Nearly everyone across the United States has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or another. Many have fallen ill, while others are caring for loved ones who are battling it. Millions have lost their jobs, at least temporarily, while others are working longer shifts than ever in tough conditions. And schools have closed their doors across the nation, and teachers, school administrators, students and parents have been plunged into the new norm that’s been brought about by the shelter-in-place measures – mobile learning.
It’s estimated that nearly 55 million U.S. students are expected to continue their education at home. Teachers are instructing students from afar – many of them with their own children at home. Administrators are trying to give support and guidance to staff in uncharted waters. Parents, who suddenly have children underfoot while also trying to do their jobs, are trying to help their students get assignments done.
It is a tough time to be in education, and the team at Promethean applauds your efforts and appreciate the hard work you are doing. Learning has gone 100% mobile and education technology is at least helping to normalize learning when traditional classroom interactions just aren’t possible.
Fortunately, edtech allows classroom instruction to continue virtually as students log in from their home devices and take part in math, science, language arts and more. Nothing can replace the experience that an in-classroom school day provides, but at least technology can allow it to continue in other ways. Amid school closures, teachers are using videos, interactive activities – and digital quizzes and tests, too. Hands-on instruction may look a little different these days, but at least mobile and virtual technology give students and teachers the tools to communicate with each other and keep the learning going.
What this means moving forward
How long will stay-in-place measures last? That’s the million-dollar question. But school districts have closed their schools and announced that the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year will take place from home. But eventually when we head back to class, educators will have an immense amount of understanding for which parts of remote teaching/learning work well and can hopefully use these lessons to continue educating K-12 students remotely when needed.
COVID-19 will pass. And hopefully – optimistically – we can find some sort of silver lining and what’s happening in academics now for good in the long run. Students, as they always have, will continue to miss school because they are either sick or out of the classroom for other reasons, such as family travel. The lessons being learned today will certainly help their education continue – once they are well enough or can connect online.
What was normal yesterday is abnormal today and will help create the new normal of tomorrow. The learning gap has widened, but there are also lessons to be learned and new ways of teaching that will increase engagement and help students make up for the lost time in the classroom. It’s providing some much-needed scheduled time and allowing classroom lessons to continue.
The U.S. education system is being forever changed and you are an integral part of it. We want to help you to continue to reach out to your students and stay connected in a time where face-to-face human connection isn’t happening.
Reach out to a Promethean representative to find out how we can support you as you continue teaching students across the United States – remotely.