COVID and lockdown affected many industries. Moreover, the impact on students was great as well. Because they had to deal with online classes. However, thanks to the advancements in technology, students did not have to suffer a great deal because of the lockdown. Telecommunication companies have been facilitating the subscribers a lot. For instance, if your Spectrum payment for phone and Internet were overdue, the company did not charge you for that extra amount.
Apart from that, technology helped learning during trying times in many ways. First, let’s have a look at what were the challenges that the students and educators faced.
Did Technology Help?
On the face of it, technology facilitated the students and educators to deal with the pandemic. However, if you take e a closer look, some students were not able to cope with the situation even when technology was there to help. The same goes for educators as well. Because what many of the people did not see was the environment in different households
You would get a clearer idea of what was going on after having a look at these stats:
9% of the total 15-year-old students craved to have a quiet place in their homes where they could study. Sadly, they did not belong to the privileged group.
Only about half of 15-year old students were (and still are) enrolled in schools where online classes are taking place.
35% of the 15-year-old students continue to study from instructors who do not know about integrating digital technology with education.
All of the above stats reflect what being underprivileged is like. So, if your child was able to attend online classes and do the assignments successfully, consider yourself lucky.
Challenges that Will Continue to Prevail
Perhaps the greatest challenge that remains is the unavailability of the Internet to many students and educators. Moreover, even if it is available to them, many people are not equipped enough when it comes to the knowledge of digital tools to properly use them. The latter was more obvious for instructors who were old.
However, many government organizations took it upon themselves to facilitate the underprivileged households. Not only that but also many telecommunication companies did the same as well.
The Good Side
Although many were facing issues, there is one thing no one can deny. Hadn’t it been for the technology, no one would have been able to do what they did – however big or insignificant. Some of the activities that were possible with the help of technology include:
Availability of Internet
As mentioned above, almost every telecommunication company in the States was playing its part to facilitate the subscribers in whatever way that they could. The most prominent example was the companies signing a petition to provide Internet services to all the subscribers regardless of they paying for the overdue or not. The companies waived the overdue off.
Other than that, companies like Spectrum even provided free Internet services to households with students and educators. The best part is that the households subscribing to this service did not have to be Spectrum’s subscribers. However, the service was only available in areas where Spectrum served (that’s obvious).
Perhaps one of the best ways in which technology helped the students and educators during COVID was the availability of online video and audio conferencing tools. Otherwise, it would not have been possible for the students to stay connected and the learning would have suffered a great deal.
Some of the platforms apart from Skype that both the instructors and students were making use of were Zoom and Google Meet. The selection of the software was also dependent on the features that it offered. Other than that, Google docs played an integral part in facilitating the students to submit the assignments online as well.
Another thing that came in handy during the lockdown was the cable box. Spectrum has its version of it that the company calls Spectrum 110. Watching pre-recorded shows on these cable boxes was a blessing for everyone especially in quarantine.
Besides all these, one thing that was the best to happen was that people came out to help each other. Everyone was united in their efforts to facilitate others!