Why We Ask: Our mission and operations are funded 100% by conservatives like you. Please help us continue to extend Liberty to the next generation and support the 2024 Independence Day Campaign today.

June 26, 2020

A Virtual Educational Failure

Lockdowns changed education for millions of students, and not always in a good way.

When states closed American schools due to the coronavirus pandemic, state boards of education reacted quickly to ensure that students would continue to learn. Online technologies such as Zoom, for example, were implemented so teachers and students could meet in real time. On the surface, it seemed like the perfect solution. We’ve all seen videos or news clips of a computer screen filled with the faces of eager students hanging on the teacher’s every word. Parents walking into the kitchen were likely reassured to see their child staring into the laptop while the teacher explained the lesson in the background. But the reality paints a much less successful picture of the virtual schoolhouse.

For one, a significant number of students never show up for class — which makes sense, given how much easier it is now to hit the snooze button and grab another couple hours of sleep. Just email your teacher later and explain that your Internet was down.

Another issue is that students trained by our modern education system expect a reward each time they scribble down a word or solve an equation. Teachers today know that if there’s no carrot on that stick, students will shut down.

The Wall Street Journal relays the results of a recent report: “Students have an incentive to ditch digital class, since their work counts for little or nothing. Only 57.9% of school districts do any progress monitoring, the report found. The rest haven’t even set the minimal expectation that teachers review or keep track of the work their students turn in. Homework counts toward students’ final grades in 42% of districts. And some schools that do grade offer students a pass/incomplete.”

This is not only a problem in K-12 schools but also in higher education. Many colleges and universities encouraged their faculty to “go easy” on students this semester. A Columbia University professor this spring had a novel idea: pass everyone. As she admitted, “I wrote to both of my classes a week ago to say that I would give everyone an A based on the work they’d done already.” So much for those students who worked exceptionally hard all semester.

Another study finds that online education has several other downsides. The study mentions that “students without strong academic backgrounds are less likely to persist in fully online courses than in courses that involve personal contact with faculty and other students and when they do persist, they have weaker outcomes.”

Few seem terribly concerned about any of this, especially not the companies that provide platforms for online learning. As one might expect, this is now big business. According to Tech Startups, “[The] coronavirus pandemic is a boon to tech companies offering video conferencing software tools. These companies have seen a meteoric rise in the last five months. For instance, Zoom, a tech company that offers a conferencing app, is now worth more than the world’s 7 biggest airlines combined. Zoom is valued at more than $50 billion.”

Some of this money comes from businesses whose employees work from home during the shutdown, but education makes up a significant part of the total.

None of this suggests that online teaching and learning doesn’t have a place. Online education can replicate on-campus courses to a large degree when done the right way, and for independent and self-motivated learners, it can be a good fit. But we can’t pull millions of young students out of school, sit them down in front of a computer, and expect them to learn as before. Younger children, in particular, need social interaction. They need in-person access to their classmates and their teachers.

When it comes to education, this may be the most important lesson of all.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.