Our lives are changing rapidly these days. The pandemic is threatening our mental health, businesses and jobs, and education. Fortunately, there is a technology that can help mitigate some of the strain.
Covid-19 in Brief
For those still in disbelief as to the seriousness of the situation:
- Coronavirus, even in mild cases, causes potentially permanent tissue damage to the lungs.
- With the protective lining of the lungs damaged, people become susceptible to bacterial infections that normally wouldn’t pose a threat.
- Since the immune system is exhausted from fighting the virus, it has little ability to deal with a bacterial infection, resulting in death without extreme medical intervention.
- This is compounded by the alarming rate of the spread of Coronavirus.
- An overabundance of cases will put a strain on the healthcare system, which cannot handle such a large volume of patients, leading to untreated deaths.
With no vaccine available for the foreseeable future, the only way to reduce casualties is to slow the spread of the virus. Inhibiting the spread will stagger the number of people infected at the same time, thus giving the healthcare providers a better chance to treat everyone.
To this goal, many have instituted stricter distancing procedures, such as closing public spaces, limiting gatherings, and closing schools. Few have not felt the effects of the pandemic, with virtually everyone’s life turned upside-down highlighted among them are the children.
Outside the Classroom
School closures were one of the first attempts at slowing the spread of Covid-19. As of mid-March, 862 million children were affected. Educators scrambled to adapt to eLearning, but unfortunately, many institutions simply don’t have the infrastructure to support fully off-site learning.
While many are taken off balance, some teachers are addressing this by making use of established online platforms for lectures over mediums like Adobe Connect, BlackBoard, AnyMeeting, GoToMeeting, and MeetingBurner.
There is another glaring hurdle for educators to overcome. Close to 18% of children don’t have access to an internet connection at home, with 44% of low-income households not even owning a computer. In response to this crisis, Comp-U-Dopt, a charity in Housten, TX, provided low-income students with laptops. Internet providers like Spectrum and Comcast have also stepped up to provide free internet for such students.
Unfortunately, access to education isn’t the only thing being impaired by the Coronavirus. 30 million children rely on free or reduced-cost lunches provided in schools. That notwithstanding about 13 million kids deal with hunger in the U.S. adding up to a lot of vulnerable children. Thankfully this is not going unnoticed, a NY business went charity, Soulful Synergy has been working to provide thousands of meals a day to families in need, and the USDA also allowing some schools to continue providing meals for pick up.
A Blessing in Disguise
There are many benefits to eLearning, with Coronavirus forcing educators to upgrade, perhaps there can be previously unattainable gains? Pandemics aside, 98% of teachers think the use of interactive video will be essential in the future because it enhances content consumption and increases retention rates. Interactive video is engaging and easily distributes content, like demos, explainers, and interviews.
93% of teachers view predictive analytics as changing education, allowing the development of personalized learning and efficiency to support the diverse needs of all learners. With AI use in education expected to grow by 48% by 2022, educators can streamline the customization of learning pathways.
Not every educational institution was convinced of the benefits of eLearning, but now those that wouldn’t have, are gearing for distance learning. And with so many focused on online learning, the potentials for innovation and integration are promising. Hopefully, we can see the glass as half full during these difficult times.
Learn more about what can be done with Distance Learning here!
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