Educators everywhere are aware of the impact of something coined as summer learning regression that can often affect students’ learning over the regular 2 ½ month summer break that they are used to. Having now been plunged into a pandemic, with virtual learning being the ‘go-to’ for so many students; have you ever stopped to wonder how these past 10 months have affected their learning?
Now more than ever, teachers and students alike have been experiencing inequalities in both teaching and learning. But what will this look like after the pandemic has gone? We need to begin to be more pro-active than re-active to this, ensuring that these inequalities are lessened before it is too late.
Students everywhere have begun to feel the effects of virtual learning, especially those who are ‘diverse learners’. Minority and economically disadvantaged families are the ones who are mainly affected by these learning inequalities during this pandemic.
Many disadvantaged children (approximately 15 - 16 million students) do not have access to the internet or adequate devices to access virtual/distance learning. As a result of this, student underachievement will be significantly exacerbated by 15% - 20%. How will all of this affect the trajectory of their lives in the long run? If this is broken down by race, you will see significant reductions in earnings right across the board- Black and Latinx children being affected the most.
There is much food for thought on this topic of Virtual Learning Regression. We must also consider other barriers students and teachers may face where virtual learning is concerned, such as the context and history of these barriers, and what will happen if there isn’t an action plan.