Due to the CoronaVirus Outbreak and the social distancing practiced by the masses, schools and universities have closed. Public Schools are said to be closed until at least April 30. While students were excited for the time off as a vacation, the education system has adopted a remote access model for students and teachers to access at home.
Students and teachers are using Microsoft Teams to communicate and each different class has their own chatroom. Parents are expected to ensure students are remaining productive in their homes. While schools are closed due to social distancing initiatives, this is an important initiative to help the education system continue.
However, there have been some setbacks in remote education. A remote education system being suddenly implemented is under the assumption that every student has access to a computer at home. This is not the case. Many students began remote learning last week without the proper tools. Some households have one computer and two or more students that need to use it simultaneously.
The City is purchasing devices for students who live in public housing and are from low income neighborhoods. New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza estimated that there are a shortage of 300,000 devices across the city that will be provided to the students in coming weeks.
While the New York City Department of Education is currently purchasing laptops for students; there will be an adjustment period. After laptop devices, students may not have the proper headphones or other supplementary hardware to be engaged with the education.
Remote education was a sudden adoption which will cause initial hurdles in the process. It is highly advisable that when schools are back in session, teachers begin to increasingly incorporate laptops into the educational process. This would help the access to education become remote-friendly. Should students need to be home or have a homework packet during vacation, they are able to use their laptops to resume work.