What To Expect From Education After the Coronavirus
Schools, educators, families, and students have had to make some significant adjustments to schooling because of the Coronavirus. Across the country, school administrators have found a wide variety of ways to continue offering services to families and students.
Some of these efforts include providing bagged lunches and, sometimes, breakfasts. Other schools have created barriers around desks to keep students at a distance from each other. One method that many schools have embraced is remote learning.
Students Learning at Home
What is remote learning? Sometimes referred to as distance learning, remote learning happens when students aren’t physically attending school. Instead, they’ll receive instructions and lessons through the mail or online.
Today, online learning is the most common route taken by school districts. Although most districts weren’t really prepared to transition their classes to an online format, education programmers and curriculum developers were ready. For example, many schools are already using online curriculum provider sites, such as i-Ready answers, for their mathematics programs.
A New Look for Schools
Many people wonder why schools were shut down because the virus seemed not to affect children. For many school districts, the concern was about the transmission of the virus through adults: teachers, administrators, aides, custodial staff, and the many other adults involved in running a brick-and-mortar school.
One of the benefits of shifting to an online format is that the transmission of illness is decreased. Other benefits may include student-created learning spaces, fewer distractions for students, and access to a broader range of tools and resources than the school may provide.
Virtual Learning in Many Districts
As the virus spread across the country, many schools were forced to close their doors, leaving parents and teachers wondering how to ensure that students kept up with national standards. Online classes and hybrid classes have become the new norm.
Some districts offer in-person learning, either inviting students to attend every other day or opening for students who feel comfortable and running Livestream classes for those who stay home. Some schools are offering a combination of these efforts.
Challenges Faced During This Transition
Naturally, many parents and educators are concerned about how these changes are affecting students’ performance and well-being. While families and schools are settling into the new routine, there are still some challenges.
Some of these challenges include encouraging young children to wear masks appropriately and others involve ensuring that all students have access to computers and a strong internet connection. While many students and families have the ability to reach out to a broad base of resources, other families may struggle to access the basic necessities.
Emerging Questions About Modern Education
While considering solutions to these new challenges, many parents, educators and related professionals are also looking at how this experience will change the future of education. For example, how much more will technology be used in the classroom than it was before? Will the roles of teachers and parents change?
Conversations about classrooms and the use of technology were common before the virus affected the world. This situation may be a catalyst that propels faster change in this area.
Possible Benefits of This Experience
Potential benefits of the educational changes currently underway may include classrooms that are globally connected and students who understand the interrelatedness of the world. The role of educators may shift from a single source of knowledge to a facilitator who steers students toward the resources and answers they need to develop their knowledge and skill base.
Although some classes are slowly including technology in the classroom as a means of presenting information, such as the use of i-Ready levels, future employees need to understand coding, programming, hardware maintenance, and more. Remote learning may provide a more in-depth understanding of the technological tools that students are using.
Although the coronavirus has disrupted life and learning in many ways, it’s possible that this situation could benefit students’ readiness for future employment. Before this happens, however, educators and families will need to address challenges and learn to adjust to education on a digital and global level.