The failure to contain COVID-19 throughout the United States has forced many school districts to incorporate remote instruction into their school days this fall. And the pandemic has thrown a spotlight on how underprepared the education system was for everyone to go digital, with some students struggling to find reliable at-home internet and teachers quickly working to learn how to make the most of what online instruction has to offer.
“Not all online learning is the same, and online learning can be really great,” said Matt Rafalow, a sociologist and visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. “Only really when teachers feel safe and supported for online learning can we really start having conversations about what a better, more connected and engaging online pedagogy can look like.”
The Morning Consult survey also included an open-ended question where students were asked to describe their main concern with remote learning this semester.
While a plurality (25 percent) said they had no concerns or weren’t sure, 1 in 5 focused on whether their teacher will disseminate information effectively and questioned their own ability to retain new material.
“Remote learning isn’t for everybody. Some people aren’t capable of learning online and some don’t have the resources,” one respondent said. “However, I don’t believe most schools are taking the proper precautions or realizing the traumatic effects the pandemic has caused some students.”