Education plays a vital role in rearing children. It paves the path for their future and helps them become proper, functioning adults. As if learning in the classroom isn’t challenging enough for both students and teachers, when the pandemic struck, it posed a bigger challenge as it meant children would be away from their peers and educators for quite a while.
In this modern world, educators and institutional leaders have found innovative ways to ensure that transition to virtual learning would not be too tumultuous. Here is a look at what has happened so far in education and how we adults have adapted to ensure our children continue to have a bright future ahead.
How Schools Have Adapted to Remote Learning
Ensuring the accessibility of technology for students and following a more realistic approach to how schools transitioned from in-person instruction to virtual learning were top priorities at the start of lockdown. Gaining access to the internet and tech tools was a struggle, especially for students living in more remote areas. Due to this hurdle, schools provide virtual classroom learning -or synchronous learning. They also had to provide self-study modules for asynchronous learning.
While schools have already opened and started in-person instruction, many are continuing with remote synchronous and asynchronous learning. Though the innovations schools have implemented so far are not as perfect as we would like them to be, we are aware of the way our children are learning at home. It is reassuring to know that teachers are hands-on in keeping up-to-date with their students’ performance and well-being.
Parents Struggled to Help Their Children at First
With the entire family staying at home, children will inevitably ask for help from their parents with their school modules more frequently. And although parents have been helping with homework even before the lockdown, we find out the challenges of teaching children, from addressing their attention span to making sure they are learning their lessons.
This is especially a struggle for divorced parents, who find it hard to agree with their former partners on what disciplinary tactics to implement and how to instill good studying habits. Thankfully, many schools establish strong relationships with their students and families so that parents can consult teachers about their children’s school needs.
What Teachers Had to Learn
When it was clear that schools would have to conduct classes virtually for the foreseeable future, teachers had to learn quickly how to use technology to hold their classes. Thankfully, there are already existing virtual classroom options for teachers to use, like Zoom. Schools then had to learn what their options were, understand how to operate with the tools, and study how to keep student engagement percentages positive. In virtual classrooms, teachers have noticed that being able to see their students’ faces made the lessons more interactive and productive.
There is a need to mention that marginalized students cannot achieve quality education due to the pandemic and that the education system needs to address the widening learning gap. These students -those who have disabilities, who come from low-income backgrounds, etc., need to be given more attention for equity. Even with the changes in learning format, the call for every child’s right to equal education does not change. Parents, educators, and institutional leaders need to work together to help create a good future for all children.
Lastly, having this in mind, let’s talk about the students themselves and the effects of virtual learning on them. One negative effect is the new-found form of exhaustion known as “Zoom fatigue.” Signs of it include having difficulty concentrating, feeling physically tired, and feeling anxious before entering an online class. As parents, we can deal with it by ensuring we have open communication with our children, giving them a space conducive to learning, ensuring that they maintain good posture while sitting down, and allowing them to move around freely during break times.
On a more positive note, online learning has opened a discussion on online etiquette. We are now becoming more aware of teaching children proper behavior online, just like we try to do offline. Issues of cyberbullying are still rampant, but hopefully, through online learning, we will train children on good manners and conduct anywhere they interact with others, whether on the Internet or in person.