With COVID-19 disrupting school at all levels, it’s little wonder that some of our most widely read education stories in 2020 had something to do with how parents and students could make the most of the situation.

Some of the lessons came from the past, as with this list of three things that people can learn from how schools responded to the pandemic of 1918. But our authors also offered advice on schooling at home, particularly for parents of color, and on how students can find the motivation they need to do schoolwork online. Another scholar put forth a compelling argument for why students should be allowed to keep their cameras off while attending remote classes from home.

The year 2020 also saw the passing of Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon, whose activism began during his time as a student. Finally, while many avenues for family fun are shut down during the pandemic, one expert on backyard astronomy left us with this advice: The sky is almost always open.

Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Education Editor

Educating your children at home brings the power to choose what they learn. MoMo Productions/Getty Images

For parents of color, schooling at home can be an act of resistance

Monisha Bajaj, University of San Francisco

A scholar of multicultural education says the COVID-19 pandemic gives parents of color the chance to choose what their children learn at home.

Readers' picks

These kids learned about staying healthy in schools around the time of the 1918 pandemic. Cornell University Library

3 lessons from how schools responded to the 1918 pandemic worth heeding today

Mary Battenfeld, Boston University

School systems realized that they couldn't deal with the pandemic on their own.