Long-Term Effects On Education Because of Coronavirus

Response from Lauren Schmitz, founder and blogger, thesimplehomeschooler.com

I am getting ready to start my fourth year of homeschooling and I specialize in helping families get started with homeschooling.

I have seen a huge (rather predictable) surge in my blog traffic and email subscriber list since coronavirus – as have all of my homeschool blogging friends at iHomeschoolNetwork.

When the Coronavirus epidemic has passed, I think the landscape of education will have changed, but not as significantly as you are proposing.

Teachers and schools being forced to put together a framework for online learning will now be a blueprint for future snow days, blizzard warning, extended illnesses, or any other disasters. As opposed to scheduling school out into the summer, school will be done at home. And everyone will be much more accustomed to the idea.

But, classroom instruction will absolutely not go away. Parents will need to work, now more than ever, as we recover from the economic issues caused by the pandemic. As much as I wish homeschooling and distance learning could work for everybody, it’s not reality.

Younger kids especially need interaction and hands on learning to internalize new concepts such as reading and math. Older students may also struggle with the loneliness of distance learning and disconnect from other students and teachers.

What about students that can’t afford to have a computer at home? Or afford wifi?

What do we do with special needs children who require learning assistance?

What about students who depend on school to provide their meals during the day?

And let us not forget that school is much more than the academic side of things. What about sports? Band practice? Choir? Shop class? Student government? School plays? There are many things offered in school these days that could never be translated over a computer.

I have listened to people talk for years about how homeschooling could never work because of the “socialization” issues. I am an engaged parent who has tons of time to ensure my 8, 6, and 4 year old are properly socialized. Will that be true of every other parent? I don’t think so. For many reasons. Going to completely online schooling will continue the social issues that already plague our society.

That being said, I do think the rates of homeschoolers will continue to rise as they have for years. I work with parents who are struggling with making the final decision to start homeschooling, and I think coronavirus is the catalyst that will push many of them to finally start their homeschools. Once they finally start, they will enjoy all the benefits of teaching their children at home, and stick with it.

Parents who had no intention of homeschooling, will likely go right back to life as normal as soon as possible.

I do believe that colleges may use more of an online presence.- if a situation presents itself that requires distance learning. But I think colleges will stay predominately the same. Why? Now more than ever, adults want to be together. We want to talk, debate, bounce ideas off each other, get together after class, and form study groups. When the restrictions for corona virus are lifted, I can’t imagine colleges continuing the with the painful social distancing we have already endured.

Education’s Place Among Coronavirus

Kaine ShutlerResponse from Kaine Shutler, managing director, Plume.

Schools might be presented with a unique challenge in the short term: creating an e-learning platform, populating it with content etc. But long term, this system will provide students with more learning opportunities and we see this benefitting both the academically engaged students, but most importantly, the students who have struggled with classroom learning.

For parents, we hope that they’ll be more active in their child’s learning and we believe this will strongly improve caregiver/ student relationships, as well as student’s confidence as they engage with independent learning opportunities.

Despite these merits, elearning will not replace classrooms; schools provide a safe place for students where they can be mentored by teaching professionals and gain valuable social skills. All in all, we think elearning will support classroom learning, independence and will strengthen student/parent relationships as they play a more active role in academic development.

Long-Term Effects of Education and Technology In The Time of COVID-19

Repsonse by Kemp Edmonds, marketimg and technology leader, Digital Media Academy.

Kemp EdmondsBecause most schools have moved to virtual learning environments in response to COVID-19, what are the likely long-term outcomes of this?

We work with a lot of educators and educational leaders in our business the emergence of blended learning is something we see as a long term outcome of this. Blended learning refers to learning in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching. As most students will likely be using online learning more often for the coming weeks they will develop more of an ability to consume information and learn online.

Blended learning provides educators incredible opportunities to use at home/online/electronic learning to provide more impactful hands-on learning in the classroom. We are optimistic that schools, educators, and learners who make the most of this shift we see long term dividends down the road. Students need to embrace self-directed learning via online methods now more than ever and this “forced” virtual learning scenario is likely to improve and expedite that process.

Will more schools embrace distance learning once we’re beyond the pandemic? If so, what will that look like? Will some educational entities move beyond physical classrooms altogether?

We believe that many schools will embrace distance learning/virtual learning environments more once the pandemic is over. We don’t think it will be a large change or a wholesale change, but depending on the students, educators, and the institutions we expect to see a shift for many students to more blended learning environments. We are an education provider, but are not like a traditional school as we provide intensive hands-on learning in person at North America’s best universities via seasonal technology camps. For us, this time is speeding up our strategic plan and need to adapt to provide learning online, anywhere, at any time.

