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Pandemic may permanently change model of education

CNBC
Created: September 16, 2020 10:14 PM

The coronavirus is changing America's classrooms in some concrete ways, like socially distant desks, sanitation stations and stockpiles of PPE.

Other changes are less tangible, but more fundamental, as the pandemic turns the old model of education upside down.

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Across the country, that means embracing virtual learning despite the groans of parents and teachers. Experts say the virus is speeding up the technological disruption in our schools, maybe permanently.

Once the pandemic is over, classrooms could be transformed into connected learning environments where technology isn't a replacement for school, but an extension of it.

All this online learning requires access to the internet and the virus has exposed the digital divide in America's schools.

Now districts are racing to provide students with laptops and MiFis -- even buses that double as internet hotspots.

The changes are costly, but educators say they are necessary and perhaps long overdue.


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