Why the pandemic has presented a unique wave of edtech opportunity
While many of us will want to forget the events of the past year as quickly as possible and look to the future, there is a great deal of opportunity in doing some reflection. What educators have achieved over the course of the pandemic so far, has been nothing short of exceptional. It is important that we do not overlook how quickly schools adapted to remote learning strategies and how educators have successfully navigated the challenges of unpredictable restrictions. Throughout this period, educators have utilised and experimented with edtech like never before.
Our COVID-19 Education Impact Report highlighted some of challenges presented by remote learning, including engaging learners in their work. But one trend that was evident in the feedback is, that where schools had an active edtech strategy in place, they found it easier to transition to remote learning and this streamlined success.
An impressive 87 percent of educators we surveyed agreed they had learnt new skills using edtech in the first wave of the pandemic. Despite the intensity of the past year, remote learning has offered many unique learning opportunities that can be used as a platform to elevate school edtech strategies and promote resilience for the future.
Below we have outlined some useful questions to consider when reflecting on your use of edtech:
• What elements of remote learning have worked well that can be utilised in the classroom or for homework?
• Which elements of remote learning present opportunities to reduce teacher workload on an ongoing basis?
• From a student perspective, which edtech and software did they engage with most? (You may even want to do a 30 minute student feedback session)
• Does your school have preferred technologies and software? Is there value in having a standardised approach going forward where all staff can benefit from one another’s learning?
• Is there an edtech skills gap that need addressing? Could your school benefit from training in a particular area?
• Is your school edtech provision adequate? Does it need improving to make the most of new online learning elements when returning to the classroom?
• Are you prepared if a sudden switch to remote learning was needed again? Have you incorporated remote learning into your school edtech strategy?
On the return to the classroom there is no doubt time will be pressured and the ultimate focus will be on pupil wellbeing. However, it will have significant benefits for your school to initiate conversations around how your edtech strategies can be adjusted and refined to make your lives easier and improve student outcomes on a continued basis.
With Naace, our members benefit from access to the Self-Review Framework which helps to guide school improvement and in a flexible approach. Over 16,000 schools have taken advantage of the online framework.
The Self-Review Framework allows you to:
• Understand where you are in your edtech strategy
• Plan the next stages of your strategy
• Record your progress
In the words of sociologist and philosopher, Herbert Spencer, “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action”. Nobody knows what the next year will look like, but by consolidating and reviewing your recent experiences and incorporating them in your edtech strategy, you will instil positive change that has benefits for everyone.
If you would like to have an informal conversation with us about your experiences or are seeking some advice, we welcome you to get in touch with us through our contact form.