In traditional schools, we expect to see, where enabled by digital equity: devices and connectivity for all students, some activities shifting to online delivery. The biggest challenge we see for traditional educational institutions is that learners who are not engaged in their learning strongly require in-person educational opportunities to learn.

It will be much easier for private and non-traditional educational institutions to move beyond physical classrooms altogether while traditional educational institutions may see little to no net change. A major part of what schools provide isn’t just in the education it’s in the care of our children while we work.. We can’t discount the value of that part of the service.

Could in-classroom learning go the way of the dinosaur or is that panic-stricken hype?

No. As shared above “learners who are not engaged in their learning strongly require in-person educational opportunities to learn.”

There is huge value in online education and humanity has yet to truly tap into that opportunity. This time provides an opportunity to force everything to try, deliver, and experience online education for the first time. Change takes time.

In essence, what is the future of classroom-based learning and the technology that plays a role in providing instruction?

We are optimistic that educators and students alike are becoming more adept and adapted to virtual learning environments. The future of classroom-based learning is a blended learning environment where lectures become something you watch for homework and hands-on projects and group activities happen in person.

Change Ahead For Education

Michael KawulaResponse from Mike Kawula, founder, Help A Teen.

This is a rocking chair moment for many of our children, who will look back at this time and say they were a part of the shift that happened in education.

First, schools nationwide aren’t prepared for this and similar to practicing Fire Drills and unfortunately practicing hiding under a desk for school shooters, they will also begin practicing for situations like this.

Education has resisted online learning (unions and government) but this might just be the push that was needed.

Online teaching is easy to be audited and therefore can remove political biases or beliefs from teachers.

What will be needed though is conversation about what is learned online.

I believe gradually more schools will test this type of learning to assure they’re prepared starting as soon as next year when we return to some normalcy and will gradually develop a hybrid type of learning.

Currently, one of my three teens experiences this through virtually learning and she’s had uninterrupted learning. My other two though are a part of this and I can see the craziness first hand.

One things for sure, change will happen!

The Time Has Come For More Virtual Learning

Steven Hausman, Ph.D.Responses from Steven J. Hausman, Ph.D., president, Hausman Technology Presentations.

Your query is very timely and appropriate. I feel that the COVID-19 tragedy will only accelerate what has already become a trend. Let me address your questions individually. Because most schools have moved to virtual learning environments in response to COVID-19, what are the likely long-term outcomes of this?

I believe that the long-term outcome will likely be a move to even more virtual learning than that which currently exists.  This is the logical extension of the increased use of artificial intelligence in higher education. Current examples include:

Will more schools embrace distance learning once we’re beyond the pandemic? If so, what will that look like? Will some educational entities move beyond physical classrooms altogether?

I think that once the schools have experienced successful distance learning they will see that it has many benefits. For example, schools that have only physical classrooms are generally limited to students from a constrained geographical region. If students from outside that region wish to attend then they must usually physically relocate to the school. With distance learning, however, that relocation will no longer be necessary.

The University of Maryland, has recently rebranded itself from the University of Maryland University College to the University of Maryland Global Campus in recognition of the fact that it now has more than 90,000 students across the world and is one of the longest distance-learning institutions in existence.

In addition, distance learning can increase both the numbers and diversity of students receiving an education. It can also be of great benefit to the educational institution financially since it is conceivable that more individuals of different ages would take advantage of the learning opportunities offered.

Could in-classroom learning go the way of the dinosaur or is that panic-stricken hype?

I feel that classroom education will not go the way of the dinosaur in the near future but that we will attain a new equilibrium with a combination of both classroom education and distance learning depending on the subjects being taught. It would be difficult, for example, for a student to obtain hands-on laboratory experience for science courses with distance learning alone while an English course could more easily be taught that way.

What is the future of classroom-based learning and the technology that plays a role in providing instruction?

The future of classroom-based learning is by no means terminal but it will incorporate many the new technologies that have become available. Some examples include:

Education and Technology During the Coronavirus Lockdown

Patrick FogartyResponses from Patrick Fogarty, director of technology, Jericho Union Free School District.

How are school districts and colleges and universities responding, and what technologies are they using to connect with students and even parents in an attempt to minimize the disruption? What have been the results? What works? What only causes more friction?

Once we knew a shutdown beyond one or two days was coming, we plotted out a distance learning program that incorporated software our teachers are comfortable with, like Canvas and Classroom, and new software, like Zoom and Meet, into a larger tapestry of services. The most challenging aspect of this was distributing hundreds of Chromebooks on short notice. Not only are you accommodating families, you also have to take care of your own staff, who are now working from home with their spouses and children also needing devices to use.

Are you moving to e-learning platforms? Which vendors are you partnering with to deliver these solutions?

