Abstract: The Covid‐19 pandemic has catalyzed irreversible structural changes in education systems worldwide. One key development is the broad utility of remote digital e‐learning modalities for learning and instruction that could jeopardize social inclusion if digital in(ex)clusion is left unaddressed. This study assembles a two‐step mixed method research design and conducts a case inquiry of Shaanxi Province in China by leveraging policy document analysis and rapid survey methodology in examining how transitions to remote digital e‐learning may introduce learning barriers to children from vulnerable backgrounds. Findings reveal that children’s access to remote digital e‐learning devices during the rapid transition to e‐learning has a close association with their backgrounds. Key policy implications include utilizing multimodal hybrid technology in diversifying content delivery and maximizing e‐learning coverage, developing open learning platforms, expanding access to e‐learning resources, and collaborating with industry partners to bring tangible support to families and realize meaningful e‐learning at home.
Keywords: China; Covid‐19; digital e‐learning; rapid survey; remote e‐learning