Welcome to the EduVerse with ProfessorJBA. This series is aimed at parents and caregivers in an effort to inform them about the various roles and aspects of the educational landscape to ensure that caregivers can make informed decisions.
We allowed politics and the media to dictate if virtual learning would be the vehicle that finally allowed us to reimagine education. School buildings were closed due to the pandemic; once they reopened, nothing changed.
Not every parent, student, and teacher had a bad experience with virtual learning. I didn’t! The cry for help from parents and need for support for teachers and students was silenced by the CRT movement and anti-virtual learning campaigns due to media hype and political leaders stating that children didn’t need to stay home while COVID-19 infection numbers surged during the pandemic.
Of course, there were areas that could have been improved, but we had issues with educating children effectively in public education before the pandemic. I don’t believe the voices of all parents were even heard regarding virtual learning. One cause was family engagement and communication was an even bigger issue during the pandemic. However, somehow, the media was able to connect with parents about how bad virtual learning was but not about the funding needed to get advanced technology in all schools.
Virtual learning was the scapegoat for poor performance academic performance during the pandemic when learning loss was an issue before the pandemic began.
BOOK, Better Outcomes for Our Kids, recently held an event featuring youth voices on the panel. Several students spoke about how virtual learning was good for them. In fact, they prefered to have some classes virtually. In a perfect world, a hybrid schedule would be the most ideal.
Although there were students who struggle to learn virtually, we can’t overlook the students who thrived.
When you do a Google search about virtual learning many articles and blogs explain why it doesn’t work. There are few about the benefits. Below are my Top 5 reasons why virtual learning programs in public schools can benefit students.
1. It offers support for advanced learners.
Online curricula allow for advanced learners to move on their own pace and work on advanced content.
2. It infuses advanced technology into career prep.
Technology can allow students to be engaged with careers in engineering, science, and technology without being there in person.
3. It provides experience to jobs in CTE (Career & Technical Education) related areas.
Experience is one of the most influential aspects of CTE regarding trades, agriculture, and environmental services.
4. It provides students relief from bullying.
Students like virtual learning because it helps relieve them from a lot of the bullying that can happen during school hours.
5. It emerges youth into the digital world.
Preparing our students to be global competitors and leaders includes emerging them into the digital world of learning, business, government, and work.