Our district is fortunate in that we were already using Canvas by Instructure as our learning management system, and so we had a digital learning platform available from the first day we were shut down. Canvas has built in video streaming through their Conferences feature, and while it takes quite a while for recordings to be uploaded to course pages, it does provide a solid foundation for synchronous virtual instruction.

We are also supporting Google Classroom and Google Meet. The tools we can use are limited, because we are working to comply with Ed law 2-d (including the recently adopted part 121), and several popular streaming services are not currently compliant with these regulations. I think Canvas and G Suite have worked well for most students, though I wonder if using these platforms for Kindergarteners doesn’t create more friction than it resolves. We’ve had success using Zoom for administrative meetings and teacher-to-teacher conferencing.

Are your IT and service teams able to meet the need in the new era or have you been caught flat footed?

We did three things to slow the immediate crush of support needs: began using Slack as a team, created a helpline phone extension, and began using a dedicated tech support email address, since users no longer had one-click access to our ticketing system. I feel like those three actions, combined with staggering shifts a bit to increase the surface of our coverage, have helped us stay ahead of the support needs.

Lessons learned, best practices and guidance for others?

I think this is an amazing, perhaps unprecedented opportunity for us to reconsider how our schools work. Hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, and administrators are using new digital tools, flipping their classrooms, providing synchronous instruction remotely, and doing exciting, innovative work with little prep time.

If this encourages more districts to send students home with mobile devices every day, and if it shifts our perceptions of when, where, and how schoolwork is done, those are significant steps forward as we incorporate digital tools into instruction.

Kivuto and Pearson Partner to Offer Open Access to Digital Learning Resources

Kivuto - Manage Users, Software & Licenses On One PlatformKivuto, a leading provider of academic digital resources, has partnered with Pearson, Canada’s leading educational publisher, to open access to digital resources during the current COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when educational institutions, public spaces, and collaborative environments are closing to help combat the spread of COVID-19, individuals will have complimentary access to these important digital learning resources to continue their online learning.

“For several years, Kivuto and Pearson have partnered to enhance the digital learning experience by offering access to curriculum-based K-12 textbooks covering such topics as literacy, math and science via Kivuto’s Texidium platform and eReader,” said Jeff Blacklock, president and COO at Kivuto. “We are now extending these learning resources to teachers, students, and school boards so they can continue to immerse themselves into a truly digital learning environment.”

Starting today, via Kivuto’s Texidium platform, access to more than 70 of the most widely used curriculum-based K-12 textbooks will be available as an open resource for families to access. These resources can be downloaded to a central location where you can manage and learn through an enriched eReader experience.

Open access to these resources will be available until May 30, 2020, and can be accessed at www.pearsoncanada.ca/athome.

Long-Term Effect of COVID-19 On Education and Technology

Responses from Stewart Elliot, CEO, Modo Labs.

Because most schools have moved to virtual learning environments in response to COVID-19, what are the likely long-term outcomes of this?

There will be many long-tail outcomes of moving so much online so quickly.

We’ve noticed two. One is the urgent need schools have to keep their community informed and connected in real-time and the need for one source of truth. There are many communication channels, and messaging can quickly become fragmented.

They need to quickly distribute, get quality information directly into the hands of students, staff and community members with no delay and no technology hurdles. The app becomes the hub for everything in a distributed model. Schools are learning now that if they don’t have the central campus experience in an app, they need one. They need a very strong communications system in place for mobile devices, systems that use approved, branded, established applications.

The second is related. No matter how residential a campus was, everything is distributed now. Schools have academic, community and social needs they never imagined they’d have. With school professionals and students spread around the world, being able to make that feel like one unit still, in a way that reaches everyone but does not overwhelm anyone is very important. That lesson is not going to fade either – the need to be able to have one global community no matter where they are.

Will more schools embrace distance learning once we’re beyond the pandemic? If so, what will that look like? Will some educational entities move beyond physical classrooms altogether?

Distance learning will continue and the campus app will be the cornerstone of learning. Connecting students to the information they need to be successful will continue and it will be more important than ever, as we are seeing now. Keeping students motivated requires real-time dashboards and personalized communications that will automatically nudge them to stay on track academically. Online learning will surely be accelerated post-CV-19 and there will likely be a deeper integration of tools that enable a modern, asynchronous approach to online learning. The mobile app—not the website or LMS—will be the critical connection of systems.

Online learning tools will change in that they need out-of-the box functionality and customization options, along with the ability to easily integrate with learning management systems, enrollment, and finance systems. We will see the app as the bridge between academic and campus life. A good app is as useful off campus as it is on campus.

Could in-classroom learning go the way of the dinosaur or is that panic-stricken hype?

