Coronavirus and Education

Overview

Coronavirus and Education
How schools and colleges are responding to COVID-19

The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic — has big implications for P-12 and higher education in the United States. Education journalists around the country are playing a vital role in helping communities understand the situation, from school closures to plans for remote learning and making sure high-need students maintain access to wraparound services like health care and meals.

Education Week is tracking state-level K-12 school closures, which includes the closure of both the buildings and in-person instruction. 

While the response to the health crisis is fluid, it’s clear that educators will have to rethink teaching methods. Challenges include adopting new methods of digital learning and instruction if bricks-and-mortar classrooms remain closed for an extended period, as well as helping families struggling with child care issues or mandated quarantines.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — which the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic — has big implications for P-12 and higher education in the United States. Education journalists around the country are playing a vital role in helping communities understand the situation, from school closures to plans for remote learning and making sure high-need students maintain access to wraparound services like health care and meals.

Education Week is tracking state-level K-12 school closures, which includes the closure of both the buildings and in-person instruction. 

While the response to the health crisis is fluid, it’s clear that educators will have to rethink teaching methods. Challenges include adopting new methods of digital learning and instruction if bricks-and-mortar classrooms remain closed for an extended period, as well as helping families struggling with child care issues or mandated quarantines.

Highlight

Word on the Beat: Remote Learning

As communities nationwide grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, educators are struggling to provide young people with meaningful opportunities to continue learning even with most public schools now closed. In this installment of Word on the Beat, we look at how digital tools are being put into quick action for K-12 education — and how that’s creating both opportunities and challenges for teachers, students, and families.

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Five Tips for Education Reporters Covering the Coronavirus

Keep Calm and Report On

In any health crisis, the news media is a critical source of information for the public. Education reporters can, and should, play a key role in their newsroom coverage, given that schools are a significant factor in efforts to contain and limit the existing outbreak of the coronavirus.

EWA Radio

‘There Are No Invisible Children’: Erica Green of The New York Times
Veteran reporter shares insights from the national education beat, and how COVID-19 pandemic is influencing her work
(EWA Radio: Episode 236)

Few, if any, education reporters are tackling tougher issues right now than Erica Green of The New York Times, whose stories often share a common theme of focusing on the unmet needs of marginalized students. She discusses recent coverage, including how school cafeteria workers in Baltimore are feeding an entire neighborhood, concerns about a potential federal waiver that would let districts pause services for students with disabilities, and a rare look inside a juvenile detention center where young adults are being left largely unprotected from COVID-19.

Blog: The Educated Reporter

New Grants Help Journalists Through the Coronavirus Crisis
These organizations will provide money for freelance projects, help out furloughed reporters

The coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented demand for high-quality news and information – and destroyed the finances of many of the news outlets that served that demand. Luckily, a growing number of organizations are attempting to provide cash to journalists who wish to continue informing their communities during this crisis.

Here’s a list of organizations offering help to journalists during the crisis:

 

Community Member Webinar: Communicating Through the Coronavirus Era
Webinar

Community Member Webinar: Communicating Through the Coronavirus Era

As geysers of alarming health and economic news and rumors flood the public sphere, communication specialists struggle to disseminate clear, accurate information about important issues. They’ll also help tell communities what the safest practices are for rejoining social life as organizations roll out plans for a new normal. It’s more important than ever for people in communications roles to cut through the chaos of misinformation. 

EWA Radio

Higher Ed Goes Remote
How colleges and universities are adapting to the new realities of the coronavirus crisis
(EWA Radio: Episode 235)

With most colleges and universities forced to close campuses in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, postsecondary learning has moved online for millions of students. Doug Lederman, the co-founder and editor of Inside Higher Ed, discusses the fallout of the shift and its potential long-term implications, especially for postsecondary institutions that were already in precarious financial straits.

Will The Coronavirus Drive Your College Out of Business?
Webinar

Will The Coronavirus Drive Your College Out of Business?

The pandemic has forced nearly every college in the country to cancel spring classes, sent endowments plunging, and slashed state tax revenues that had been funding public universities. That triple whammy has already driven some colleges out of business altogether. Many more are likely to follow. But which ones?

In this EWA webinar, Susan Fitzgerald, who analyzes the financial strength of colleges for the Moody’s Investors Service bond rating agency, explains how even math-averse journalists can investigate the financial outlook for the colleges they cover. 

What Khan Academy’s Founder Wants You to Know About Online Learning
Webinar

What Khan Academy’s Founder Wants You to Know About Online Learning
Sal Khan shares insights on education during the coronavirus pandemic and the future of learning

With millions of K-12 students stuck at home during the pandemic, the nation is engaged in a massive, crisis-driven experiment in remote learning. What do education journalists need to know to better understand and report on what’s happening? To help address that question, EWA is turning to one of the pioneers in online learning — Khan Academy founder and CEO Sal Khan.

