Even before he launched his distance learning classroom last week, middle school band director Blake Bogan knew he faced some unique challenges. “Most of my job is listening to students and helping them mix and blend their sound with their peers,” says Bogan, who teaches at Raceland Middle School in Raceland, La.
It’s a rural town of roughly 10,000 about an hour’s drive southwest of New Orleans.
Since perfecting the mix and blend of a full band isn’t possible online, Bogan, now in his ninth year of teaching, plans to focus more on music theory, reading notes on the staff, and rhythm exercises the group can do together in Google Classroom.
But there’s one problem Bogan can’t solve on his own: the “homework gap,” or the inability to do schoolwork at home due to the lack of internet access. Any chance schools have of closing that gap lies with Congress: Lawmakers must allocate the desperately needed funding and choose the most efficient mechanism to distribute it.