It is too early to forecast that outcome, but I will say that we value community and the experience of being on a college campus. An app can build some of that campus experience digitally, and we have examples of those at Penn State and the University of Central Florida and a hundred other campuses.

But college is a life experience, and learning is still a human experience that we all crave. It is probably a safe assumption that in-classroom learning will return because of the genuine benefits to face-to-face engagement and team collaboration.

In essence, what is the future of classroom-based learning and the technology that plays a role in providing instruction?

We think things will become more connected, more personalized, and generally faster and more efficient. That has been the path of technology generally and we’ve seen it in education too. Soon, not only will class schedules and dining menus be customized for you, your learning will be, also – tailored based on your interests and past performance.

You’ll be able to study on your phone, take a test on your phone, ask professors or classmates questions and find out where to park for the basketball game, all in the same place, all in your unified experience. That’s where we are headed. Some campuses are pretty much there already.

Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 On Education

Dov FriedmanResponse from Dov Friedman, co-founder, CirQlive.

Because most schools have moved to virtual learning environments in response to COVID-19, what are the likely long-term outcomes of this?

The first outcome will be that teachers and students and administrators see how difficult teaching remotely or online can be. It’s challenging technologically, logistically, socially and academically. As a result, many will seek out and start to use tools that have been designed specifically for online teaching. And as that happens, the barriers to quality online instruction will fall and comfort and use will increase. It will start hard but end very well.

When people find and use the right tools for virtual learning, they will want to do it more often.

That will probably also incentivize and reward companies built specifically for education systems and teachers. The increased use and trial and error will, I hope, clean out the market a bit. The best products will rise to the top. That would be good for everyone. I believe there will be statewide purchases of products to standardize offerings and make them easier to manage.

Will more schools embrace distance learning once we’re beyond the pandemic? If so, what will that look like? Will some educational entities move beyond physical classrooms altogether?

Yes. Many already have.

This is an awful situation, but that can have some good, indirect consequences sometimes. One is that now teachers and students will see the power of video when it can be built in with a learning management system to record attendance and allow one-touch confirmations, while being powerfully hosted on smartphones or other devices. For many teachers, it’s a game changer – changing a classroom to a class in any room.

Could in-classroom learning go the way of the dinosaur or is that panic-stricken hype?

That may be too much change too quickly. In person, classroom learning will persist. We may just see less of it compared to other, technology-enabled options such as video.

Think of it this way, movie theaters still exist because they offer experiences that streaming video can’t. But streaming services made more content more available to more people, faster and cheaper than theaters ever could. Once that technology broke out, things never went back to the way they were.

In essence, what is the future of classroom-based learning and the technology that plays a role in providing instruction?

Classroom based learning will be more and more in-person optional. There won’t be any specific need, any hard requirement to be physically present in a classroom. There may be reasons to be there, but the quality of the technology will make a video experience just as good, perhaps even better and definitely easier than being there.

Integrated remote video will, for example, allow a student to access supplemental resources in real time, materials that may not be available in person, all while being able to see a class, ask questions, and engage with students. Soon there won’t be much difference between being there and being somewhere else – everything will be one thing, the way you may buy shoes online but return them in a store. Or find something online but reserve it at the store. The actual way you get that item won’t matter much anymore.

Teaching and Technology In The Time of Coronavirus

Responses from Noreen Lace, professor, California State University, Northridge.

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Noreen Lace

I’m a professor at California State University, Northridge. We went online pretty quickly. We had little notice; however, in addition to my traditional classes I’ve been teaching online for a number of years, so making the transition was pretty easy for me. Even in my traditional classes, I use a variety of online methods, including ebooks, websites, and online activities.

A large number of our faculty have never taken any sort of training. Our tech department is great. They were able to schedule back to back online trainings for people to be able to set up their classes during spring break, so they could be ready for returning students. Since then, they seem to have kept up with the demand. I called the other day and there was no hold/no wait time. My questions are answered right away.

We use Canvas as our learning management system. It’s simple to use. I tell my students, if you can upload an attachment in email, you can do this. 

Many of the faculty have been using Zoom (in conjunction with Canvas). They’d hoped to use it to hold live classes — and I do believe some people are; however, we’re finding the system is becoming overloaded and not working well. Furthermore, we’ve recently found people have been hacking — or somehow crashing the live class and sharing/posting inappropriate screens and pictures within the live zoom sessions. They’re calling it zoombombing. 

Because of the drain on the system, one of the methods I use is to record within the Canvas program and have the students respond the same way. I also use the traditional methods of written lecture notes along with their written responses. We have discussion boards, live chat features, as well as document sharing available to us within the program. 

My students were supposed to do a presentation in class. I’ve since given them creative freedom and they can use any program they want and present in any way they feel works best for them. One of my students just asked me if they can use animation — so I’m quite excited to see the results.