It’s easy to look back on the coronavirus pandemic and highlight the challenges and missed opportunities, but upon reflection, many educators and students are finding surprising learning gains.
The experience of being a student during the pandemic was uniquely challenging and resulted in the development of new skills and strategies. Let’s look at some of the pandemic learning gains experienced by many teachers and students.
- Time Management
Pandemic learning has put many students in the driver’s seat regarding their schedules. While the initial transition to remote or hybrid learning was challenging for many students, many have embraced the flexibility and control it allows them. Students are using time management apps, like Coach.me, Anydo, and Finish. The ability to self-pace their work, take breaks, and control their energy levels has been a significant pandemic learning gain, allowing students to tackle their work in ways that they cannot in the traditional school environment.
2. E-communication Skills
While students have long been proficient in more informal modes of e-communication (texting), the pandemic has created a cohort of students who can write professional emails and communicate confidently in the digital space. Many students are now familiar with e-tools, like message boards, direct messaging, and channels in communication platforms like Slack which they will use later in their professional careers.
3. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is another skill that has increased for many students throughout the pandemic. The unique emotional challenges brought by COVID-19 have also given students a new vocabulary to express their emotional states. Students are not only more aware of their own emotions but more empathetic to their peers. Today’s students are better at identifying, managing, and communicating emotions than previous generations.
4. Global Community
Few circumstances have the power to highlight how interconnected today’s world is the way COVID-19 has. Today’s students are more aware of global issues and their role as members of a global community than any previous generation. The rise of remote learning has allowed students to create connections with peers around the globe; for example, Knovva took its annual MG20 summit virtual in 2021, bringing high school students from around the world together to engage with the world’s most pressing issues. More connected and globally conscious than ever before, today’s students are ready to enter the world—a major pandemic learning gain.
While many skills came out of the turmoil of the pandemic, resilience underlies all of them. Building resilience in students is something that educators and parents have strived to achieve, and the experience of COVID-19 has shown that few things build resilience like real-world experiences. Students emerging from the pandemic have experienced the growing pains of adapting to new experiences and have seen themselves learn new skills, develop problem-solving abilities, find new passions, and heal with the support of a community. These students approach new challenges with optimism and determination beyond their years. Ready to carry their new skills into the global community, today’s students are bold, determined, and independent.