When the pandemic is over, there will be COVID-19-related practices many school administrators will happily like to see vanish and never return, such as mask wearing and social distancing.

But there are some new or refined activities that — while forced upon the education world due to COVID-19 — should have staying power because they have the potential to improve student outcomes and school operations for the long term, some administrators predict.

Education Dive recently spoke to several school leaders for their thoughts on what practices should have lasting impacts. Here is what they said.

"Zoom fatigue" is real, but video conferencing has prevented a complete pause to learning and helped maintain student-teacher and peer-to-peer relationships when distance learning is the only format available.

Effective remote instruction, however, depends on student and teacher access to devices and the internet so teaching and learning can take place in synchronous and asynchronous formats outside school walls. Using technology to keep kids learning even when they can’t travel to school buildings will have positive and lasting impacts from the pandemic, much to the dismay of children in northern states hoping for no-school snow days.

“In 2020, internet access is a utility. It’s like water and electricity,” he said. “People need it in order to thrive in this current economy and this information world we live in.”

Although there are challenges, Spence remains optimistic technology use in education will grow and improve.

“[The pandemic] has moved us ahead about a decade in terms of digital learning in public education, and it’s settled, I think in many ways, this question about whether or not these tools have a place in schools,” Spence said. “We’re proving that you can learn anywhere and anytime.”

Read the full article about education trends during the pandemic by [u'Kara Arundel'] at Higher Ed, K12 and Ed Tech News