Remote learning is transforming sex education for teens — and adults

Online platforms have also allowed sex educators to experiment with new ways of holding discussions. Rather than ask a question such as, “Why do you think it is important that we talk about consent?” and allow one person to respond, McDowell now uses the Web app PearDeck and asks everyone to type their answer in a text box. Afterward, she’ll read some of them and discuss the range of responses.

“I’ve actually found that more students are actively engaging with the content when it is delivered this way, and I’m finding that the answers tend to be more thoughtful and reflective,” she says. “Especially when talking about subjects like sexual health, having that anonymity can help young folks respond candidly without having their answers tied to their name.”

According to Jack Skelton, a coordinator for Day One, a similar phenomenon has been playing out in the organization’s practice. In questionnaires handed out to Day One’s ninth- and 10th-graders, students said they liked being able to take sex ed without anyone else in the room with them, and they benefited from the visuals in online presentations.

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