Distance learning: how the kids lived it. The Almalaurea survey

Overall, the children said they were less satisfied with Distance Learning than the traditional school, but apparently those who say that it was a tragedy for all the children should change their mind, at least compared to the students of the last years of high school.

One in three students thinks it would be useful to continue using distance learning, along with classroom lessons, even after the Covid-19 emergency, and only 7 out of 10 children observe that the level of preparation achieved through remote lessons is lower than that which they would have had going to school. A much higher percentage – half of the children – say that DDA is effective for the recovery or consolidation of previous topics, while just under one in three children think it is effective for learning new topics. About one in six children think that their understanding of the topics covered even improves compared to traditional teaching.

This was reported by a survey by AlmaDiploma in collaboration with AlmaLaurea published in recent days which involved students of the last two years of high school from 246 institutes. A methodological clarification: the report in question interviewed mostly high schoolers living in the center north. Among the 73,2861 students interviewed (only one in three answered), in the fourth and fifth grade, 57% were high school students, 33% attended technical institutes and only 9.2% professional institutes. 34% attended a school in the Center, 29.7% in the North-East, 25.7% a school in the North-West, 8.7% in the South and 1.8% a of the Islands. In short, the south here is very underrepresented, with one in ten respondents.

Distance Learning (DaD), however, was experienced in a different way, depending on the type of school attended, but the report shows an interesting surprise: the students of the professionals had fewer technological tools available, they could follow the lessons more in fits and starts, but in the end they were the most satisfied with this experience and they are those who would like to continue it further. Even 36% of professional students state that they concentrate better on following lessons with the DDA, compared to 21% of high school students who affirm the same. In addition, the professional kids were the most happy with how their teachers rated them during the DOD, while their peers complained of less fairness than the classroom experience. Students of the professionals always declare much more frequently than others that they have intensified relationships with their peers and also with teachers, feeling more an integral part of the class. Half of the students of the professionals said that with the DAD the relationship with the teachers has become more intense.

It remains to understand if indeed the DaD has been a good springboard for these children, or if the problem is the lack of satisfaction compared to normal life in the classroom.

It wasn’t the school that created the technology gap. This experience only amplified it, because it brought out the great diversity of opportunities that persist among the families of young Italians. Most of those who attend the professional come from families with low socio-economic status and at home there are fewer PCs per person and fewer tablets. Only 43% of them had their own PC, compared to 55% of those who attend the technical school and 59% of high school students. 15% of the boys at the professional had only a smartphone available to follow the lessons, a fivefold percentage compared to high school peers. Only half of the professional students interviewed attended classes every day for at least half the hours they should have been in class, compared to 78% of high school classmates.

Furthermore, the data shows that the school has provided greater support to students precisely among the professional courses. 10.9% of professional students were able to count on help from the school, against 7.1% among technicians and 4.9% among high school students.

As regards the support of parents during distance learning, for the children of the professionals the family was more important than the children of the high school: they answered yes with respect to the need for support in the family, 44% of the first against 37. % of seconds.

The result is that, however you think about it, on balance the professionals complain of having had an unsustainable study load in the same percentage of high school students, about one in four.

After written

We got some comments, right, that our “reading” accentuates the 1 in 3 who would like to continue * even with * the Dad, compared to the 2 out of 3 who would not. This is a great example of how data can be interpreted differently depending on the question we have in mind. We were not interested in discussing the success / failure of Dad as the only teaching method, fueling the school vs Dad duel, but showing that there is not a single perception on the part of children as we adults usually think, and above all highlighting that a fact like this should push us to reflect on how to integrate Dad by making it a value for learning.
Statistically, there are more children who do not see the benefits of DAD than those who have gained added value, but we think that we adults should be interested in the meaning of the 1 in 3 who would like more DAD. Especially because it concerns more professional students, the most vulnerable in educational terms.

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