With yesterday’s announcement of Ontario schools being closed until May 4, 2020 in favour of a virtual learning model, it is of interest to see how virtual learning has been received so far in Ontario.
A recent survey indicates that an overwhelming percentage of parents indicate they prefer “in classroom learning” to that of a virtual learning environment. The survey was sent by STEM Camp, Ontario’s largest educational summer camp, to its database of 30,000 Ontario families with results being collected over the last few days. Of families who responded, 81% indicated they would rather have students attend school in classrooms with regular teachers to that of virtual learning.
The grades most represented in the survey were from the elementary system; specifically grades kindergarten through grade 8.
Interestingly, 65% also indicated they were not receiving any type of virtual learning through their schools yet and have absolutely no communication with their classroom teachers. This may change with yesterday’s announcement of course. 59% of parents also indicated they believe their children are getting less work done at home while 30% say it’s too early to tell.
STEM Camp is collecting data surrounding virtual experiences in preparation for a possible summer that may include a virtual camp experience. There is some evidence to support an interest in exploring virtual learning after the COVID-19 crisis has passed as 34% indicated they would be in favour of this while 33% indicated they may be in favour of it.
STEM Camp will continue to poll on this subject in the next few weeks as more and more families may be experiencing a version of homeschooling using virtual learning. If that happens and students are learning less at home than at school there may be significant educational impacts on our next generation.
About STEM Camp
STEM Camp is a not for profit organization dedicated to creating educational summer camp experiences for youth aged 5 through 13 in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM Camp has over 55 locations planned in 5 provinces across Canada, employs 300 summer staff and has served over 30,000 campers since its inception in 2013.
About Kevin Cougler
Kevin Cougler is the CEO and Founder of STEM Camp and the former Executive Director of Canadian charity, Partners In Research. While at Partners In Research, Kevin was responsible for implementing the first Canadian virtual learning experience between students in secondary schools and researchers and scientists in laboratories across Canada. Kevin holds a Videoconferencing Certified Engineer designation through Polycom Inc.