Kaspersky evaluates students performance during enforced distance learning

According to a Kaspersky recent survey “Digital education in Covid era”, more than half of children in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region (67%) who switched to remote learning due to the pandemic prefer in-person education.

Due to COVID 19 pandemic, millions of families around the world have been forced to experience distance education for their children. Over time, the results of this kind of education began to emerge. What are the effects on students and how is it reflected on their skills and experience?

However, the followers of this process are deeply suspicious. Complaints on social platforms are nothing but a manifestation of them, and the biggest obstacles are the poor living conditions of a large part of the population, the lack of Internet coverage reaching all regions in the country, and the inability of the mass media to create an interaction similar to what is happening in classrooms.

However, working on these platforms suffers from many problems, the most important of which is that the interactive requirement in basic education is almost absent, and there are many technical problems in watching these lessons, especially with the low speed of the Internet in some areas, and sometimes even gaps in the digital tools used, as happened with Zoom has been criticized for allegations of a lack of privacy.

Distance learning: how does it affect our lives

The pandemic has become a real challenge for the education system. Learning in an online format supposed to be an adequate substitute for the usual classes at schools but did it work out all right? Kaspersky conducted a study in which we found out how all participants of educational process passed this uneasy test.

Schools had to transform educational programs in a short time and everyone was forced to adapt to these circumstances – teachers, parents and school students. Every group experienced this period in different forms. In this research we were exploring how the distance learning influenced families’ lifestyle, format of teaching, quality of education and relation to the IT sphere in common.  Now we can draw out some conclusions.

Methodology

The study was conducted online by Toluna research agency between April – June 2021. There were 1563 respondents from META region from such countries as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria who participated in the survey.

People between the ages of 18 and 55 or older were interviewed. All the respondents were divided into the groups by age and type of activity: kids, teachers, parents. The data were revised to be representative and consistent at the regional level. Not all survey results are included in this executive report.

The attitude of adults to the remote learning format / (How do adults evaluate distance learning)

  • Preferences in the formats of learning after the end of the pandemic vary. The slim majority of the respondents prefer to return to the classical learning process. All the other parents split up: the share of those who would like to continue studying online and the part of those who prefer a hybrid format (some days at school and some days at home) are almost the same
  • Parents are worried about the health of their children, mostly because of increased screen time and it may affect the kids’ eyesight
  • Among the main disadvantages of distance learning, the majority of adults indicated the lower quality of education and inconvenience in combining the children’s learning and remote work at home
  • The majority of teachers consider that online learning is less effective than ordinary classes because children don’t process educational materials as well as in a classroom environment

Technical issues

  • Many parents found it difficult to provide all the children with devices and had to borrow, buy or share their own gadgets
  • Among the new elements that were introduced in the educational process the most popular were video presentations, digital tests and chats. Interactive games were used less frequently than other tools
  • Parents noted they had to step in to help if the child had some technical problems during classes
  • It was difficult for school students to stay focused all the time during classes: they were distracted by playing computer games or games on a mobile phone, watching films/TV series and reading books or articles
  • In Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE video conferencing software and programs for screen sharing and remote control were installed especially for distance learning while antivirus more often has been downloaded earlier

 

  • The educational program was adapted for online teaching in all the countries

Children’s experience

  • Kids in Turkey and UAE prefer learning at regular school to online lessons, while kids of Saudi Arabia – distance education
  • The most popular advantages of distance learning were increased free time and also the possibility to spend it with family
  • Children missed playing games and talking with their friends at school or after classes – this was the main disadvantage of distance education for the majority of young respondents
  • Kids from all the countries also complained that it was difficult for them to sit in front of the screen for a long time
  • Children noted it was more difficult to understand educational materials via online, especially hard science (math, physics, chemistry) and in some cases foreign languages

Work and education in IT domain

  • The majority of young respondents are curious about Information Technology and want to work in IT in the future, especially kids from UAE and Saudi Arabia
  • Parents also want their children to receive technical education, especially in Turkey
  • There are few adults who are not interested in technical courses for their kids at all. Most parents from Turkey, UAE and Saudi Arabia think about the possibility to put their children to coding or robotics classes

Conclusions

The study “Digital Education in Covid era” showed how adults and children coped with the sudden start of distance education during the pandemic. The technologies helped to provide unstoppable learning and every group successfully managed with adaptation to the new circumstances. However, the results revealed that personal communication is one of the most important components in the study: it is needed both for teachers and for children.

We would like to hope that the experience gained from an immersion in a virtual world will allow schools all over the world to take a new look at the usual offline training format and use the necessary digital tools in work.

 

 

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