Online learning has become a COVID-19 reality. But experts say kids aren’t thriving online

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Sumary of Online learning has become a COVID-19 reality. But experts say kids aren’t thriving online:

  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, many provinces have been forced to close schools and push their students into online learning..
  • As coronavirus cases continue to soar, Ontario became the latest province to announce they would again move from in-person learning to remote schooling..
  • And online learning could be a part of a permanent solution in Ontario, according to a document first published in the Globe and Mail..
  • Lana Parker, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor, said she does not believe online can replace in-person learning, arguing that schools offer a complex, relationship-oriented learning and social environment..
  • And certainly, I think our teachers have done exceptionally well to pivot to online school and offer students the best interactive environment that they can..
  • Last month, the report from the Globe and Mail said the Ontario government is allegedly looking at the option of making remote learning a permanent part of the public school system..
  • “If introduced and passed, beginning in September 2021, parents would continue to have the ability to enroll their child in full-time synchronous remote learning if they choose going forward,”.
  • According to the province, they are continuing consultations on the topic, but believe families should have a choice of online learning this coming September, as there is no telling when this coronavirus pandemic will end..
  • 3:09 Toronto kindergarten teacher making the most of virtual learning Toronto kindergarten teacher making the most of virtual learning – Jan 19, 2021 “The choice parents were provided for online or in-class learning has been absolutely critical in ensuring students’ continuity of learning throughout the pandemic and in mitigating learning loss,”.
  • “One of Ontario unique strengths during the past year was that we built-up the online learning capacity ahead of and during the pandemic, against the strong opposition of teachers’ unions, because we believe students should continue to learn, regardless of the circumstances, from snow days to global pandemics..
  • Virtual learning was first implemented in response to climbing COVID-19 numbers in an effort to curb the spread of the virus and keep staff and students safe amid the pandemic..
  • Schools have been closed to in-person learning several times since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, and not just in Ontario, but in most provinces..
  • ‘Kids learn best in person’ Karen Brown, first vice-president with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said online learning was never meant to be a permanent solution, it was only a temporary response to the pandemic..
  • “There are health and safety concerns with online learning, like increased screen time and privacy issues,”.
  • She added that classroom learning happens not simply between a teacher and student, but with student socialization..
  • 2:51 Ontario schools move to online learning indefinitely following April break Ontario schools move to online learning indefinitely following April break Online learning has consequences for mental health, with increased feelings of social isolation, Parker stated in an article she wrote for The Conversation..
  • Research shows that the school environment is critical for a child social development, and many students rely on schools for mental health care..
  • A July 2019 study published in ScienceDirect, found that both peer and teacher relationships are important for early adolescents’ behavioral engagement..
  • ‘There so much pain’ — art shows mental toll COVID-19 taking on youth, expert says “Data shows that students from marginalized and vulnerable communities are most vulnerable to these kinds of potentially bad policies,”.
  • Whether it a family inability to afford extracurricular activities or a tutor, Parker said there are many unintended risks involved with remote schooling and vulnerable youth..
  • She explained remote learning for some students may lead to more family obligations such as more housework or taking care of a loved one with health problems..
  • 4:38 How remote learning is impacting children of all ages How remote learning is impacting children of all ages – Nov 13, 2020 Brown said public schools provide students with equitable learning and support systems like counselors, peer engagement and lunch and breakfast programs..
  • She afraid that pushing students online means some vulnerable youth will be left out, such as those in remote locations who don’t have the best internet connection or families who can’t afford printers..
  • Benefits to online learning Associate professor of Social Development Studies at the University of Waterloo Kristina Llewellyn, previously told Global News that online learning fits for some families — typically for those who are able to offer support from at least one parent at home and have stable access to the internet..
  • Studies have shown that online learning allows more flexibility and accessibility for some families, especially for those living with disabilities…

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