For Trade Students, Online Classes Can’t Replicate Hands-On

In this Friday, May 8, 2020 photo, Christa Schall is online doing a zoom course with classmates at her home for the cosmetology school, Casal Avedo Institute, in Austintown, Ohio. More than 8 million students in the U.S. are enrolled in technical colleges, seeking certification in skilled trades like welding, phlebotomy and cosmetology. But unlike students at traditional colleges, their learning can't easily translate into Zoom courses, they learn through hands-on demonstrations. Now, many are eager to get back into the classroom, and some are reeling because they won't get to graduate on time. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP) — The coronavirus is disrupting the education of millions of Americans enrolled career and technical programs in different ways than traditional college students because what they learn is largely hands-on. Students unable to practice finding a vein with a needle or mixing the perfect hair color have fallen behind while technical colleges scramble to transition to online learning. Some will have to put off graduation. Teachers and students in technical training classes have had to adapt to class closures rapidly and creatively. One high school nursing aide class in New York used frying pans as stand-ins for bedpans for students at home.

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