Learning pods pop up in Cola

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Pandemic pods (also called coronavirus bubbles, quarantine containers, and my personal favorite – quaranteams) have been popping up all over social media. Their popularity has grown as parents try to navigate + balance virtual and in-person learning.

If you haven’t heard of pandemic pods, they are a small network of people who limit their non-distanced social interactions to the members of their pod, or group. It’s kind of like a Myspace Top 8. Remember Myspace?

In terms of school during COVID-19, learning pods have become especially important for children who are acquiring a myriad of life long skills, including socialization, empathy, sharing, setting boundaries, problem solving, and more.

Learning pods have even become a way to help small business owners during COVID-19, while giving working parents a place to drop their children off during the workday. 

Here in Columbia, local businesses like Soda City Gymnastics + Diesel Laptops have implemented learning pods in their spaces. These learning pods are makeshift classrooms for parents who don’t want to send their kids back to school, but don’t want them learning virtually alone at home. 

Lauren Walker, owner of Soda City Gymnastics, has converted part of her space into a socially distant classroom for students + hired a tutor to assist the kids when they need some help with their virtual schoolwork. When it’s time for a break, the children have plenty of space for socially distant recess.

At Diesel Laptops, CEO Tyler Robertson created a learning pod on the premises for his + his employees’ kids, so parents don’t have to leave their kids at home all day.

Aside from the benefits of kids having a way to learn in a small socially distant group, having a tutor or a recently retired teacher in the room to help is not only a major help for the student, but also for the parents who are realizing very quickly that teaching is not for everyone.

Ron Swanson | Giphy

These pods are not limited to fulfilling the needs associated with learning. They have become a popular and effective way to meet our social, familial, and emotional needs, while also helping to limit both the size + spread of outbreaks.