Here are 3 of the latest and trending U.S. education and EdTech news subjects.
1. Districts Navigate Reopening for the Upcoming School Year
While many schools and their students ended the last school year in person, a new wave of the pandemic is here. The rise of the Delta variant has not only hindered plans to return to the classroom, but it will also likely reinforce long-term remote learning models.
Schools have adapted to district-wide closures since March 2020. Despite having re-opened last school year or having intentions to be fully in-person this school year, some districts are needing to revert to remote learning. The anticipated number of closures in the coming year could surpass the number of schools that closed last year, as the Delta variant has indicated a surge and ease of spreading, especially among children. The FDA’s pending approval for young students to receive the coronavirus vaccine further compounds the spike in cases. It’s now a matter of weighing the health risks of going to school versus threats of learning loss from remote instruction, as districts determine which learning model fall classes will be held in.
Whether schools plan to stay closed for a few weeks or indefinitely, they must prioritize proactive planning to ensure students receive a quality academic year, regardless of the environment they are learning in. With education technology, districts can arm educators to teach safely and effectively, whether remote, hybrid, or in person. Although opinions continue to remain split between students, families, and educators on their preferred learning environments, schools can provide educators with sustainable practices to utilize EdTech, empower students, and drive professional development as they head into another unprecedented school year.
2. Interactive EdTech Continues to Enhance Student Engagement
Student engagement has continuously served as a top priority for schools throughout the pandemic. Interactive learning is key to providing engaging educational experiences for students of all ages. This type of learning drives increased student participation and stronger absorption of new lesson material. With EdTech solutions and interactive technologies, students and teachers are better set up for an engaged and successful school year.
Recent studies show that using digital whiteboards can support increased student engagement across learning environments. For teachers, these EdTech tools offer easy ways to integrate technology in the classroom and maintain a captivated audience. Whether educators choose digital whiteboards for the connectivity, the mobility, or the ability to collaborate, it’s clear that interactive panel displays provide enjoyable and engaging experiences.
The frequency at which children are reading has seen a drastic uptick, and students reading online or on screens is at an all-time high. Supporters – whether parents, teachers, or guardians – can keep children engaged with panels or tablets by using similar approaches for students learning with print material. Instructors and families can drive student engagement by physically accompanying students while they’re either reading print or using screen technology.
3. Back-to-School Trends for the Upcoming School Year
Over the past year, schools have evolved on several levels, at a rapid pace that hasn’t previously been seen before, and the rate of change is not slowing down now. As schools resume this season, it’s a critical time to consider lessons learned and anticipate what’s next for the future of education.
In the past year, school communities have innovated learning environments, classroom tools, curriculum, and more. Competency-based education is flexible and increasingly popular, as it rewrites the conventional K-12 education format to prioritize mastering material instead of spending a certain length of time on a lesson. This type of personalized learning accounts for age, skillset, preference of learning pace, and more. As fall classes approach, this model can support learning loss recovery or work to close the widened gap of education inequities.
With a new era of education challenges, we have great opportunities ahead. We can capitalize on all the new insights and skills we have gained in the past year to drive a better, more student-centered system.