What are the developmental concerns with children continuing to learn virtually?
The ability to sustain attention to their work with distance learning can be very challenging for children, especially the youngest. Part of the learning experience involves learning to socialize and child development relies on interactions with other children for socio-emotional growth. It is also challenging for teachers to virtually evaluate a child’s work and provide one-on-one attention. In communities with high case rates, it may not be possible to hold in-person instruction and therefore, virtual education is the only viable substitute. This widens disparities among children – those who are advantaged and have access to computers, the Internet and parental attention, versus children without access to these things. Children who are disadvantaged will lose many learned skills and risk getting behind in reading and math. This is why all efforts and resources should be dedicated to opening schools and keeping them open.