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Remote learning reinforced the joys of face-to-face teaching

The coronavirus pandemic forced schools, almost overnight, to integrate technological change into their practices that would’ve otherwise taken years to implement. When thrown in the deep end, educators opted to swim.

Schools did well to pivot to remote learning but nothing can replace face-to-face teaching.

Schools did well to pivot to remote learning but nothing can replace face-to-face teaching.Credit:Martin Hunter

Schools were agile in their move from on-site to online learning within staggeringly swift timeframes. We had a newfound appreciation for the ubiquitous connectivity that has allowed that to happen in a time where increased screen time can be derided as the cognitive apocalypse.

It can be tempting to over romanticise a pre-smartphone era where chins weren’t tucked to chests and everyone “just talked to each other”. However, such nostalgia for yesteryear does little to inform how children and adults alike approach their reliance on the screen today. Without access to our devices, education for thousands of students across Victoria would’ve ostensibly ground to a halt in 2020.

In educational research and commentary around the long-term future of schooling, the prospect of the classroom teacher eventually being replaced by technology often arises. In Australia, with 97 per cent of households with children under 15 having access to the internet, and the ever-increasing access enabled by desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone devices, students across the country are increasingly connected.

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