There’s no doubt that the pandemic has disrupted the lives of every person in the world -especially in the sector of education. Schools have no choice but to conduct their classes online since we cannot afford to lose even the children’s rights to learn.
A lot of effort is needed to make up for the loss of students’ academic needs. And they have, with educational technology. Advancements have opened opportunities for growth even though school stayed remote. It pushed teachers, school officials, and students to adjust to what they were given which helped blended learning to move forward.
There was a boost of demand for technological devices ever since the shift happened and a good example would be Xorcom IP Phones and Dell products, shipping 50.3 million PCs last 2020 across the globe compared to its 46.5 million in 2019. Dell has ranked second among PC sellers in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2021.
People don’t want their children back to school
Many students have returned to schools last fall with the traditional in-person learning. And some parents and children themselves have a hard time following the new rules.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools was one of the first to reopen its doors due to a declining result of virtual learning. Officials had to persuade almost 10,000 students to return but 350,000-plus students were still unfazed and decided to go on to attend classes virtually.
Alternative approaches to learning
Multiple states are dealing with different kinds of approaches to upcoming school years. A few states like Florida and Texas have ordered schools open, establishing supplemental interventions for children left behind in terms of studies during pandemic while the majority of states still have not decided or have no order in effect with school reopening.
Schools are still keen to keep virtual learning as an option next school year but with modifications. Some schools have imposed rules: there should be a minimum number of passing grades and a consistent school attendance for those who wish to have a remote learning option.
Some teachers and school staff prefer to go back. They have been indifferent to the digital solutions and were not a fan of the pandemic set-up due to the learning loss of children and other students. Given the limitations, some teachers did not find the shift easy with tech. There were a lot of communication and connection barriers as well. It was a big jump and it altered how teachers instructed students.
Gone were the face-to-face interactions and were later on replaced by social media and video conferencing services like Zoom and Google Meet.
The delta variant
The delta variant has disrupted businesses, institutions, and companies to reopen soon. But fighting it is quite similar to its older variants: with the help of vaccines. Fortunately, vaccination rates have increased but a lot of areas still need to keep up. In Missouri, only 41% of its population are fully vaccinated and 37% in Arkansas.
School staff, teachers, and parents believe that everyone should get vaccinated because a highly vaccinated community will truly help in fighting the new variant. The problem though is that it may not be available until mid-winter for children under 12 years old.
Masks for protection
Wearing masks can be a good alternative for the kids and it is proven to still work against the delta variant. But if schools are to reopen, there should be stricter rules with masking. It can’t be worn off nor hang down your chin.
Besides masks, schools should impose social distancing with a minimum of at least 3 feet (0.91 m). Proper ventilation is a good factor too and practices opening windows and doors for less transmission.
Parents are worried about their children’s safety. While some are vocal about preferring remote learning, some schools are not keen on a full year of virtual classes. Institutions are highly affected by academic losses and students being left behind.
The pandemic’s effect on the education sector
Two years of education affected by COVID-19 has affected modes of instruction. Despite teachers’ and instructors’ efforts with making it interactive and ‘normal’ as much as possible, it is not enough for the lack of face-to-face communication. Losses reached up to 60% larger with less-educated homes.
If schools wish to open and get rid of hybrid education, they should keep in mind the rules that they need to impose. Masks in schools should be followed, social distancing and proper ventilation contribute to change.
It is quite challenging especially in places where wearing masks are not mandatory anymore. Vaccines should be taken and promoted not only in schools but to the rest of the country.