Researcher using previous disasters to model COVID-19 recovery plans

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 6:27 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - At a time when many schools are going back to remote learning because of the explosion in COVID-19 cases, experts are trying to figure out what education will look like when this is all over. To do that they’re going back 16-years into the past, to a natural disaster that hit New Orleans.

A researcher says that the pandemic effects on students could be compared to another crisis in our nation’s history: Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Doug Harris has been researching similarities between the remote learning brought on by COVID-19 and how Hurricane Katrina took students out of the classroom for a considerable length of time.

Harris said, “Students were isolated from friends, family, teachers and in different kinds of schooling environments.”

Dr. Harris says there are three spots we can compare and improve on in the fall.

He’s tracking the change in educational habits, such as providing different learning options for students, and how we can improve the education that were using by using the technology kids and teachers have been forced to learn. He says one of the lessons of COVID-19 is that in-person time is really precious time and we need to make the best use of that and not just lecture and so on, but to flip the classroom.

Researchers are pushing schools to make sure they spend as many COVID-19 relief dollars as possible on long-term investments that will help re-integrate kids back into the classroom.

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