Teachers reported challenges offering online lessons during Covid times, including a lack of digital skills, a lack of digital competency, and engaging students.
Limited digital skills are almost as big an issue as access to technology: the main obstacle to digital learning is inadequate digital access (i.e., physical access to the internet or a device).
Costs, school financing, and digital infrastructure were not as difficult to overcome as engaging pupils in online lectures. During the epidemic, teachers said the most difficult part of their job was keeping pupils engaged in online classes.
The move to digital learning has had a substantial impact on poor children, with instructors reporting that the most disadvantaged kids have lost learning owing to restricted or no access to digital devices. During the pandemic, the well-being of poor kids was severely jeopardised.
Teachers encourage parents to be more involved in their children's digital education. They claimed that parents' lack of comprehension of digital tools/platforms reduced the efficacy of help offered to their children, and that disadvantaged pupils received less educational support from their parents and family.
A stronger focus on autonomous learning; improving digital competence skills among educators, students, and parents; and directing resources to address both sides of the digital gap are a few approaches to combat the growing digital divide.
Because of the digital gap, many students are falling behind while the world of education continues to experience tremendous digital revolution. To solve the concerns mentioned in our analysis, governments and policy experts must work together on a global basis. We know where the issues are, and we now need a proactive strategy to address them.
For most middle-income households, digital education platforms are too pricey. Private and public schools have vastly different digital material and teaching capacities. Furthermore, the dearth of high-quality vernacular content accentuates the gap between urban and rural students. To bridge these disparities, an inclusive education eco-system is urgently needed.
It's not just about making sure people have access to the right devices or boosting connection; the digital divide will only widen until we bridge skills gaps and ensure that teachers, students, and parents understand how to utilise digital tools successfully.
To assist bridge the growing digital gap, the following recommendations will help:
• A greater emphasis on autonomous learning: students who take an active role in their education are more involved in their studies, which leads to higher results. Furthermore, independent learning provides students with vital screen-free time and alleviates some of the constraints that disadvantaged kids have when they are required to be online for the whole day.
• Improve educators', students', and parents' digital competence skills: a shift from occasional 'upskilling' to 'always-skilling,' in which instructors get frequent training touchpoints, will guarantee that digital expertise does not lapse.
• Prioritize investments that provide affordable access to dependable internet connections and devices to address both sides of the digital divide. Governments should also work closely with teachers and students, drawing on their previous experiences to guide policy and curriculum development in the future.