Parents thought long and hard about online learning as an alternative to traditional schooling.
However, low-income families did not have the data and devices to get their children properly connected; while the middle-class and up could make a much easier transition, and better avoid learning disruptions.
Many families had an extraordinary experience of online schooling, as the pandemic shut down brick-and-mortar schools for extended periods.
Some schools were adept at getting curricula, educators and pupils online; others had little clue about online educational pedagogy and floundered, even if they were well-resourced schools.
Some parents saw their children thriving against the odds, which was enlightening; others were highly stressed at finding themselves cast as tutors and overseeing daily learning.
Mark Anderson, principal and co-founder of high-engagement online school, at Koa Academy, busts 3 common myths around online schooling:
I will have to teach my child – “It is the professional teacher’s role to guide your child through the school curriculum, and this does not change at all in the online environment. Parents have the same role when it comes to their child’s learning, whether they are in a physical school or an online school.”
My child will not get socialisation – “Parents need to choose a school, online or physical, that suits their values and aims for their child’s education and school experience.”
The qualification is not equal or as robust – “Online schools offer the same curricula and recognised qualifications as physical schools. Like every aspect of our lives, in these fast-changing times, schooling and tertiary studies are transforming and being disrupted, by better ideas and improved tools. As parents, we are challenged to keep abreast of these developments and to recognise that.”
In Anderson’s view, parents considering online school options should embrace the same level of discernment when considering any other learning option for their children.