Education Forever Impacted by Covid19

Nations have responded in shock to the abrupt closing of all schools and isolation of our elderly in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We have not experienced a nationwide or worldwide shut down like this in our lifetimes. Parents are forced to become teachers overnight, many of whom are facing financial hardship and overwhelm themselves. Imperative in this time of crisis is to effectively care for educational needs as well as mental and psychological needs of all human beings.

The future of schooling appears unclear as we monitor the progress of the COVID Pandemic. When will schools open? Will they close again? How many times over the next 5 years will students have to receive learning from home?

We are facing a reality in which some children are being taught by parents who start drinking at 9am and wish that the child were not home. At best, we are facing a reality in which parents are struggling to assist their children with their schooling from home. The Learning Management Systems (LMS) most districts run on are unable to deliver the engagement needed to keep the attention of students as they work from home. How can educators know with certainty and peace of mind that their students are staying caught up with their studies? How can they know the learning is effective? How long can the current LMS systems engage a student and parent in order to see visible academic improvement?

It is heartbreaking to know that millions of children do not have close to the support they need academically during this time. With reports of thousands of calls from American’s seeking mental health support, and overall White House Help Line calls up 891 percent, the importance of an intuitive digital system that can support Mental Health and Education becomes even more essential at this time.

During a crisis, teachers, parents, and students are in need of Social and Emotional Learning more than ever. There is a need for a single comprehensive solution that addresses distance learning, academic needs, mental health support, and connectivity. The ability to monitor student behavior while staying connected to education in a fun, engaging, and user friendly environment can change the entire academic and personal success of students during a pandemic or otherwise.

Third-party programs within inner-city schools first began assessing students psychometrically to understand their strengths, barriers, and preferred learning styles. That self-assessment was then combined with a Social and Emotional education including but not limited to the subjects of Self Esteem, Self Awareness, Goal Setting, and Social Perceptiveness. The results demonstrated that the students’ academic performance and attendance increased greatly compared to those who were not part of the program. In an article by CASEL the nationwide organization for Social and Emotional Learning, they stated that,

“SEL programs are among the most successful youth-development programs offered to school-age youth. Furthermore, school staff (e.g., teachers, student support staff) carried out SEL programs effectively, indicating that they can be incorporated into routine educational practice. In addition, SEL programming improved students’ achievement test scores by 11 to 17 percentile points, indicating that they offer students a practical educational benefit. Given these positive findings, we recommend that federal, state, and local policies and practices encourage the broad implementation of well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs during and after school”. 

Universal Tutor is one collaborative system that is a promising solution to the apparent need for mental health, academic, and personalized learning support. As an Economic Transformation Technologies portfolio company, Universal Tutor Inc. targets the Education sector of sovereign nations and is preparing to deliver its Social and Emotional Learning technology platform. The platform is designed to be highly intuitive and easy to use so that much learning, a student can do independently.

Universal Tutor will ultimately take the pressure off of a teacher’s responsibility to teach SEL while increasing their visibility of the indicators contributing to the mental and academic health of the student. Originally Universal Tutor was designed for K-12 with a focus on the academic and mental health of students, parents, and teachers. Since then the scope has been expanded to delivering the same gamified solution to elderly, military personnel and their families, and higher education. With the experts Universal Tutor has in place, it appears that this solution can become the platform of platforms for Education that lasts far beyond the challenges families face in a time of crisis such as COVID19. As a collaborative platform, it becomes the stitching and glue’ between best of breed educational technology and content.

Ultimately this solution is one that can help restart a person’s life and career.