As we enter the second half of the 2021-2022 school year, many of us are still reeling from the 2020-2021 school year, which was defined by massive changes to the learning landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders meant that students and teachers alike were forced to shift to online or hybrid learning overnight. Now, more than a year later, educators, students, and parents have been able to reflect on their experiences with online learning.
While many have faced obstacles in integrating distance learning — any abrupt change operates on a learning curve — it’s also becoming clear that technology-based learning is essential to education to allow students to learn from wherever they are and prepare them for the future. These key benefits allow us to engage students and bring them in as active participants in their continued education more fully.
Allow learning to happen anywhere
Hybrid learning is essential to this endeavor, fostering a dynamic learning environment that helps students learn from anywhere. It meets students where they are — tech-savvy, creative, ready to learn and, sometimes, living completely different lives than some of their peers. Some have dual households; others spend their days with caretakers who aren’t their primary caregivers; some have parents engaged with their learning while others do not or are often out of the home and unable to take a more active role in their child’s education.
With mobile technology, educators and learners can communicate in real time, using apps like Showbie and Explain Everything. Showbie allows educators to build a learning experience for students and educators can provide formative feedback. Educators can see exactly where their students are, make instructional adjustments and provide intervention as soon as the need arises. Using an app like Explain Everything allows students to demonstrate their learning by creating visuals, such as graphics, videos, voice over and so much more. This approach personalizes the student’s responses using their own creativity and this results in a more authentic learning experience.