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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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1 - 15 of 249
The growing digital divide in education among primary and secondary children during the COVID-19 pandemic: an overview of social exclusion and education equality issues

Ali Cheshmehzangi; Tong Zou; Zhaohui Su (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
The growing digital divide issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic are critical to widening disparities and inequalities. Yet, only a few studies have explored the impacts of the digital divide on the education sector. In particular, there is a research gap related to younger students of primary and secondary schools. This study addresses this research gap by providing an overview of the digital divide’s impacts on social exclusion and education equality issues. In doing so, the study argues the effects of COVID-19 on the growing digital divide. Such influence is then studied based on the increasing education inequalities due to the digital divide and the eventual social exclusion increase among primary and secondary school children. The study explores the nexus between social exclusion and the digital divide before reflecting on EI as a type of social exclusion.
The association between screen time and attention in children: a systematic review

Renata Maria Silva Santos; Camila Guimarães Mendes; Débora Marques (et al.)

Published: April 2022
Electronic media pervade modern life. Childhood is a crucial period for attentional development and the screen exposure time is increasing. This review aimed to understand the association between screen time and attention of children with typical development. A systematic review was conducted in compliance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes PRISMA being registered at Prospero under number CRD42021228721. A search was performed in January 2021 with the following keywords: “screen time,” “children,” and “attention,” combined with the operator AND, on databases PubMed, and PsycINFO. Four hundred and ninety-eight articles were identified, and 41 papers were fully read, of which 11 were included in this review.
Will teachers continue to teach online post-COVID-19?

Jaskiran Arora; Gurjeet Kaur Sahi; Nicholas Yates

Published: April 2022   Journal: Behaviour & Information Technology
Numerous studies have captured the experiences of teachers teaching online, but the current ‘emergency’ to teach online is unprecedented and has been challenging. Grounded in the theory of cognitive dissonance, this paper attempts to recapitulate the experiences of university teachers and analyses whether they have developed the consonant cognitions to teach online during the pandemic period or would they prefer switching back to ‘normal’ teaching as soon as the circumstances permit. Technology-enabled teaching has been found to be complex as it mandates teaching in a computerised setting and lacks an element of social interaction, which is at the heart of face-to-face teaching. Using Structural Equation Modelling, this study presents the determining factors that motivate teachers to embrace technology-driven teaching more convincingly.
China survey report on the online learning status of high schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

Congbin Guo; Zhuzhu Xu; Chenchen Fang (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: ECNU Review of Education

This study examined the results of a large-scale national survey of online secondary education in China. The online survey of 33,194 high school students and 5,667 teachers provides comprehensive and representative data regarding the quality of online education and its implementation during the pandemic. Questionnaire surveys of different grades and comparative analysis of different cohorts reflect the group heterogeneity of the online learning effect.

Change in weight category among youth early in the COVID-19 pandemic

Ihuoma Eneli; Jinyu Xu; Keeley Pratt

Published: April 2022   Journal: Clinical Obesity
Remote learning and shelter-in-place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with obesity risk factors such as decreased physical activity, altered routines and sleep schedules, increased screen time, and non-nutritious food choices. The objective of this brief report is to describe change in weight category 3–6 months after the onset of the pandemic in a cohort of 4509 low-income youth. Inclusion criteria were youth aged 2–17 years with weight and height measure in a large primary care network between 1 January and 30 March 2020 (Q1), designated as pre-COVID period; and 1 June–30 September 2020, (Q3), as early-COVID period. Change in weight category was assessed between Q1 and Q3. Adjusting for visit type and time lapse, logistic regression was conducted to examine the association between weight category change and age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Child development and distance learning in the age of COVID-19

Hugues Champeaux; Lucia Mangiavacchi; Francesca Marchetta (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Review of Economics of the Household
School closures, forcibly brought about by the COVID-19 crisis in many countries, have impacted children’s lives and their learning processes. The heterogeneous implementation of distance learning solutions is likely to bring a substantial increase in education inequality, with long term consequences. The present study uses data from a survey collected during Spring 2020 lockdown in France and Italy to analyze parents’ evaluations of their children’s home schooling process and emotional well-being at time of school closure, and the role played by different distance learning methods in shaping these perceptions.
Early childhood education during the COVID-19 outbreak: the perceived changing roles of preschool administrators, teachers, and parents

Süleyman Yildiz; Gulenay Nagihan Kilic; Ibrahim H. Acar (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Education Journal
Stakeholders (teachers, preschool administrators, and parents) in early childhood education have struggled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The present study explores the experiences and perceptions reflecting the perceived changes in the roles of stakeholders in early childhood education as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey. A criterion sample of two administrators, nine teachers, and seven parents in early childhood education institutions was interviewed.
The developmental appropriateness of digital games and its impact on young children’s enjoyment and playtime

Lucrezia Crescenzi-Lanna

Published: April 2022   Journal: International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the provision and downloading of educational apps for children have both increased. This paper reports the results of an extensive literature review of the age-rating systems of digital content (audiovisual and games) used around the world and demonstrates the weakness of those instruments that prove ineffective in choosing digital content for children. Age-rating systems are arbitrary and only focus on explicit content that is considered harmful to preschool children. The paper proposes an alternative model of app analysis based on child development. The main objective of the research is to determine the developmental appropriateness of apps for young children and its effects on children’s responses through a content analysis of 318 apps and a test of a subset of them (N=25) with a sample of 53 children aged 3–5. To this end, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis is used to extract a composite index of the apps’ developmental appropriateness, which was used to specify a path analysis. The results show that developmental appropriateness is associated with the highest positive ratings by children and, indirectly, with play time.
Reopening with Resilience: lessons from remote learning during COVID-19 – Eastern and Southern Africa

