Chapter 8: COVID and learning

8.2.2 Technology, higher education, and COVID-19 (prospectus)


English 102, March 2021

For my final research paper, I have decided on using the topic of the correlation between the use of technology on communication and how it has affected students seeking higher education. This topic is a very useful one for me to research as I am currently living in the pandemic as well as seeing the effects myself as I am experiencing what researchers and other scientists have discovered through their studies. My focus as a college student is school and I have usually enjoyed it as I am able to learn hard material, and to struggle along with my professor and classmates. However, COVID-19 has involuntarily caused schools to switch to online classes to follow lockdown protocol. After experiencing the pandemic for a year, I now realize the important and how heavily influenced communication is by technology, and how schools are not readily prepared to such a change. With how advanced technology has become, there is only so much that it can do before it all depends on how students and teachers use it to keep up with higher levels of education.

Technology has made a huge impact during the pandemic to allow schools and their boards of education to continue running. Coming out of high school, where all my life I was taking in-person classes has taught me that I took it for granted. I have learned a lot through my research with how schools are struggling with how they would like to incorporate technology within their classes. This research was very helpful to me because it has allowed me to think about my future and how I should continue my schooling. Through research, it has allowed me to agree with myself and change my major for how things will continue in the future of relying on technology to teach students difficult material and hoping that an online curriculum will lead to the same results of an in-person school. However, that is not the case because I can explain through my own experiences as to how college classes have been because I have faced both online and in-person classes on campus.

My final research paper will try and answer the questions: How do teachers use technology to communicate with students during the pandemic? How do teachers use blackboard collaborate and students emails to rely on information about the course?

For the disciplines that are related to the topic of COVID-19 and schooling consist of adults working in education and social workers who are responding to the pandemic. The academic fields are that related to my topic is the relationship between teachers and professors with high school and college students. As well as the ones who are responding to the pandemic like social workers; their social status is also being affected by the economy. This means that the academic fields related to my topic as well are education, economics, politics, and technological sciences. All the academic fields are related to technology and the sciences as the pandemic has caused many jobs and occupations to resort to being online and not having in-person contact.

For my introduction, I will introduce the importance of technology and impact it has on education and short explain its influence on communication. I have also decided to use my own experiences with my topic from my technology and connect it to my first body paragraph. With why my topic is important to me I will talk about how my scholarly articles have educated me on how technology has truly impacted communication not just schools, but other fields of work. Other fields that require communication like social workers and how they are needed to keep the economy running.

For my research essay, I decided on answering my two previous questions using the first paragraph for general students in education. Then, I will use the second question as a more specific part in my essay to relate to college students.

For question one: How do teachers use technology to communicate with students during the pandemic? For this part of my essay, I will use source three- “COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making,” and source six- “What is Literacy?” The overwhelming influence that technology has on communication has caused students to take on different struggles because of their social gap. I can also explain the building blocks that will lead to students learning less as technology was scarce within homes of low income. The scholarly article by James Gee about primary and secondary discourses will be used in this part of the essay to further explain the impacts of technological communication. Then, I will talk about the importance of communication on recent research discoveries. It is important that schools are responsible for a percentage of their students understanding the material given. With this idea, I will use source two- “Projecting the potential impact of COVID-19 school closures on academic achievement.” Along with source four- “The effect of COVID-19 on youth mental health” in order to help my readers get a general sense of how COVID-19 has affected society with my general question.

For question two: How do teachers use blackboard collaborate and students emails to rely on information about the course? With this new paragraph and question, I am going to be more specifically talking about the experiences and effects that college students have had to face. This would also be a good time where I can compare the different times when my scholarly articles were published and to compare their research and see if their assumptions were correct. For this paragraph I will focus on using mainly source nine- “Online teaching-learning in higher education during lockdown period of COVID-19 pandemic,” and source eleven “Teachers’ Covid-19 awareness, distance learning education experiences and perceptions towards institutional readiness and challenges.” With these two scholarly articles, I can describe online portals like blackboard and zoom where their full purpose was not for online learning. The purpose of this paragraph is to more specifically how my readers how COVID has affected the small, needed areas within the education system.

For me to clearly and neatly write my final research paper I plan on continuing to use MLA format so that I can easily quote authors without plagiarizing. I have only used this format since I began writing and I feel that should feel comfortable in my own writing. Within my two main idea questions, I plan on having subsections where I compare and differentiate what some articles agree or disagree upon. I also plan on closing in on the agreements and using them as my conclusions for each question, in the sense of a question answer type of response within my essay.

My thesis will be stated at the end of my second question where I close off with my agreements found within my scholarly articles. My thesis can be seen as the climax of my essay where I say that “COVID has changed how students and teachers communicate during a time when technology is fully relied on in order to continue their academic learning.” This will be my main sentence for my thesis for now, but I feel that I should add more to my thesis because it is such an important topic where students and teachers are struggling in general. I feel that my research paper will help others see that everyone today is having some type of struggle, and there needs to be a solution that helps with the lack of attention that is aid to the hard work of students and teachers alike.

In what I stated above, I plan on continuing this argument into my conclusion closing off on the agreements that my scholarly articles shared. As well as reinstating my thesis to show how important my topic is related to current events as things seem to waiver between getting better or worse. Attention to this matter is very important to the health and protection of anyone deciding on being a student or a teacher.















Annotated Bibliography

Baloran, Erick T. “Knowledge, attitudes, anxiety, and coping strategies of students during COVID-19 pandemic.” Journal of Loss and Trauma 25.8 (2020): 635-642.

