Ninety-four percent of American parents are concerned about "summer slide" or learning loss as the result of COVID-related disruptions to the previous school year, according to new research.Seventy-six percent, furthermore, are concerned that their child's academic performance will be impacted by the shift to remote learning.
In spite of these concerns, many parents see opportunity in the new school year, as more than half of respondents (55%) believe digital schooling is conducive to their child's learning style.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CodeWizardsHQ, the survey of 2,000 American parents of school-aged children also examined both parents and students' biggest challenges with digital learning during this unique school year.
Hybrid and remote schooling have been no walk in the park for parents and students alike.
On average, respondents' children have been enrolled in digital or hybrid schooling for three months over the course of the current school year and the last.
According to parents, top remote learning pain points in this period included bandwidth issues (54%), their children missing the group interactions of in-person class (40%) and students being distracted by other things in their remote learning environment (39%).
But according to CodeWizardsHQ's CEO, Jey Iyempandi - whose coding academy for students aged eight to 18 has been entirely digital since Iyempandi founded it five years ago - these online learning pain points pale in comparison to the medium's potential for individualization.
"Personalization is the spice of digital learning, and learning preferences are as diverse as students themselves.
From 1-on-1 to group settings, from independent study to lecture, different students learn differently," said Iyempandi.
"The beauty of the digital medium is that we can offer a variety of formats and tools to accommodate various learning styles.
While large class sizes of traditional classroom settings inhibit the ability for personalization and customization, online learning can be extremely versatile."When it came to the features that parents felt would make their child's online learning process easier, having all classes recorded for reference (40%) and the ability to live chat teachers or instructors for help (35%) were among the most desired attributes.But many parents are looking further into the future than the current school year alone, with respondents also reporting the skills and hobbies they would most like their children to take up in the future.
Three in 10 parents wanted their kids to take part in engineering-related activities.One in four parents want their child to learn how to code.Seventy-three percent of parents, moreover, say that this school year is an opportune one for their child to start learning coding, since fewer typical extracurricular activities will be available.
It's not just parents of tech-loving kids who are in favor of this activity, though.
A full sixty-eight percent of American parents believe their child will need to learn to code no matter what field they choose to enter.
In addition, 77% believe that coding is the most important skill their child will need to succeed in the digital economy.
And 73% say they would rather their child learn to code than learn a foreign language.Fifty-five percent of American parents, moreover, believe their child's dream job is one that doesn't even exist yet.
"Skills have greater value than grades or degrees for both colleges and employers.
No longer are good grades and ACT/SAT scores sufficient to stand out to top colleges," added Iyempandi, who has also developed an internship placement program that pairs high school-age graduates of CodeWizardsHQ's advanced coding courses with nonprofits that could benefit from their skills.
"A student needs to bring something unique to their application, such as a real-world internship, collaborating with a team to make an impact by building software for a non-profit organization.
An internship with a tangible impact is a demonstration of their skill, which is highly valued in the selection process."