online learning

Not All Virtual Learning Is Created Equal – Erik Anderson

Rapid paradigm shifts can introduce issues for any sector, but they’re particularly challenging in the field of education. School districts across the country are attempting to answer the call of remote digital learning at an unprecedented speed and scale, but they are facing huge inequalities in students’ access to technology and the imbalance in resources needed for digitally-enabled student-citizens.

Those who have been able to adapt swiftly to the current environment were largely those schools and districts in highly connected, digitally-enabled communities. Where student households had ample access to high-speed internet and technology devices, budgets could be directed to building a robust digital infrastructure of well-trained teachers, well-tested software, learning management systems and IT support capabilities. Consequently, they were well positioned for the swift disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, Title 1 schools – named for the provisions for serving immigrant and lower-income students in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, and predominantly rural schools  – are attempting to serve a student populace mostly without ample access to online learning technology at home. Unfortunately, they are struggling because they lack the foundation of that same digital infrastructure.

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Info graphic on the current digital learning challenges.