During the last year, we’ve all found our own ways to adapt and this is also the case for how and where we learn. Some students have had the luxury of their own room, a desk, whereas others have had to share the kitchen table or sit on the bed. What’s the connection between student engagement and learning environments?Read More
Zooms this week have often included the words ‘there’s light at the end of the tunnel’ and it is starting to feel like that with schools re-opening in the UK and more and more people getting the vaccine. I’m also aware that in the rest of Europe it may not feel like that at all yet with cases on the rise and new lockdowns being announced. I really wish I didn’t have to write about developments in Education in light of Covid-19, but here we are for another month.Read More
2021 has started off with homeschooling in the UK. A webinar I attended earlier this week on Lessons Learned from Covid-19, made it clear the correct term is online learning and not remote learning as there is nothing remote about it. It certainly brings us closer together in that virtual way, but it also opens up new opportunities, such as amazing guest lectures from people who would have otherwise never traveled to give a lecture. You can watch Educate’s webinar here.Read More
I’ve tried to focus this month on finding some good news stories from the world of EdTech. Some of us might be in another lockdown, facing (more or continuous) school closures and other uncertainties, so we can all use some good news. I’m glad to say I’ve managed to find some.
First up is a story from Estonia, a country which is excelling at digital learning. Turns out the key is in early adoption and routine, so we’ll all be experts soon enough.
With knowledge from the above, it’s no surprise that Estonia ranks very high again in the list of countries which are best preparing their children for the future of work. “The best education systems are those that encourage students to analyze and think for themselves and create the right learning environments” according to the report. Developing critical thinking skills is crucial in this. For those of us who are worried about our children spending too much time online gaming. Rest assured, those critical thinking skills can also be developed playing fun games online!
For some educators and students, it’s been difficult to make the transition to an online virtual learning environment, especially when it comes to social-emotional learning. There are educators, however, who use EdTech to develop social-emotional skills such as collaboration. Some teachers are convinced using platforms like Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms in a non-restrictive way teaches students flexible thinking and self-control. Have a read here.
The main thing though is that students are engaged in learning and we all know EdTech can achieve that!
Now that it looks like education – the way we teach and learn is affected long term, the EdTech experts are starting to uncover what this may look like and what the implications may be. Will the pandemic lead to an innovation in education though?
The EdTech podcast doesn’t seem to think so. Listen here and join the debate.
The Brookings Institute has written an article on how education can emerge stronger than ever before. “It is hard to imagine there will be another moment in history when the central role of education in the economic, social, and political prosperity and stability of nations is so obvious and well understood by the general population. Now is the time to chart a vision for how education can emerge stronger from this global crisis than ever before and propose a path for capitalizing on education’s newfound support in virtually every community across the globe.” The article also highlights four emerging global trends in education from COVID 19.
Another big educational transformation taking place is a shift from directed education to self-directed education. “….the complexities of our world require deeper connection to our most human traits—such as creativity, empathy, agency, and curiosity—not the algorithmic thinking, regurgitation, and blind deference to authority that our system so effectively engenders with its current methods and targets.” Read more about it here.
Lastly, I wanted to leave you with the report on the EdTech Vision 2025 from the Education Foundation. Not just a celebration of what has been done well, but very much a wake-up call on what needs to be improved for education technology and digital skills for tomorrow’s global citizens.
For many of us, September means the start of the new school year. This year, there’s a lot of uncertainty and changes to the usual set-up. Some students aren’t going back at all, some will have a hybrid model and others will sit in a classroom that looks and feels very different from before. Over these last six months, a lot has been written about the effect of COVID on Education and a lot more research will need to be done to assess the full effects. However, we do already know that some changes will be here to stay. Some people even say that the new desk set-up in the primary school classrooms, with all pupils facing the same direction towards the teacher, will increase attainment.
This article gives you some more insight into what the future of the classroom may look like. Hologram teachers are only just the start.
Two contrasting scenarios are offered here about EdTech and content consumption. First of all, a report by Credit Suisse, which claims that education is having its own Netflix moment. Secondly, how EdTech companies in South East Asia are partnering up with Telecoms providers.
This article explains that where internet access is scarce, students, teachers and parents are turning to ‘old-fashioned’ television for their lessons. It is lacking the interactive element, but in countries like Brazil, this has become the dominant model over the last couple of months. It certainly is better than nothing and it looks like some countries are going to invest more in their televised educational system.
What do you think, are we teaching our children enough critical thinking skills?
August is for many students, educators and parents ‘Back to school’ month, but for many this year that isn’t the case because of Covid-19. I found some interesting articles on both sides of the debate on whether schools should re-open or not.
One teacher from Cambridge, Massachusetts in the US makes the case against re-opening schools. The author believes that a physical classroom operating under the new social distance guidelines will be “less effective and less traumatic than the inadequate and painful remote learning experience”.
Of course, the rules, regulations and circumstances for countries let alone individuals vary a lot. The Economist argues that the benefits of actually reopening schools far outweigh the costs and that countries who didn’t reopen their schools a few months ago should look at those that did.
Finally, a report from Credit Suisse on how the adoption and usage of EdTech has swelled during the Covid-19 crisis, fast-tracking the digitalisation of education by 5-10 years.
This crisis has changed so many things and the way adults and children learn is just one of them.
This is already my third blog on EdTech News in times of Covid-19 and it certainly won’t be the last. We’re all trying to adapt to this new way of learning at home, in socially distanced classrooms, online using apps and video conferencing tools or perhaps it’s a blend of different options. It’s definitely a learning curve for all of us.
This first EdTech News article says that now is the time to gather crucial information and data so that we can really test whether this giant EdTech experiment works and uncover what is needed for the future.
It’s not the only article I found this month that refers to this period as an experiment. In this article, you can read which edtech apps have been downloaded the most and how this could change education forever.
One of the main concerns for children especially is Social Emotional Learning is how do we ensure that no one feels left out and alone.
And also, how as a teacher you can engage students through online learning. A Finnish education expert shares some useful tips.
The lockdown is slowly starting to ease in some countries and schools are starting to re-open for primary school students at least. It will be interesting to read what the experts have to say on this next phase.
Stay safe and healthy.