On distance learning in Italy during the Covid-19 emergency
Keywords:Covid-19 (C-19), distance learning, emergency, Italy, school, university, human relationship, freedom
Aim. Due to the Covid-19 (briefly C-19) epidemic, since March 2020 people and institutions have needed to use digital services, i.e. a transfer to life online. This paper analyses the distance learning experiences of children, teenagers and parents during the lockdown in Italy. Reflections are then carried out on the impact of the distance learning at academic level and on the imposed distance mode.
Methods. We consider the distance learning experiences of children, youngsters and parents during the lockdown due to the C-19 epidemic in Italy, considering in particular data collected with a survey on a national sample of 1028 children and youngsters, aged
between 10 and 18 who use the Internet.
Results. Society showed unpreparedness for this drastic change, highlighting already pre-existing digital inequalities. The closure of schools has led to over 90% of children and teenagers enrolled in school worldwide to drop out of school. From March 2020 the lockdown measures have been extended to all Italian regions.
Conclusions. Italian students lost regular school days by a factor 2.5 times higher than the average of lost days among high-income world countries. Millions of children and teenagers had diffi culties in distance learning activities due to a lack of connectivity and/
or inadequate IT tools; many students stopped attending school. Distance learning can be interpreted as an unfortunate piece of this new negative social picture.
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