Will the Coronavirus Revolutionize Education?
With some K-12 school districts and administrators across America panicking and attempting to get ahead of any ‘outbreak’ of the coronavirus, more districts are opting for students to stay home. I’d be willing to bet that most students thoroughly enjoy this. It’s kind of like having ‘snow days.’ However, what might be in store for these students could be far more important than a snow day, as it’s possible that the virus may herald a revolutionary shift in education.
Throughout the years, American homeschooling and online K-12 education has become far more popular and realistic than ‘brick and mortar’ public schools want to admit. School choice is disrupting and angering public school districts and officials, and school boards are voting against student vouchers so they can continue to enslave students to their school districts instead of allowing state-allocated money to travel with that student to a school of their choice. This includes online education. School districts also keep knowledge of online schools and online education far away from K-12 students and their parents, at all costs. After all, bodies in the seats mean more money for ‘brick and mortar’ school districts.
However, now that the coronavirus is causing school administrators to panic, ‘brick and mortar’ schools are encouraging students to stay home and engage in “Hybrid/Online” classes, where they communicate with their teachers online and complete online assignments and tasks at home on the internet. For most American K-12 students, this is the first time they have consistently accomplished this task at home without direct contact with the school or their classrooms, yet many of them may fail to understand that this form of online education goes on every day, throughout our country and other countries, when a virus is not in the news or infecting anyone. They may also not know that a degree from an online K-12 school counts exactly the same and holds as much weight as it does if they were waking up early every day, riding a bus, and attending a ‘brick and mortar’ American K-12 school, in person.
It’s my estimation that this will be an awakening for countless American K-12 school students -- and their parents -- that these students actually don’t have to attend a ‘brick and mortar’ public school in order to receive a high-quality education, followed by a diploma. Once these students begin their online tasks, they may come to the realization that online learning is far more in-depth, far more rigorous, far more interesting, and yet far more quiet, as they don’t have to look to see who is about to get into a physical fight, or detest attending classes where teachers are indoctrinating them with their own personal ideologies. Therefore, the presence of this virus and the forced school closings that have occurred as a result, have perhaps created the next wave of individualists and online learners in America.
Online education requires students to think for themselves. Within typical American K-12 schools, individualism is being stamped out on purpose. Students today are forced to engage in “project-based learning,” group activities, clubs, and competitive games that ultimately seek to conquer and divide one another among their peers, without the individual person ever having a chance to think or act for themselves in a creative way. Therefore, their participation in online education has now forced them to think for themselves, by themselves, in a what hopes to be a quiet, sensible learning environment where the individual student can exist with their own mind and their own thoughts to guide them in an online landscape where the limits are endless.
The feelings that may arise throughout this inadvertent online application of learning that schools have placed on their students, may create a dialogue among the entire student population, that attending American K-12 ‘brick and mortar’ schools or even ‘brick and mortar’ colleges and universities may be unnecessary. With the rising costs of colleges and universities, and given how these institutions have become such news-makers regarding professorial indoctrination while pushing radical ideologies on their students, the current crop of American K-12 students may realize that online education is not only a successful environment, it may be a far healthier one. Suicide, is in fact, the number one cause of death among college and university students -- but this isn’t the case when they attend online. Gee, I wonder why?
Perhaps this inadvertent participation, that has typically been kept in the shadows by K-12 school districts, will now show K-12 students that they may not need as many people around them in order to think for themselves and be successful. I’m willing to bet that once these K-12 students return to their ‘brick and mortar’ schools, they will be far less enthused to be there. In fact, once they return to their ‘brick and mortar’ schools when the coronavirus dust settles, they may ultimately ask themselves; “Why am I waking up early and coming here, when I could be learning online?”
Dr. Sean M. Brooks is the author of five books including; Violence Among Students and School Staff, and Purposeful Deception.