As the country grapples on the herculean impact of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, parents who don’t want their children’s education left behind due to the nationwide closure of schools have decided to cope up with the times.
In embracing the ‘new normal’, parents alike have been able to establish a novel educational technique that can be used to ensure the safety of their children. You may have heard of what they are called if you happen to thread through social media lately. Dubbed as pandemic pods, homeschool pods, microschools, etc., this is the newest branding of education that younglings will be able to experience at an extraordinary time like this.
This is different from homeschooling. Here, parents try to gather as many same-aged kids on their group and they can work in teams so that they wouldn’t risk getting infected. Of course, they follow the minimum number of participants set by local authorities to practice safe social distancing policies with regards to face-to-face interactions. Face masks are mandatory and activities flip flop from indoors and outdoors.
Some use it as a total replacement for traditional schooling while others see it as a supplement for those who still manage to attend conventional classes.
The role of technology is crucial in this newest movement. Applications such as Google cloud-based productivity suites and other video conferencing apps are in demand and used by these groups. Social media sites such as Facebook play a key role in connecting parents with the same goals.
How are other sectors coping up?
Some companies have sprung up to be able to meet this increasing demand. Such companies include thecopod.com and Swing Education. Companies like these provide a spectrum of services but one thing is constant – they are seen to heed to the demand created by the pandemic.
However these pods have been reported to highlight class divide as only mostly predominantly Caucasian, economically well-off, and able-bodied Americans are able to partake in this newest tech revolution.
The gap widens when the needs of children with exceptionalities are considered as well as the children of immigrants who struggle with English. The level of fluency in handling technology is also skewed that favors the white American demographic.
As we head on towards the situation of ‘new normal’, we must need to consider looking at this new alternative to education as well as deal with its weaknesses to strengthen the whole system – make it accessible and affordable for the everyday Joe.