Masters Thesis

How Students and Parents Experience Virtual Learning

When Covid-19 shut down schools, the digital divide became increasingly prevalent between students who had access and comfort using technology and students who did not. This study used surveys and interviews to explore how students and parents experienced virtual learning in the 2020-2021 school year. I explored the following research questions: How do parents and students describe the opportunities and barriers to learning using technology? How do parents and students describe the relationship between technology and student learning? In what ways do parent and student views differ, if at all, when describing student experiences through virtual learning? The findings suggest (1) students and parents viewed technology-based learning as enjoyable and motivating; (2) both parents and students described social emotional challenges, technical issues, and distractions as barriers to learning; (3) parents and students report that Canvas, reading digitally, Zoom lessons, and educational games were the biggest supports to student learning; and (4) students believed that Google suite and Lexia hindered their learning. Implications for teacher practice include integrating technology to support student learning and providing opportunities for students to collaborate to enhance their problem solving skills and working together.