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Learning by Mail

Utilize post office to deliver engaging, flexible content which student can complete at their own pace and mail back.

Photo of Mark Smithivas
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Written by

I am a.....

  • Parent/Caregiver

Tell us about your idea

Equity issues during the pandemic have focused on getting computers and internet access to low-income students and families. While this is admirable, how about also using the U.S. Mail to send materials to those who are cut-off from technology. These lessons should be fun, engaging, and encourage student voice and creativity (i.e. not just worksheets). The student can complete at their own pace, then return the postage paid materials back for assessment and feedback. Prizes could also be sent through the mail to keep kids motivated.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Fixed schedules and arbitrary time blocks to teach rote learning.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

Parent of 2 kids in public school in Chicago.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?



Join the conversation:

Photo of Naman Mandhan

Hi Mark Smithivas ! Thank you so much for contributing your idea to this Challenge, and welcome! I appreciate your equity-centered approach towards reimagining education during these times.

I'm very curious to hear more. What might some of these activities look like? How might this idea evolve to build collaboration between students and maintain the social aspect of being in classrooms?

Photo of Mark Smithivas

Naman Mandhan One idea was to send a child one of those old-school disposable film cameras. The assignment would be to take pictures around a given them, for example, isolation. When the student is ready, they mail the camera back in a postage-paid envelope supplied with the shipment. The film gets processed and then a copy of the prints get mailed back to the student along with some feedback. Digital copies of the images could be posted in an online gallery for community viewing and feedback.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Mark. I love this idea. I wonder if there might be something to add onto it, maybe writing something, story, essay, poem etc. while waiting to get the pictures back. These days kids are so accustomed to seeing pictures instantly, on digital cameras/phones, I am curious how they might feel waiting to see their images. Maybe this might be a theme for a writing project - waiting...?

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