OnlineEd and Coronavirus: Practicing Empathy in Digital Spaces
Updated: Mar 25, 2020
As COVID-19 continues to spread, school districts and administrators are making plans to take courses online and provide instructional continuity to students. Rightfully, much of the focus has been on training, development, and delivery of content. These measures are critical to continued learning, and should be prioritized. However, we must also find ways to deliver empathy and care through online learning.
In local communities, educators will be influential in setting the tone for students, which will impact how students process this outbreak and interpret the information (and misinformation) presented to them. Teachers are well positioned to provide support to students that feel scared, lonely or alienated. Moments like this are opportunities to cultivate digital and health literacies in students, debunk myths, and address racism or xenophobia that has surfaced post-outbreak.
Myths and facts about the coronavirus sourced from The Student Diversity and Social Justice Office University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Certainly, climate-relate disasters and public health crises will continue to happen at inopportune times, and 21st century educators will need to provide support and practice empathy in digital spaces as well as physical ones.
Additional resources on Coronavirus Racism curated by Iowa State University