The education system failed lower-income students–edtech can fix it

The pandemic disrupted the development of over 55 million U.S. school children under the age of 18. In many cases, the switch to remote education hasn’t been a smooth one–teachers might have been briefed on the correct use of online tools, but have struggled to keep engagement levels high in the digital classroom.

Perhaps even more urgently, Covid-19 has widened the already-existing education gap that puts low-income students at a disadvantage compared to their better-off peers. The reasons include ineffective educators, lack of internet access and study resources like tutor accessibility, and difficult family situations.

According to McKinsey, students are at risk for significant, long-term learning loss – which will be even greater for low-income, black, and Hispanic students. Existing achievement gaps could be exacerbated by 15-20 percent. 

Yet, today’s challenges can be solved by democratizing access to learning resources to help all students improve their performance and drive interest even in remote education. Here’s how.

Inclusive education for all

Particularly in public schools, it is becoming obvious that educators often lack the resources they need to provide maximum value to their students. To some extent, distance learning today merely covers the basics, with the main differentiator of student success being the resources and ability to advance self-guided learning. This is a worrying reality for a number of reasons: For example, with household income dropping significantly for the lowest-earning households during the pandemic, tutoring or accessing a functional computer get further out of reach.

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