Rafael Pontuschka; Sophia Kan; Thomas Dreesen

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: March 2022
The widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the learning crisis for children living in Eastern and Southern Africa. The crisis has also shown the great need to develop resilient education systems that can provide learning when schools are forced to close. Understanding how to provide remote learning equitably utilizing multiple modalities and emphasizing low-tech solutions in Eastern and Southern Africa is critical given the great challenges facing the region in terms of electricity and connectivity access. This report provides a summary of lessons learned in the East and Southern Africa region from remote learning during COVID-19 and provides concrete recommendations on how to increase the resilience of education systems
Young children’s perceptions of emergency online English learning during the Covid-19 pandemic: evidence from Kazakhstan

Anas Hajar; Syed Abdul Manan

Published: March 2022   Journal: Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching
This qualitative study explores the English learning experiences of 30 Grade 5 students from three mainstream schools in Kazakhstan during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was informed by Benson et al.'s (2011) four-dimensional model of language learning beyond the classroom: (a) location (physical vs. virtual), (b) formality (formal vs. informal agents), (c) locus of control (other-directed vs. self-directed goals) and (d) pedagogy. Data were collected through online individual interviews and students' drawings. The data suggest that the participants' English teachers used mainly Zoom and WhatsApp platforms for delivering the online classes. The participants were critical of their English teachers' practices, particularly, the overuse of WhatsApp, the scarcity of co-operative activities and delays in responding to inquiries. Consequently, 16 participants (53%) were receiving face-to-face and virtual private tutoring in English (PT-E). Although face-to-face PT-E may be unsafe during the pandemic, PT-E was a parental strategy to free themselves from the burden of tracking their children's progress. The participants acted agentively, not only reflecting on the disadvantages of online education but also on its benefits, including its being more convenient and able to help them improve their self-reliance and technology skills.
Risks of digital screen time and recommendations for mitigating adverse outcomes in children and adolescents

Shahina Pardhan; John Parkin; Mike Trott (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Journal of School Health

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented move to emergency remote learning around the world, leading to increased digital screen time for children and adolescents. This review highlights the potential risk of increased screen time to the eye and general health and makes recommendations to mitigate the risks posed. A narrative review of evidence of increased digital time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks linked to increased screen time and offer possible steps to mitigate these in students.

Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak and associated public health measures increase the progression of myopia among children and adolescents: evidence synthesis

Akarapon Watcharapalakorn; Teera Poyomtip; Patarakorn Tawonkasiwattanakun

Published: March 2022

Although studies have suggested that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak increased myopia progression, they had different settings and analysis methods. This study compared myopia progression before and during the COVID-19 outbreak using meta-analysis. Relevant literature was searched on EMBASE, PubMed, ClinEpiDB and Web of Science and reviewed until 8 October 2021. The Newcastle–Ottawa Scale was used to evaluate the quality of the original studies. The mean difference of change in spherical equivalent refraction (SER) was used for evaluation before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-book-based learning activity during COVID-19: engagement behaviors and perceptions of Japanese junior-high school students

Hiroyuki Kuromiya; Rwitajit Majumdar; Gou Miyabe (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning
Recent spread of the COVID-19 forces governments around the world to temporarily close educational institutions. This paper evaluated learning engagement, level of satisfaction and anxiety of e-book based remote teaching strategy on an online learning platform. The research involves 358 students at an urban junior-high school in Japan. Learning logs were analyzed to measure student engagement, whereas survey responses indicated their perception regarding the remote learning experience. Log analysis revealed that the average completion rate over 267 learning materials was 67%.
Looking back on Nigeria’s COVID-19 school closures: effects of parental investments on learning outcomes and avoidance of hysteresis in education

Moses Ogenyi

Institution: Research on Improving Systems of Education
Published: March 2022

This insight note explores how COVID-19 and related school closures impacted Nigerian schools, parents, and students. National data collected by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2020 through a monthly phone survey show that children had extremely limited contact with the education system during this time, and that families preferred low-cost alternatives such as in-home tutoring and increased parental involvement in education to e-learning tools. Additional data collected by the RISE Nigeria Team in a survey of 73 low-cost private schools in Abuja suggest that some schools did maintain contact with students during mandated school closures, that students experienced absolute learning losses equivalent to about 5-6 months of school missed in other contexts (Cooper et al, 1996), despite participation in alternative learning activities, and that the pandemic led to severe financial hardships for schools and teachers.

Classroom discussion practices in online remote secondary school settings during COVID-19

Tony Gutentag; Aviv Orner; Christa S. C. Asterhan (et al.)

Published: March 2022   Journal: Computers in Human Behavior
Academically productive talk (APT) in classrooms has long been associated with significant gains in student learning and development. Yet, due to COVID-19 related restrictions, teachers around the world were forced to adapt their teaching to online, remote settings during the pandemic. This investigation studied APT in junior high school during extended online, remote teaching spells. Specifically, it focused on the extent APT was a part of online teaching practices, what characterized teachers who tended to promote APT more in online, remote teaching, and associations between APT and teacher well-being, as well as student motivation and engagement.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.