March 2020 changed the landscape of the US education system forever. The coronavirus was declared a national pandemic, causing administrators to make quick decisions to safeguard students’ and educators’ health and safety. Without much warning, public schools across the country went completely virtual. Though the integration of technology in the classroom wasn’t a new concept, teachers, students, and the families that support them weren’t prepared for what happened next.
Creating Digital Learning Programs
From online testing and virtual reading materials to interactive educational games and internet research, technology was instrumental in modern-day course development. Be that as it may, core curriculum and learning still took place primarily through in-person studies, hands-on experiences, and physical course materials.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators were expected to create a comparable classroom experience through virtual learning. This task proved challenging, time-consuming, and ineffective.
Limited Supplies And Devices
As teachers and administrators struggled to create a completely virtual learning environment, another challenge was revealed. Students in low-income households and poverty-stricken areas didn’t have access to the basic technologies required to attend distance learning courses. Many families couldn’t afford laptops, tablets, and high-speed internet services needed for their children to participate in school. This is especially true in households with more than one K-12 student present.
Schools did what they could to bridge the gap by providing loaner devices to students in need. They created a schedule to distribute devices to their residences. Internet providers like Verizon also pitched in by offering free or low-cost internet access to students. While these efforts helped many students, filling the deficit took several weeks.
Of course, the educational issues didn’t stop there. As students were gaining access to the technologies for distance learning, another problem ensued. Many children reported that they were having trouble comprehending the lessons. From learning how to use modern technology to adjust to their schools’ often dull and straightforward content, academic grades and test scores dropped significantly. Reading long copies of PDFs, not having the same accountability as in-person schooling, and coping with the pandemic’s emotional transition caused many students to disengage and fall behind.
One Open Source App Changes Everything
America’s public school system was disarray and unsure of how to resolve many of these problems. While hundreds of thousands of digital educational resources were available, none were efficient enough to bridge the gap affordably. In comes curriki.org. Pioneering digital learning tools for years, the non-profit organization developed an application known as Curriki Studio. This free and easy-to-use platform allowed educators to create more engaging content for students that could be accessed for free via the schools’ Learning Management System. Curriki’s success has helped many students excel academically. Here’s a look at a few more highlights
- They have 12 years of experience in developing free open-source educational platforms.
- They have worked with K-12 schools, higher education, corporations, and non-profit organizations to develop interactive tools to enhance virtual learning.
- As a free source, it is ideal for establishments with a small budget
The coronavirus pandemic revealed several problems in the current public education system. While some were overcome with strategy, innovation, generosity, and outside resources, others continue to struggle, particularly for students in low-income communities. Fortunately, free, open-source tools like Curriki Studio have made it possible to bridge the gap and push learning experiences forward as the world continues to adapt to a new normal.