The New York Times’ recent opinion piece on education explores how the pandemic is helping us to think about students and education in more holistic ways. Schools have had to pivot quickly and many have responded in incredible ways, but what has become glaringly evident is that focusing on rote learning and standardized education leaves the more human qualities behind. Relationships are critical for deep learning and engagement.

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College enrollment in 2020 has dropped by more than 20% for first year students and more than 30% for students in high poverty areas. Experts are concerned we may be losing a generation of students.

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In it’s series finale of the Pandemic Campus Diaries series, EdSurge reviews the semester and attempts to answer the question, “Online or In Person: Which Choice Aced the Pandemic Semester?” Which decision do you think was best for students and professors?

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Recent test data of 4.4 million US students positively shows online learning has had little impact on reading and has only somewhat slowed gains in math. Unfortunately, nearly 25% of students didn’t take the MAP test this year, and these students are “more likely to be black and brown, more likely to be from high-poverty schools and more likely to have lower performance in the first place.”

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While the pandemic has caused downtime routines to change, it has opened up possibilities for new, more intentional habits to form. Instead of the mental housekeeping we used to do during a commute to work or walk to school, we may need build downtime into our daily schedule through a morning workout, an afternoon walk or an evening meditation. When it comes to self-restoration, we all have options — find what works for you and give yourself the gift of downtime.

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