We all thought and hoped we were out of the COVID woods, but the rise of the Delta variant left school districts, parents, and teachers rethinking their back-to-school plans. The first wave of the coronavirus left children fairly unscathed, but this new variant is something different.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is more than twice as contagious as previous variants and current evidence suggests it might cause more severe illness in unvaccinated people. This is particularly worrisome for parents and educators because children under 12 have not yet been allowed to be vaccinated.
During the first shutdown, schools learned a lot about how to effectively deploy remote and hybrid learning set-ups. According to the Center for American Progress, in the 20-21 school year, 74 percent of the 100 largest school districts in the U.S. chose remote learning only as their back-to-school instructional model. This impacted more than 9 million students.
One of the key items consistently seen as a critical element to help maintain a semblance of continuity for both teachers and students has been the use of video and audio. While it doesn’t replace the experience of being in person, in the classroom, video can enable the teacher to be seen and heard and use the teaching style they are used to. Video is also extremely important for younger students and those who struggle with working memory who can have trouble understanding a series of written instructions.
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