Facts and Figures
Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. In India, over 1.5 million schools closed down due to the pandemic. In the United States, about 55 million students from kindergarten to 12th grade have been forced to learn from home. Globally, 1.4 billion students are out of school or in child care. It is projected that the average student began the 2020-2021 school year with damage to their education. Students have a 30% decrease in reading and a 50% decrease in math. Moreover, as the recruiting is postponed by the multiple industries and sectors, it has hampered the placements of the graduates.
Benefits of online Learning
Students gain independence on how/when they complete their schoolwork. This leaves flexibility for extra rest, exercise, and snack breaks.
- Time to focus
Most extracurricular activities and sports have been canceled which leaves students with more time to focus on their education, and themselves.
- Increased sleep
Students no longer have to wake up early to get ready and commute to school. Teachers have reported a difference in some students’ performance due to sleep.
- Lowering workload
Teachers are becoming lenient with grading which decreases stress and anxiety among students.
Disadvantages of Online Learning
- Some students may experience anxiety when it comes to turning on their cameras and microphones, this leads to a lack of participation.
- Distractions can interfere with learning efficiently such as siblings, pets, household chores, etc., in comparison to classroom surroundings where every student shares a similar learning environment.
- Lack of a face-to-face relationship between students and teachers leads to students feeling disconnected and disengaged.
- Increase in absences (possibly caused by oversleeping and/or a lack of motivation)
- Technical difficulties such as poor Internet and broken devices can lead to some students being unable to attend online classes, or complete their work at all.
- Lack of resources (tutors, textbooks, databases) that are hard to access virtually makes completing work harder for students at home.
- Parents have to find child care or take time off of work to stay home and monitor their children.
- No socialization between students leads to isolation which could be damaging to their mental well-being.
- Students may not get as much out of their education and fall behind, affecting their academic performances.
Impact on low-income students
Students are lacking food and nutrition due to missing out on free breakfasts and lunches that would have been provided if they were in school. Homelessness is also caused as before the pandemic school use to provide homeless children with shelter for the day. Lack of technology and Internet access has made virtual learning nearly impossible for many. Lots of other health Challenges stemming from COVID-19 for those who lack health insurance makes education less of a priority for low-income students.
Impact on Teachers
Teachers were not properly trained on new technology: it is reported that 67.7% of teachers did not receive updated technology training in the past 12 months. There is framework for lesson planning and coursework because of lack of guidance from the school districts on how to effectively meet requirements through virtual learning. It is difficult for teachers to teach from home if they have their own children going to school remotely.
Resources for Students:
- American Psychological Association (APA): aids in mental health issues.
- Girls Who Code: free computer science lessons.
- NOVA: free videos about space and the universe.
- Scholastic: free resources for PreK-9th grade through Learn at Home program.
- Smithsonian: free library for science, social studies, and English for PreK-12th grade.
- VEX Robotics: web-based virtual robot with lessons.
- Student Minds: provides resources for students’ skill building, as well as support for you, your friends and you parents.
*Reach out to your local school district for further resources!