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Driver’s Education During COVID-19

By: Julia Garelick

Over the past few months, we have seen how the Coronavirus pandemic changed the world and the way we live. Across the world, governments have implemented measures to contain the spread of the virus which has already infected over 700,000 in the United States alone. One of the initial steps taken into effect was the mandatory closure of learning institutions, including driving schools. Despite the closures, learning is still on-going for many but instead shifting to online classrooms. This is also true for driver’s education classes.

With the closure of schools, driver’s education has shifted online. Internet-based driver’s ed courses have been available in the past for 15 states, including California, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. The truth is that driver’s ed online is the preferred option for new teen drivers nowadays mainly because of its many benefits. When taking driving classes virtually, you need to be connected to the Internet to access the modules. Just like the in-person programs, driver’s ed online courses adhere to the mandatory hours set by the state. Most online driver’s ed courses are learner-directed, and students can determine the pace of the course. Driver’s ed online courses are very different from the traditional or in-person programs which have shifted to online classrooms. Virtual classes still involve an instructor who teaches the class, only this time it’s via video conferencing. In addition, the traditional programs offered a fixed schedule with mandatory classes where if you miss a class or two, you might be asked to repeat the entire course, but this year, they are more lenient with absences. Both the traditional class and the virtual class usually contain at least 20 students.

There are both similarities and differences between the usual program to the moderated one, but COVID-19 places many restrictions on how this education can continue to occur. Although this new form of learning may not be ideal for everyone, we are lucky to be given the opportunity to remotely learn so that student drivers can continue to grow and thrive on the roads.

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