“Over Easy” Brief Synopsis
The book “Scramble” was a phenomenon where students were forced out of public schools due to the COVID 19 pandemic in March of 2020. The Scramble required public schools to find resources and implement online classrooms in order to create an online form of learning. The transition experienced by many of the stakeholders affected by this situation included students, teachers, administrators and families. As months drew to over a year in some cases of online learning from home an inevitable gap in student learning emerged as students were away from the physical in-person classroom. This learning gap that emerged created significant issues as students returned to schools for in-person learning in the Fall of 2021. Reintegrating students to the rigor and responsibility of a full in-person school day after being remote for as long as they were, was difficult for schools to say the least.
The learning gap that emerged amongst remote students was caused as a result of many factors and is well documented by many sources as a significant phenomenon within most public schools. The switch to remote learning was a significant accomplishment during the pandemic in an unprecedented way. Students, teachers, administrators and families were required to work from home in a new online learning environment during the pandemic and succeeded in this transition hands down. Remote learning, however, did have certain drawbacks for the online student, which will be clearly documented in this book Over Easy. Due to a lack of social interaction, in-person daily routine, direct teacher interaction, and a variety of other reasons, student learning overall slowed and for some created a learning gap in schools that in some cases has become a significant issue.
According to a McKinsey and Company study published in December of 2020 students regardless of race were at least 6 months behind in Math skills and close to 3 months behind in Reading and English skills. This study was conducted while many students in public schools were still remote and doesn’t even fully grasp the extent to which students were behind entering the 2021–2022 school year. Remote learning presented many schools with an exciting opportunity to engage with students in a completely new way in a very difficult situation. Public schools that engaged students remotely during the pandemic had little to no idea what the outcome of this learning format would be on overall student learning and advancement. In the book Scramble the idea of Crisis Learning is discussed, where teachers and students are in a crisis situation such as the pandemic and are still trying to carry on with typical school subjects in a remote setting. Stakeholders including primarily students and teachers did an exceptional job at facilitating online learning from both ends of the computer.
Addressing the learning gap in students post-pandemic is no easy endeavor. Many factors come into play when looking at this situation, which have a significant influence on which particular students are the most affected adversely by remote teaching. Factors such as race, socio-economic status of a student and their school’s population, gender, and even willingness to participate in remote learning in the first place all play a role in the extent of a student’s learning gap. In Scramble the topic of student stress, and even chronic student stress was addressed in order to uncover how students were negatively affected by the isolation that they faced during the pandemic and the remote learning environment. This pent-up, or cumulative stress certainly played itself out in many schools at the start of the 2021 school year.