Sudden Shift to Online Learning Revealed Gaps in Digital Literacy, Study Finds

When schools abruptly moved online as COVID-19 swept across the U.S. this spring, teachers improvised and traded tips on what worked with colleagues. Many also ended up serving as tech support for students and their parents, who themselves struggled to learn new tools as well.

That’s a major takeaway from a survey of more than 700 teachers in 40 states conducted this spring, just after schools first shifted to remote instruction due to the pandemic. The study, done by education professors at Bridgeport State University, posed five open-ended questions: What has been your experience? What are your challenges? How are you solving those challenges? Who do you rely on? And what other information do you want to give us that we should know?

“Digital literacy became a theme in all of this data,” says Heather A. Pacheco-Guffrey, an associate professor of science education at Bridgewater State University who led the

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