Education news roundup blog post – December 2021
Here are three of the latest and trending U.S. education and edtech news subjects from December 2021
- Leveling Up – Educators Work on Upgrading Lesson Plans With New EdTech Tools
As 2021 wraps up, educators must identify what tools have been the most effective in daily learning to carry into the 2022 school year. Classrooms, students, and teachers have been experimenting with top-of-the-line technology tools for constant classroom collaboration with the help of government funding, and are now tasked with selecting the most beneficial tech from their teaching experiences.
Among these tools, lesson plan essentials like interactive whiteboards and interactive pens have proven to be key devices in daily learning, and have cemented their spot for usage in the upcoming school year. To utilize interactive whiteboards and pens to their fullest ability for school subjects ranging from history to language arts, and beyond, teachers are implementing applications that can promote active participation and ensure that students are engaged in the material being taught.
By utilizing applications within edtech, educators are adding a unique, and creative level of engagement to daily learning for students, while simultaneously sourcing the most effective edtech solutions to enhance the education experience moving forward.
- Additional School Closures to Protect Mental Health of Teachers
Schools that returned to in-person learning this school year are facing new challenges stemming from COVID-19, including teacher burnout. This has led to some schools choosing to extend holiday breaks, and teacher unions proposing early-release days after returning from break, leading to the development of new schedules like virtual at-home learning on Fridays.
As the pandemic has caused teacher retention rates to fall, current teachers have been given an increased workload. This increased workload has led to burnout and has made it a challenge for teachers to stay motivated at work.
In an effort to provide balance for teachers’ mental health, some schools are giving extra time back to teachers to focus on themselves. By allowing teachers to recharge and spend time with their families during the holidays, educational leaders are anticipating that teachers will be ready to reconnect and refocus on the upcoming year ahead.
- Navigating the Transition from Asynchronous to In-Person Learning in High School
High school students across the country have spent the last couple of months readjusting to in-person learning after learning asynchronously due to COVID-19. With this adjustment, some key challenges have emerged that students are facing as they return to the classroom, including learning loss and mental health adversities.
Though asynchronous learning has given students the ability to participate in school during COVID-19, it has also taken away some of the necessary social and life experiences needed at that age. With flexible school hours and virtual lesson plans, high schoolers have been learning on their own, but have not been able to participate in key high school experiences like sports, Prom, and extracurriculars.
As high schoolers missed out on these social opportunities and learned at home, symptoms of depression and anxiety have risen, creating a mental health crisis amongst the younger generation. To help address these issues moving forward, schools are focused on providing social-emotional learning lessons, and opportunities for students to talk about how they feel. By utilizing these efforts moving forward, educators are hoping to help bring back a sense of normalcy for students that have experienced high school during COVID-19.