the upcoming Spring Break (except for two days), you can imagine the ripple the news sent throughout many households. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch shares with listeners how his family dealt with it, including trying to slow down to help his son appreciate the school officials' rationale. The morning meeting at the breakfast table ended with a request for waffles--and extra syrup. It was honored.  --- Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website  Our InsideSchools Facebook Page  Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter Sign up for our WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
11:10
April 1, 2020
Episode 7: What Should ELA Class Look Like Online, During a Pandemic?
After teaching ELA and ELA teachers for a decade and a half, Tom Liam Lynch has learned a few things about what matters most. In this episode, he shares "simple and high-leverage" strategies for parents and teachers. What matters when teaching reading across grade-levels? How does one read for school versus reading for life? What are ways to engage in writing when a young person really doesn't want to write? All this and more, please an invitation to send him your individual question over on Twitter @tomliamlynch It's a fast-paced episode, one well-worth a re-listen. Share it with an ELA teacher in your life. ;) Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
16:56
March 31, 2020
Episode 6: Let’s Ask a Seasoned Math Teacher How to Help Our Kids with Math, Shall We?
Math and ELA, Math and ELA. That's what many parents are talking and asking about on social media. How do I help my child with these subjects at home--when I'm not a math or ELA teacher?! We hear you. Let's take it one step at a time, starting with math.  And since we at InsideSchools are not math teachers either, we called up a Math for America Master Teacher: Mr. Chris Boyd. In this episode, we ask Chris what parents can be doing to support math instruction at home. His advice is deceptively simple, strategic, and wise. Check it out.  Resources from the episode: Khan Academy (Math) MathTrain.TV The Incredibles Math Jab :) Math for America Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
14:41
March 30, 2020
Episode 5: We Got a High School Offer--But Now What Do We Do?
When NYC does anything, it does it big. That goes for New Year's Eve, skyscrapers, and, well, high school offers. A staggering 78,000 8th graders received high school offers recently. While the process works well for some families, many families are left wondering what options are still on the table. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch talks with InsideSchools senior editor Laura Zingmond to break down what the offer letters mean, and how families should proceed from here--whether they like their offer or not.  Resources from the episode:  Here's the Contact DOE page on our site: https://insideschools.org/resources/contact-doe Our annual round-up of HS decision letters (which has links to important DOE web pages such as waitlists): https://insideschools.org/news-&-views/nyc-8th-graders-get-high-school-admissions-results Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
11:55
March 27, 2020
Episode 4: What to Do When You’re Frustrated with Your Child’s Teacher
As a parent, sometimes it's hard when you don't feel like your child is getting the support they need from a teacher. It can be really frustrating. As a former teacher, Tom Liam Lynch knows firsthand how hard it is to manage the needs of dozens of students (at least) and their families. Still, parents have options for advocating for their children's needs.  In this episode, Tom talks offers a series of steps that parents can take to get their children what they need. It's not about shouting the loudest. It's about thoroughly understanding what's going on, communicating in a measured way, and then systematically escalating your concerns, if needed.  Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
13:43
March 26, 2020
Episode 3: A NYC Mom Wants to Know What Learning Online Looks Like and Where to Find Resources
A mom from Manhattan wrote in with a slew of questions about what learning online and at home is supposed to look like. She wrote: What should homeschool look like? How many hours? How much progress? Can kids go outside? Which of all of the available online educational programming is actually good and recommended for kids at different ages? In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch answers each question one by one--and shares his go-to list of education resource providers in a pinch. Spoiler alert: They include... Khan Academy LearnZillion Newsela ABC Mouse PBS Learning BrainPop WeTeachNYC YouTube (like this science show for kids) NYPL | Brooklyn Public Library | Queens Public Library New Visions for Public Schools United Way  EdSurge Lisa Nielsen of the DOE Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
19:57
March 25, 2020
Episode 2: Wait, When Did Google Get a Classroom and What the Heck’s a Zoom?
NYC schools had their first day of online learning and  homeschooling. You couldn't help but see the names of two technologies pop up over and over: Zoom and Google Classroom. But for teachers and parents who are new to these products, what are they and how do you get the most out of them? In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch talks to us about his experience teaching online, leading a large-scale online learning initiative in city schools, and what to do if you are a teacher or parent trying to figure this all out.  Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us: InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
19:01
March 24, 2020
Episode 1: Help Me Help My Child Learn Online
SO MANY READERS asked us where they should even begin in helping their children learn online during COVID-19. We know it's a lot to take in. In this episode, Tom Liam Lynch shares his advice to get started based on his experiences as a father, an educator, and a former educational technology professor. This episode pairs well with Tom's post on InsideSchools here: https://insideschools.org/news-&-views/im-just-a-parent-trying-to-keep-it-together-right-now Please tell us what you think. We LOVE feedback. Here are a few of the main ways to reach us:  InsideSchools, our flagship website Our InsideSchools Facebook Page Tweet, tweet: Over on Twitter
12:11
March 23, 2020
Episode 0: Introducing Extra Help
In the wake of NYC schools shutting down in response to COVID-19, the team at InsideSchools sent out a survey asking how they could help. The response was overwhelming. There's so much information and insight to share. So they are expanding their communication channels to include audio. 
00:38
March 18, 2020