Education during a pandemic

TAYLOR PEPITONE
STAFF WRITER

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of daily life. Many people lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their family members and even lost out on educational opportunities. Weforum.org stated that globally, over 1.2 billion students were moved out of the classroom and into a virtual world of learning.

Education has changed drastically since the coronavirus became a widespread problem. Many students are now at home, learning in a virtual setting because of that constant fear of the virus.

“Adjusting to learning online has not been super difficult because I am very independent in my learning style,” said Brenna Kilby (‘24). “There have been challenges with motivation, and it can be very frustrating because technology does not always work, but for the most part it has not been too bad.”

Not only have students had to adjust to this change, teachers and educators did too.

“Teaching online is different, and for me, it is far less satisfying and for more stressful,” said Laura Von Wallmenich, a professor of English. “I have realized I need to design class in a totally different way. It is working, but it does not feel the same. I do not get the same sense of joy from the energy of a great discussion.”

Weforum.org stated that there has been an increase in retention of information being taught and learned, and that it takes less time to go over new material. With moving online though, students do not have to be in person to do their homework or even possibly take tests, which could constitute cheating or lead to finding the answers online instead.

There has been discussion of permanently implementing hy-flex courses in schools. With research finding that students seem to be learning better online, this is likely going to become an option. There is still some uncertainty among students and teachers about whether learning and teaching online has been completely beneficial.

“If a teacher is not good with technology or is just disorganized in general, it becomes extremely difficult to learn online,” said Kilby. “On the other hand, if a professor is organized, it makes it easier to go back and watch lessons and to understand the material even more. In the end, the difficulty of learning virtually really depends on the professor.”

Before COVID-19 spread throughout the world, the market for edtech investments was $18.6 billion in 2019. It has since been projected to reach $350 billion by 2025. It has been predicted that this is due to online educational programs, virtual tutoring and video conferencing apps.

Because of this surge of online learning, many academic software businesses have offered their programs for free to the public. Since then, programs like BYJU have seen a significant increase in their number of students.

While moving classes to a virtual setting has its benefits, it also has negative impacts. Many students do not have internet access in their homes, and while some schools are providing those students with the options of either being completely in person or receiving paper copies of their work, it still takes away from their education as a whole.

Moving to a virtual setting has taken away a lot of social interaction between students and teachers. Everyone is required to remain six feet apart, and some people are even completely isolated because of the possibility of getting sick. This has affected both mental and physical health.

In.style.yahoo.com stated that parents have also had to become teachers for their children. Because so many classes are now online, parents are having to find time to help their kids during class or are even teaching their kin themselves. Before COVID-19, many parents were not as involved in their student’s education as they are now.

Although the virus has affected education in many different ways, it has required many to overcome any obstacle that they face. In the end, students and teachers are learning how to be resilient and conquer anything that challenges them.

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