What is a Pod?

The term “pod” used to produce a link to a portable U-Haul moving apparatus on Google. Over the course of this summer it has come to reference a small learning group of students who have been removed from school, these days because of concerns surrounding Covid-19.

Who would want a Pod?

A pod would appeal to the parent that would like to maintain a bit of a social environment for their child, but in a more controlled situation, with less exposure to other children and adults. It also has the appeal of providing terrific student-teacher ratios, which, in my opinion, is the single most important number in education. Another benefit is that sharing a pod, instead of electing for full private tutoring, tends to reduce the cost significantly, particularly if you’re talking about a handful of students.

What are the shortcomings of a Pod?

There are some complications with forming pods, beginning with finding a small tribe of parents who have children of the same age. Another challenge is finding the right instructor, which can be very hit or miss. A poor instructor could result in a lost year, which is the last thing a parent wants in this crisis. Finding the right instructor and composition of pod-mates are two significant challenges.

What do Pods Cost?

The range of cost on Pods is quite extensive: ranging anywhere from $30 per hour to $67,500 per semester according to this useful CNBC article on pods. Generally you pay for what you get in education, but that is not always the case. It’s important to have good resources in place to help find an instructor if you’re attempting to launch a pod. Interviewing a number of instructors before selecting one can help find a quality situation, as well.