This article talked about a survey conducted on college students in the Philippines and how coronavirus has affected them. The experiment was used to see how the students handled the pandemic, and they were also asked questions about how they felt about the government’s actions to restrain the virus. This study only involved students with the internet, which is an advantage during the pandemic because it allows them to easily focus on school without having to worry.

Kuhfeld, Megan, et al. “Projecting the potential impact of COVID-19 school closures on academic achievement.” Educational Researcher 49.8 (2020): 549-565.

This article talks about how transitioning from in-person classes to online classrooms has affected students. Their study showed statistics where students are potentially losing their academic interests. Besides transitioning, other issues like natural disasters or students not meeting the requirements to get a successful education causes more of a disturbance within the school system. It may not represent how well the schools teach, but their main goal was to see if staying in virtual classrooms too long can negatively affect students academically.

Van Lancker, Wim, and Zachary Parolin. “COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making.” The Lancet Public Health 5.5 (2020): e243-e244.

This article talked about how closing down schools and moving to online has affected students. They introduced situations like food, low-income, and students not having a home to relax and/or focus on schoolwork. Even though schooling may look easier to do at home, there are still students who do not meet the required needs in order to have a successful online education. This article acts as another simple source supporting the negative impacts of virtual classrooms, replacing in person classes.

Liang, Leilei, et al. “The effect of COVID-19 on youth mental health.” Psychiatric quarterly 91.3 (2020): 841-852.

This article investigated the impact of the pandemic 2 weeks after the first lockdown occurred. Their study was revolved around young people between the ages of 14 and 35. Some individuals had troubles with PTSD, and bad coping strategies to ease their anxiety. The purpose of this study was to show that local governments should further support young people for them to be successful. The mental health of young people is important for their well-being so that they can survive.

Muthuprasad, T., et al. “Students’ perception and preference for online education in India during COVID-19 pandemic.” Social Sciences & Humanities Open 3.1 (2021): 100101.

The article was created to show how Indian students were ready to switch to online learning. There were surveys conducted within the study to see how students felt about e-learning, and most of them wanted to switch because of the pandemic lockdown. The only option during the pandemic was to switch to online classes which students pushed for. However, it is too early to decide whether students are doing well in online classes versus in-person classes.

Gee, James Paul. “What is literacy.” Negotiating academic literacies: Teaching and learning across languages and cultures (1998): 18-25.

The author Gee goes into the idea of identity kits along with how it is made up of discourses along with differentiating them. He goes into the idea of having a primary and secondary discourse where the main difference between them is the environment and how they experienced the type of discourse. The primary discourse is the language used to communicate with family, while secondary discourses come from outside social institutions with other individuals gaining a new sense of “language.”

Morgan, Hani. “Best practices for implementing remote learning during a pandemic.” The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas 93.3 (2020): 135-141.

This article shows and explains that there are many pros and cons to when it comes to schools closing in order to save lives. The main good thing is that closing schools earlier allows to save more lives, however it also heavily impacts low-income families as they struggle to meet the technological standards. This will eventually lead to losing students from going to class as they do not have the money or technology available at home in order to attend class.

Rajab, Mohammad H., Abdalla M. Gazal, and Khaled Alkattan. “Challenges to online medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Cureus 12.7 (2020).

This article experiments with medical students and using an online education course. Even with the challenges of a pandemic, stress, and other problems, the pandemic was still able to have a positive effect on the students. This transition from face-to-face classes to online or a mixture of both has had mostly a positive impact on students overall. However, technophobia was a slight concern where students talked to counselors, administrators, and teachers on how they might fail the course. In the end, this article came to a positive conclusion on how the pandemic has affected students.

Mishra, Lokanath, Tushar Gupta, and Abha Shree. “Online teaching-learning in higher education during lockdown period of COVID-19 pandemic.” International Journal of Educational Research Open 1 (2020): 100012.

This article goes into detail about how the pandemic has forced schools along with their teachers and students to conform to online learning. Education has presumably gone down as seen through the graph models. It was also said that this was a time where boards of education could rework the school education system. This is because the current system does not help or benefit the students in today’s e-classrooms. Zoom classes will now become the normal classes where students will learn.

Suryaman, Maman, et al. “COVID-19 pandemic and home online learning system: Does it affect the quality of pharmacy school learning?.” Syst. Rev. Pharm 11 (2020): 524-530.

This article talks about the struggles in the relationship between technology and students/teachers. As well as how teachers are struggling to promote better learning environments/classrooms. Even with how students, parents, or teachers, they all struggle as seen in the article, but teachers are needed to improve the education system to help student. Parents were at times needed in order to come and help their children with their own learning because of how difficult the material was.

Alea, Lapada Aris, et al. “Teachers’ Covid-19 awareness, distance learning education experiences and perceptions towards institutional readiness and challenges.” International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research 19.6 (2020): 127-144.

This article talks about the struggles that teachers have gone through in order to transition into online classes. Their main issue was that teachers did not have the right tools and equipment in order to keep up with the demand of a healthy online environment for students. Teachers themselves had to mostly learn and use their own technology in order to teach different material. Overall, teachers with much experience were seen to be more readily prepared to teach online learning.

Almaiah, Mohammed Amin, Ahmad Al-Khasawneh, and Ahmad Althunibat. “Exploring the critical challenges and factors influencing the E-learning system usage during COVID-19 pandemic.” Education and Information Technologies 25 (2020): 5261-5280.

This article talks about the struggles of e-learning, where the pandemic has stunted the academic growth of students. Blackboard has well created features in order to help students learn through the pandemic as well as being low cost for everyone. One of the main issues of e-learning is how students will have the willingness and put effort into doing online learning in order to keep up with their academic track records. Technological knowledge is also very important so that students and understand how to work around teachers during this difficult time.

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