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Students may face challenges following years of remote learning

Young children will feel impact of learning online the most

Students have spent a considerable amount of time over the last two years learning online. 

Appearing on the Mike Farwell show on CityNews 570 on Tuesday, Dr. Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, an assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University said the effects of remote learning should be a concern going forward. 

"Groups of students who were going through the pandemic maybe learned less than other groups in earlier years," Dr. Gallagher-Mackay said.

"We hear that from teachers too."

Along with the challenges of learning online, research suggests that students are having a challenging time with their overall well-being. This is in part, due to the lack of social connection felt during the pandemic.

Young children will likely feel the impacts of remote learning the most. 

"Learning through a screen when you're five years old is possible but it's much more limited, said Dr. Gallagher-Mackay said.

"The kinds of things that kids learn at school, up until about eight, tend to be heavily social emotional."

Concerns have been raised that the generation of students who learned online during the pandemic will be unable to catch up. Dr. Gallagher-Mackay does not believe that this will be the case if students and teachers are supported properly. 

"We should be really pushing to see...good support so that we're identifying where there are needs, and using our muscle as a strong public education system to provide support to kids," she said. 

Dr. Gallagher-Mackay also said that more complete information is necessary in Ontario, to better understand the ways that children need support. 

Ontario does not currently have system level data on how students are faring after learning online.