Long-Distance Learning

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Long-Distance Learning

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The American response to the global COVID-19 Pandemic was multi-faceted. However, of specific importance to the nation were the changes made to public education. As the Pandemic resulted in the closure of businesses, teachers and students were required to continue their educational programs online from the privacy of their homes. Although the effects of distance learning will continue to be seen, virtual learning severely limited the ability of students and teachers to use sensory perception as a tool for learning and instruction.
First, distance learning no longer enabled American teachers to utilize the sensory perception of “proximity.” Throughout public education “proximity” is used to encourage student engagement with both instruction and content. Many teachers will walk their classrooms during student activities and use sensory perception to sensorially inform students that they are near to them and are assessing their engagement. Teachers use this strategy as a reinforcement tool to develop students’ ability to stay on task. Yet, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, social distancing policies made “proximity” not only impossible, but also illegal, limiting to what extent teachers could use sensory perception to foster engagement and learning.
Second, not only were educators no longer allowed to use the sensory perception tool of physical proximity, but also many educators were forced to rely solely on the sensory perception of sound. School districts throughout the state of California, for example, did not permit educators to require their students to verify their attendance in live video format. The result was educators and students were engaging predominantly through speaking and listening. Furthermore, being denied the sensory perception of sight, educators could not assess to what extent students were engaging with instruction and activities.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 Pandemic enacted emergency response strategies which directly affected the education of Generation Z. For both students and educators, sensory perception became more limited for every student. Yet, the sciences, including social science, are built upon the empirical information a human being receives through them. Perhaps this video will serve as evidence to answer the question, “Is the right to sensory perception and scientific information included within the natural rights of life, liberty, and property?”

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This item was submitted on August 21, 2022 by David Maddox using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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