The Ritz Herald
© Corinne Kutz

Online Learning Will Continue to Be a Major Component of K-12 Education in Post-Pandemic Era


Teachers express need for more support and training and concern that students lack internet access and devices to learn online

Published on December 28, 2020

TEACH-NOW Graduate School of Education, a college at Moreland University, released the results of a survey of teachers in the U.S. and abroad showing that 60% of teachers believe that online education will play a significant role in schools even after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the education system faces major hurdles in remote learning, as the vast majority say their students lack internet access and that they personally need more training to teach online effectively.

The findings indicate that legislators, policymakers, district leaders, and parents need to start preparing for a new era of schooling and eliminating the remote learning barriers for teachers and students.

When schools across the nation abruptly closed due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, teachers and students faced significant remote learning challenges. At the onset of the pandemic, 80% of U.S. public school teachers said that they had students who had poor or no internet access at home. And 71% of U.S. public school teachers said that they were unprepared to teach online.

But the survey indicates that teachers do not expect a return to the past when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

“Teachers know that the world is changing, and the education system will need to adapt as well quickly,” said Dr. Emily Feistritzer, founder and CEO of TEACH-NOW. “They are way ahead of our elected leaders in recognizing that education five years from now will be delivered very differently than it was before the pandemic struck the nation.”

TEACH-NOW surveyed 641 U.S. and international teachers from November 14 to November 30, 2020, on the impact of COVID-19 on their teaching, their biggest challenges, available resources, and the future of education. Teachers believe that the technological changes implemented due to remote schooling will continue to evolve and improve the educational system. Teachers want to be part of the future of schooling.

The survey also found that districts and schools need to address teachers’ emotional, social, and mental health. Over 40% of U.S. public school teachers indicate that they need programs to support their personal well-being during this difficult time.

Other key findings from the survey:

Districts and schools need to provide more training and professional development opportunities for teachers.
As most public schools are still closed, and remote learning remains the primary instructional method, teachers need more training to teach online.

  • 65% of U.S. public school teachers indicated that they still needed professional development for effective online instruction
  • 61% of international teachers indicated that they still needed professional development for effective online instruction

Districts also need to provide supports for teachers’ emotional, social, and mental well-being.
Teachers expressed the need for personal support during this time, particularly in the U.S.

  • 42% of U.S. public school teachers indicated that they needed programs to support their well being
  • 34% of international teachers indicated that they needed programs to support their well being

In spite of a challenging year, teachers remain committed to the field of education.

  • Only 7% of US public school teachers and 5% of international teachers expected to be employed in an occupation outside of education in the next five years