COVID caused an unprecedented and massive shift to online learning, and while online learning isn’t new itself, it became the primary mode of education delivery for most students. Even as most districts plan for a return to in-person learning in the fall, “the need for online remote access for K-12 instruction and learning resources is now integral to the U.S. education system.”
At Sonora Elementary School, we’ve been fortunate to be able to offer in-person classes to most of our students this year. Our district gave all students a fully online option as well as the option to return fully in-person or blended. At the beginning of the school year, about 500 of our 600 students came back full-time, and by November we only had approximately 20 students who were still blended.
We live in a world where learning and technology are intrinsically linked, especially in the minds of our youth. But do today’s students process information differently because it comes on a digital device? Is there a correlation between technology use and plummeting literacy rates? And is the way our young people consume information negatively impacting their growth as learners?
With summer approaching, now is an opportune time for administrators and science department leaders to work collaboratively with educators to examine what worked and what didn’t, to close the year out safely and on a high note, and to start to envision what STEM instruction will look like in the fall.
College readiness and access is often difficult, and students aren’t always sure how to embark upon their chosen career path. COVID-19 made college and career readiness more complicated for some students who chose to delay their postsecondary plans during the pandemic due to health, safety, family, and financial concerns.