How to ease the transition back to school post-pandemic for K-12 students

boy in a yellow shirt standing in front of a chalkboard with math equations

Last year, the pandemic disrupted education on a global scale, with shuttered schools impacting more than 1.6 billion students. 

In the U.S., all 50 states closed schools to in-person teaching for at least part of the academic year as state governments struggled to implement a nationwide switch to remote learning that no one could have foreseen. 

Unsurprisingly, results were mixed, with more affluent school districts quickly getting to grips with the transition to online learning. In contrast, disadvantaged schools struggled to provide their students with the resources needed for full-time remote study. 

Education news outlet K-12 Dive has posted the results of a nationwide survey, revealing that 3-million U.S. students are believed to have had next to no education over the past 12 months. 

But with more schools beginning to re-open on a full-time basis, the conversation has shifted from managing online learning to helping students transition back to school after COVID-19. 

The “learning loss” that’s impacted a generation of children is an obvious concern, resulting in renewed calls for education authorities to partner with private tutoring organizations to assist students who are struggling to catch up. 

Whether this could work as a nationwide scheme remains unclear. 

But the pandemic will disrupt in-person teaching for some time, and with schools, parents and teachers now more familiar with the benefits of remote learning, technology will play a crucial role both in the immediate future and long-term. 

Let’s explore how online tutoring platforms like Skooli.com can support students returning to face-to-face learning this fall. 

Here’s what we’ll cover. 

  1. How online learning platforms can help students close learning gaps.
  2. Why online tutoring can help students overcome trauma.
  3. How virtual learning can prepare students for the post-pandemic workplace.
  4. How tutoring platforms can empower parents.
  5. Why online learning can better accommodate diverse learning styles.
woman at a laptop for back to school post pandemic article

1. How online learning platforms can help students close learning gaps.

One of the biggest concerns facing schools and parents is how students with significant learning gaps can catch up in a traditional classroom where it’s often difficult for teachers to monitor individual progress? 

Hybrid learning, a mix of in-person and online study, offers the best of both worlds because it combines the social interactions children thrive on in school with the more streamlined approach of remote learning. 

Online platforms can save valuable time in a couple of different ways. 

First, they can accurately monitor student performance, allowing educators to quickly pinpoint where extra support is needed and create appropriate content. 

And second, they can automate the more labor-intensive aspects of a teacher’s job, such as attendance keeping, grading, and time spent creating supplementary materials like quizzes. 

This frees teachers to do what they do best: create stimulating lessons that students will enjoy while also providing parents with measurable results that can be easily tracked over a specific period. 

For students who might have lost more than a year of their schooling, time is of the essence, which is why online tutoring platforms can be an invaluable extra resource that can quickly help students make up lost ground.  

2. Why online tutoring can help students overcome trauma.

According to K-12 Dive’s figures, one consequence of the pandemic is increased stress for students, teachers, school administrators and parents who have all been trying to navigate the restrictions imposed on the education sector. 

More than 50 % of surveyed students indicated a need for more investment in mental health services, a situation that’s been exasperated by school re-opening after many learners have become accustomed to remote learning. 

But online tutoring platforms can support students struggling with anxiety and additional mental health issues in different ways. 

  • By reducing the need for full-time in-person study, online platforms can support students feeling overwhelmed by the sudden return to a traditional classroom environment. A safe and secure learning environment can help them regain their self-confidence. 
  • A qualified and experienced online tutor can reassure students who are finding it difficult to adjust to conventional learning by creating more personalized content that is tailored towards an individual’s specific needs. 
  • If a student has had a tough day in the classroom, the opportunity to access the same learning content in a safe space can be an invaluable extra resource that allows them to keep on top of their work.  

Although it might be too early to measure how damaging the pandemic has been to the overall well-being of our children, millions of students have suffered from limited social interactions and disrupted learning for close to 18 months. 

It’s safe to say that the mental health of our young people will need to be prioritized.

3. How virtual learning can prepare students for the post-pandemic workplace.

The shift to remote work has identified a need for highly qualified staff in industries thriving in the virtual world. 

Online platforms encourage students to collaborate and communicate with each other in a variety of ways, helping them develop the transferable workplace skills they’ll need in a post-pandemic world. 

But virtual learning can help students develop more than just their communication skills.

Self-motivation is an attractive quality for any employer, and online education encourages students to take more accountability for their study time. You may need to be responsible for scheduling lessons, logging in on time and having the self-discipline to complete assignments without full-time adult supervision. 

These useful life skills are sowing the seeds for work in future careers where companies will need staff who can work autonomously from remote locations. 

How often do you see strong time management skills highlighted as key criteria in job ads? 

Because online platforms encourage users to take more control of their learning, students are figuring out how to manage their time and plan their study schedules more effectively. 

Again, this is all valuable life experience that will prepare students for success in the future workplace. 

4. How tutoring platforms can empower parents with kids going back to school post-pandemic.

Interestingly, the survey results collected by K-12 Dive clearly indicate that despite the difficulties that many stakeholders had with the switch to remote learning, most parents are content with how schools managed the situation. 

Indeed, 76% of respondents noted that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with how their school district had handled online instruction during the pandemic. 

Why is this? 

Well, one crucial advantage that online study has over the traditional classroom experience is that it can involve parents far more in the day-to-day education of their children. 

Learning platforms allow parents to remain in regular contact with their children’s teachers, and because resources and activities can be shared instantly across multiple devices, it’s much easier for them to check learning and stay informed. 

If you’re a parent, this saves a lot of time and worry.

Think back to when you were a student. 

student and parent online learning

How often did important school documents go missing somewhere between the classroom and home? 

The ability to house all important course materials in one place makes it much easier to stay organized and be proactive in your child’s education. 

Plus, if you’re thinking about hiring a private online tutor, Skooli.com will allow you to browse tutor profiles and connect with a subject matter expert who can give you the exact support you need across a wide range of subjects, including English, math, science, and ESL. 

All of our tutors are certified to teach and must complete a criminal reference check. 

5. Why online learning can better accommodate diverse learning styles.

Not all children learn at the same pace, but that doesn’t mean that some students will always succeed while others are doomed to fail. 

It simply means that individuals learn in different ways. 

There are seven recognized learning styles: visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary. 

It isn’t easy for a traditional classroom teacher to feature all seven regularly when you’ve got 30+ students to manage.  

But online tutors typically work with smaller groups, making it much easier to play to a student’s strengths and work on their weaknesses. 

YouTube videos benefit visual learners, for example. Transcripts are an excellent learning device for verbal learners, whilst puzzles, games and quizzes are suitable for those students who prefer logical deduction and reasoning. 

Here’s a helpful blog detailing how all seven learning methods can be used online.

It’s not that teachers can’t use these resources at school, but online collaboration tools that are part of a secure digital classroom can be used more effectively in a virtual environment because of their seamless nature.  

When it comes to accommodating different learning styles, parents also have a role to play. 

After all, no one knows a child better than a parent figure. 

A parent knows what stimulates their child, what distracts them, when they’re likely to be at their most productive, and when they’re going to need some downtime. 

This is all valuable information that can quickly be relayed to an online tutor through a simple chat facility both before and after class. 

Final thought 

Many students are likely to face challenges in the classroom during the upcoming academic year.  

The impact of learning loss and the amount of time students have spent away from school are concerns that should not be underestimated. 

But online tutoring can help solve these problems. 

By offering students a safe space to learn, and in some cases, re-learn skills that may have been forgotten during the pandemic, learning platforms can help children regain their self-confidence and quickly improve their academic scores. 

Learn how your child can benefit from online tutoring, today. 

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