Class of COVID-19: ‘The Slide Is Real’: Many Online Learners Have The Most To Lose
ORLANDO — For most of this academic year, Gabrielle began her school day with a click. Then she waited to see if her classroom would appear.
"It's very confusing. … Sometimes the conference doesn't pop up,” said Gabrielle, a Black seventh grader at an Orlando middle school.
Even when she could log on, she said she wasn’t always able to get answers to her questions.
"I have to turn on my mic or type in the chat, and [teachers are] usually screen-sharing, and they're not on the page,” Gabrielle said. Florida Public Media is using only the first names of Gabrielle and her mother to protect the family’s privacy.
Nearly a year after schools around the country closed abruptly in an unprecedented effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, millions of kids are still learning remotely. National surveys have shown that many of these virtual learners are students like Gabrielle who face some of the greatest challenges to success online: low-income students and students of color.
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This story is part of the Florida Public Media series, "Class of COVID-19: An Education Crisis For Florida's Vulnerable Students." Find the whole project — and sign up for our limited-run newsletter — at classofcovid.org.