LaNiyah Collins, Howard University News Service
With COVID-19 creating the need for social distancing and putting a halt to a lot of face-to-face interactions, the use of technology has increased drastically. Some industries that have increased the use of technology are education, religious services, and entertainment. Although these industries don’t usually rely solely on technology, they’ve had to adapt to the circumstances of the pandemic and like anything else, it has its pros and cons.
In Louisville, Kentucky the public education system has completely gone online and it is called the Non-Traditional Instruction Program (NTI). Students are required to log on for instruction from their teachers three hours a day for four days a week. The Census Bureau has reported that almost 93 percent of households with school-age children have had to do some form of distance learning during the pandemic and this adjustment hasn’t been the easiest.
Brooklyn Mayes, a resident of Louisville, attends a public high school as a sophomore and has faced difficulty with the adjustment to the NTI program.
“I get lost really easy with NTI and I feel like it’s easier to just ignore the things I don’t know since I’m at home and don’t have to physically be with teachers,” she said.
Along with the material being more difficult to grasp, Mayes also shared how she misses other aspects of school.
“I miss seeing my friends every day, getting dressed every day, and being able to have cheerleading practice after school instead of before,” she said.
Even though NTI hasn’t been easy for her to adjust to, she still has enjoyed some new policies that have come from it.
“I’m grateful that I no longer have to get up early for school, I only have to be in school for three hours, and I don’t have to go to school on Fridays,” she expressed.
She also expressed appreciation for her teachers readiness and availability to help her when she does get confused.
In addition to education, technology has also changed how people practice their religion. The Pew Research Center reported that 18 percent of adults have watched religious services online or on TV for the first time during the pandemic. Similar to other cities in the U.S, a few large churches in Louisville have stopped having services in person until it’s safe for people to congregate again. Angela Belmar, a resident of Louisville, has been attending Canaan Christin Church for over 30 years and she has adjusted to the changes well.
“ I love streaming church services online, it’s something I was doing even before the pandemic. You never have to walk in late to a service, it’s convenient, and it works well around a Sunday work schedule,” she said.
While online streaming does come with many benefits, it also has some downfalls.
“I do miss having social contact with other believers,” Belmar expressed.
Altogether, Canaan Christian Church is handling their services to the best of their ability, putting them on platforms such as their website, Facebook, and YouTube to ensure that their 5000+ members have the chance to view the service one way or another. People do miss being in the house of worship and being around others who believe as they do but they won’t have to miss getting the sermon from their pastor.
Along with education and religious services, the entertainment industry has made drastic changes. In order to keep artists and their music relevant, the industry has had to hold performances and market music in different ways to ensure they captivate their targeted audiences attention. Aryn Livers, another Louisville resident, has been enjoying some of the new developments the entertainment industry has made.
“I really enjoy watching the Verzuz battles. I love how you can see that celebrities and regular people are enjoying the same show at the same time and I really like how it brings people together in times of isolation,” she expressed.
Verzuz is a webcast series, created by producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, that hosts friendly battles between music artists who people want to see go head–to–head. The most watched Verzuz battle is Jeezy vs Gucci with over 1.8 million Instagram viewers. The page never picks a winner, but it does bring hundreds of thousands of people together to enjoy music and take their minds off what’s going on in the world.
In conclusion, all industries have had to adapt to social distancing guidelines while still ensuring they are doing what they are supposed to do. Overall, these three industries in particular have done a great job delivering their services to their targeted audiences through technology in the midst of a global pandemic.