Prioritizing Mental Health Care and Coverage During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Webinar

Prioritizing Mental Health Care and Coverage During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Get story ideas and self-care tips from this double-duty webinar

Today’s students are struggling with separation from their social circles, the loss of important celebrations like graduation and prom, and, in many cases, life-and-death issues such as an inability to escape a turbulent home life. They’re also digital natives accustomed to socializing online and, in many cases, have used their time to create delightful moments of humor and hope.

Webinar

Express Webinar: How to Get Your Freelance Education Stories Published
Editors explain how to pitch and what to expect

As the coronavirus pandemic triggers widespread furloughs and layoffs at news outlets, a growing number of education reporters are seeking freelance opportunities to continue covering their vitally important beat. 

But which publications are paying for journalism these days? And how can education reporters cut through the noise to get their pitches heard? 

EWA Radio

Self-Care for Journalists 101
How to protect your mental health and physical well-being while covering crises like the COVID-19 pandemic
(EWA Radio: Episode 234)

Education reporters, like everyone else, are struggling to cope with the stress and many day-to-day challenges of life during a pandemic. At the same time, they’re working hard under difficult conditions to chronicle the impact on students, schools and families. and pitching in on broader coverage for their newsrooms.

Teens, Screen Time and Social Distancing During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Webinar

Teens, Screen Time and Social Distancing During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Building strong and positive relationships with peers is a key ingredient to healthy adolescent brain development. With social distancing guidelines in place in response to the new coronavirus, how will teens maintain their relationships and why does it matter?

In what ways might teens’ savvy with technology help them cope? What impact will the stresses of a scary disease and economic turmoil have on youths’ mental health? Will sheltering-in-place have a disproportionate social-emotional impact on teens as compared with adults and young children?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Word on the Beat: Remote Learning

As communities nationwide grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, educators are struggling to provide young people with meaningful opportunities to continue learning even with most public schools now closed. In this installment of Word on the Beat, we look at how digital tools are being put into quick action for K-12 education — and how that’s creating both opportunities and challenges for teachers, students, and families.

Blog: Higher Ed Beat

Five Story Angles on College Admissions During the Coronavirus Pandemic
How higher ed reporters can plan for their next enrollment-related story

Amidst the tsunami of headline-making impacts from the coronavirus, this spring’s closure of nearly all the nation’s 4,200 college campuses could have some of the longest-term effects.

As higher education scrambles to provide instruction and prepare for whatever is next, “the big issue that’s out there is what will enrollment look like in fall 2020,” says Terry Hartle, a senior vice president at the American Council on Education, the largest membership organization of colleges.

EWA Radio

COVID-19 and New York City Schools
Covering the coronavirus pandemic, remote learning from the nation’s largest district
(EWA Radio: Episode 233)

With more than 1.1 million K-12 students, New York City’s public schools are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on a massive scale. While district officials scramble to close the technology gap and get computers to students who need them, teachers are getting a crash course in the “do’s and don’ts” of remote instruction.

Remote Learning 101 in the Time of COVID-19
Webinar

Remote Learning 101 in the Time of COVID-19
What reporters need to know as students, schools, and families adjust to the new reality of distance teaching and learning

For millions of K-12 students, remote learning at home has replaced bricks-and-mortar classrooms for the foreseeable future, as districts comply with orders to shut down schools in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

What do reporters need to know about remote teaching and learning? How is the shift playing out across the country? What are compelling story ideas for reporters covering the day-to-day aspects of this experiment in remote learning, as well as big-picture angles for down the road? 

Coronavirus Stimulus: What Relief Is Coming For K-12 and Higher Ed?
Webinar

Coronavirus Stimulus: What Relief Is Coming For K-12 and Higher Ed?

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act—dubbed the CARES Act—includes over $30 billion in relief for schools and colleges. The unprecedented aid package, which President Trump signed March 27, has many wondering what’s next: How will the funds be distributed? How will relief dollars be spent? And, is it enough?

Blog: The Educated Reporter

Child Care and Early Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Five Stories to Tell
How is COVID-19 impacting early childhood education?

The new coronavirus outbreak is sending shock waves through the nation’s K-12 and higher education systems. But how is the spread of COVID-19 affecting the littlest learners, ages 0 to 5, and the adults who teach and care for them?

The situation is fast evolving, and each state is responding to the child care conundrum differently. Here are five story ideas reporters can pursue to dig into the pandemic’s effects on their local early education workforce and the children and families they serve.