Education news

Online learning has increased `significantly'

About 100,000 pupils are taking part in online lessons from home

ONLINE learning has increased significantly since schools closed down, the Department of Education has confirmed.

Figures were presented in a Covid-19 update report to the assembly education committee.

They showed that about 100,000 were taking part in online activities.

Patchy broadband and poor levels of student engagement are said to be impacting some teachers' ability to provide remote lessons.

There are also concerns that some disadvantaged children cannot access classes as they lack a suitable device.

The department said the figures presented were only daily snapshots of some aspects of online learning, but did not reflect the totality of such activity.

There was no expectation that all learners would be engaging in such lessons every day, it added.

"The figure quoted relates to one of a range of metrics provided by the Education Authority's C2K system which indicates use of the applications they are able to track," a department spokeswoman said.

"It is, therefore, not reflective of the entire access to online learning being made by our schools.

"The Education Authority's C2K system has seen a significant increase in online learning activity since schools have closed.

"Pupils also have access to multiple other online learning resources outside of those which can be monitored by C2K.

"Additionally, a range of other educational software providers have also made their resources available free during this crisis and schools in Northern Ireland can avail of these online tools.

"Many schools are also making hard copy resources and learning materials available to their pupils."

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