The urgent transition to distance education in March 2020 revitalized the debate on the influence of a new educational reality on the educational inequality. A study was performed to measure the relationship between the difficulties experienced by students during distance learning and their socioeconomic status. Data from a nationwide survey of students administered in late March—early April 2020 by a team of researchers from a few Russian universities was used as empirical basis of this study. Results demonstrate significant differences in obstacles faced by students from families with different levels of income. Students from low-income families were the most likely to have technical and self-regulation problems and to lack skills required for effective distance learning. Findings indicate the importance of finding system-level solutions to ensure equal opportunities for students in distance learning, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
This is an introduction to the main subject of the issue “The new regional studies”. The theme is revealed in the issue in different aspects: a research center in a historical park, an educational journey of the study of industries in the context of the city, offcite research schools “Topos”, research expeditions. The general idea of the development of the regional studies as an involvement of children and teenagers in studying the world around themselves using modern tools and techniques is set.