Learning loss is a big topic of conversation amongst educators today, as we find new ways to navigate lockdowns and disruptions to education. Thankfully, just as edtech and communications technology has helped schools maintain lesson delivery through remote learning, there are many ways teachers and schools can utilise these same tools to combat learning loss.
What is learning loss?
Broadly speaking, learning loss is defined as “any specific or general loss of knowledge and skills or to reversals in academic progress”. Traditionally, learning loss conversations centred around bridging gaps between higher and lower income students. Large breaks away from schools such as summer holidays can widen these gaps, commonly known as the “summer slide”.
Lately, however, the term has been closely associated with the loss of learning caused by widespread school closures and the rapid shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has seen impacts on students that span across demographics, though are worsened by factors like the digital divide.
How does the digital divide impact learning loss?
With the mass shift to remote learning, the digital divide plays an increasingly important role in learning loss for many. It refers to a lack of access to digital devices and internet facilities for certain students. In Australia, this is often found in students of lower socio-economic backgrounds or those who live in remote communities with limited infrastructure.
The digital divide is so important to bridge as schools rely more and more on communications technology to deliver lessons. Giving all students the same access to high-quality technology like the ActivPanel within the classroom can aid achievement, boost engagement and improve readiness to learn.
Plus, software like ActivInspire can convert lessons to PDF format. These PDFs can then be printed and distributed as worksheets, without the teacher having to prepare a whole new suite of materials.
Personalised Learning to combat learning loss
A government report found during the shift to remote learning in Victoria, the impact on vulnerable students was higher, with increased absence rates and disengagement. Their recommendation: individualised support and flexible learning. These are key elements of personalised learning, which has been shown to raise attainment and engagement levels.
The ActivPanel has so features that assist personalised learning. Polling features in ActivInspire and Classflow give teachers immediate access to students’ comprehension levels, allowing for progress to be easily tracked. Data can then be used to give students focused, relevant attention in key areas.
Results can also be shared with parents instantaneously to simplify at-home support. By opening the line of communications beyond the parent-teacher night or report card, families can gain easier insight to their child is progressing.
While students for the most part learn better in-class, certain groups do thrive from the flexibility that comes with hybrid or blended learning. This is where teaching takes place simultaneously remotely and in-person. Edtech that can facilitate both groups with ease is a great investment to combat learning loss now and ensure learning continues uninterrupted into the future.
With the addition of a webcam, the ActivPanel gives at-home learners a simulated classroom experience. Not only may students receive lessons remotely, but they can also actively engage and interact with the class and share/present content: mirroring capabilities allow teachers to connect to personal devices from anywhere in the world.
What’s more, Screen Recorder on the ActivPanel allows teachers to capture an entire lesson, to share resources with students without increasing workload. This is a great catch-up tool for students unable to attend class in-person and makes handy revision material.
If you want more inspiring ways to increase engagement and raise attainment in the classroom with the ActivPanel, Learn Promethean is full of valuable resources and professional development courses. And it’s all free! Sign up to Learn Promethean today.