The npj Science of Learning Community presents research focussed on the mind, brain and education space. In July, npj Science of Learning authors revealed why virtual reality benefits adult language learners; and high school teachers and students shared how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their school community.

When a child is learning their native language, interacting with people on a daily basis is the key to acquiring good communication skills. Researchers, inspired by how the brain learns through the senses of hearing, touching and seeing at a young age, have adapted this type of learning to virtual reality environments. In the wake of social distancing measures caused by COVID-19, Ping Li and Hyeonjeong Jeong reviewed the importance of these studies for adults learning a second language in Social Interaction is Good for Learning a New Language, Social Isolation is Not.

Students and teachers of Genazzano FCJ College in Victoria, Australia, presented an honest appraisal of how they embraced the ‘new normal’ caused by COVID-19. For students, the lockdown has left a lasting impression and changed their approach to school life for good. Even though the isolation created challenges to delivering the curriculum, the teachers reflected on the rewards of developing differentiated learning for students and the sense of collegiality experienced by the staff. Lorna Beegan, Deputy Principal of Learning and Teaching, begins the four part series in How things change

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