WASHINGTON – Seventy-one percent (71%) of students who expect lower grades than usual while learning remotely don’t always have access to high-speed internet, according to a new report from The Manifest, a business how-to and news website.
The survey accounts for 400 high school and college students’ impressions on remote learning in the fall 2020 semester.
Internet access is essential for students to attend classes, submit assignments, and collaborate with classmates. Students with limited access have already started to fall behind in class.
Accessibility disproportionately challenges Black, Latino, and Native American students, as well as those living in rural areas. Academic achievement gaps resulting from a lack of internet access will most severely impact these groups.
Students Expected to Purchase Expensive Back-to-School Tech Equipment
Expensive technological equipment is another barrier to entry for disadvantaged students participating in remote learning.
Students will need to purchase computers (27%), internet (23%), webcams (21%), and microphones (16%), in addition to typical back-to-school supplies, according to The Manifest’s study.
Despite economic uncertainty during COVID-19, families are spending more on school shopping in 2020 due to purchases required for remote learning.
Massive demand for remote learning devices challenged the supply chain, causing a computer shortage.
Education Apps Offer Versatility, Making Learning More Accessible
Almost all students (95%) used an educational learning app in the past year, a trend sure to grow in the fall semester due to online learning.
The most popular learning app among respondents is Quizlet (44%), which allows students to prepare for tests through shared virtual flashcards.
Lindsey Wander, founder and CEO of WorldWise Tutoring, a lifelong learning company, believes apps can solve standing accessibility issues.
“Online learning through the use of technology is a great equalizer,” Wander said. “Students of all backgrounds and at any location can have access to high-quality online learning resources by simply having a device and access to WiFi.”
Education apps supplement learning and don’t serve as a replacement for remote education. However, they can serve as a starting point for achieving a more equitable learning environment.
Currently, 52% of students expect academic cheating to increase during remote learning. Quizlet and Chegg have historically played a role in cheating, which may impact the remote learning experience.
Read the full report here: https://themanifest.com/app-development/how-do-online-classes-work-2020.