Scattered Schools

type - trends
category - society
sector - media & technology
sector - youth
With remote learning the new norm, school is becoming something that is no longer a physical space but a dispersed learning experience

Upended education

Although consumers around the world are feeling the weight Covid-19 has placed on their shoulders, this mindset is intensified for Generation Z, whose path to adulthood has been greatly disrupted.

Many should be attending university, an experience often sold as a crash course in identity formation. ‘Disrupting that plan can feel like a sense of loss, almost as if students are grieving their entire future,’ Jessi Gold, a professor at Washington University, tells Teen Vogue. With students fcing this loss of purpose, younger teenagers are reassessing whether this compromised experience is worth their time and money. Spotify recently found that one-in-three global consumers under 17 may not go to university at all.

Instead, many young people have been pushed back into dependent living. The pandemic has forced a fifth of British renters aged 18-24 to move back in with their parents. In Australia, this boomerang generation comprises over 330,000 people (source: YouGov, Finder). With socialising integral to human happiness, this digression is impacting their already fragile mental health. According to Handshake, almost half (49%) of students report increased anxiety due to the current economic climate.

New educational schemes are stepping in to fill this gap in emotional support, such as The Hopenclass. The think tank is billed as a space to unlearn, exploring a range of intersectional courses that centre pop culture to tackle humanities, STEM and business, focusing on developing emotional intelligence among students.

Published by:

19 January 2021

Author: Holly Friend

Image: Graduate Together Yearbook honors the High School Class of 2020, inviting all high school seniors whose graduations were canceled due to the coronavirus to participate in the largest yearbook ever.


Graduate Together Yearbook honours the High School Class of 2020, inviting all high school seniors whose graduations were cancelled due to the coronavirus to participate in the largest yearbook ever.

Brand academies

The rapid normalisaton of remote learning paves the way for brands to enter the home-schooling market and help a new cohort of parents manage their new roles as educators. According to Gallup, 43% of American working parents say that balancing a job and helping kids with school has been a major challenge.

To give parents time back their time, new virtual schools are emerging, such as Wingu Academy. The remote-learning platform combines ed-tech with face-to-face teaching, providing educational support to schools and home-schoolers all over Africa, featuring live classes and tutorials along with interactive online content.

Travel and hospitality brands can also offer a helping hand to parents. As Sara Clemence, co-founder of The Expedition, highlights, the pandemic has inspired many Millennial parents to explore world-schooling. ‘What might otherwise seem like a loss of stability is a time to have a family adventure,’ she tells LS:N Global. Clemence is also seeing families ‘renting ocean-front villas in Hawaii and hiring full-time teachers to come with them.’

Luxury hotel brand Montage is targeting such footloose families with its Montage Academy offering, which aims to make remote learning less stressful. For $175 (£132, €146) a day, kids get access to a supervised study hall, online tutoring services from the Princeton Review, and hotel spa ‘movement breaks’.

Social studies

In a future in which education primarily shifts to a remote model, we will see the emergence of new IRL and URL spaces that marry Generation Z’s need for social connection with their hunger for autonomy and entrepreneurship.

With education no longer centralised in a physical space, college students are being inspired by TikTok’s Hype Houses, renting large ‘collab houses’ with friends and doing school remotely, together. These communities can range from lavish beach villas in Barbados to Cottagecore-ready options in the rural Midwest. ‘We all want new experiences, but that’s been hard to come by,’ says 19-year-old Erik Boesen, who is looking to reclaim autonomy and replicate the social element of college.

‘[Montage Academy] is giving parents – who by now are likely well aware of the challenges of remote learning – a much-needed break to enjoy the many pleasures that our properties provide’
Alan Fuerstman, CEO, Montage

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