K-12 learning is poised for a more tailored approach
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
It is summer and time for children to relax. Parents this year are finding it hard to relax, though. They cannot help but worry about the COVID-19 risks awaiting their kids in the fall if schools decide to reopen and resume in-person learning.
A Morning Consult survey states that a vast majority of parents in the U.S. want schools to be ready to shift to online learning by the fall. K-12 school districts can do this by equipping themselves with better technologies and focusing on robust blended learning for all children.
Eighty-two percent of polled parents favor adding more resources and training for teachers in online instruction so that learning at home can be improved. This would mean solutions that will offer more personalized and tailored options for children with differing learning abilities.
It is easier said than done. When schools had to suddenly pivot to digital classrooms, they found that despite years of planning, there remained considerable gaps in online delivery, not to mention the yawning differences between affluent school districts and those that are rural and/or high-poverty.
Digital equity is an essential priority for K-12 IT leaders today. Laptops and tablets are not enough when some districts lack at-home internet connections to use online learning devices. In a 2019 survey, IT leaders had admitted digital equity is important, but 2020 has seen the rise of that importance from 70% to 86%.
Other important aspects of achieving digital equity include Wi-Fi access points, public broadcasting channels, mobile hotspots, Wi-Fi routers in school buses, and expanding home internet for students so students can access educational programs from home.
IT leaders in ed-tech like K12 Inc. are partnering with districts to understand their goals, assess online learning readiness, and develop a plan to deliver online education that meets their unique objectives. The online learning company recently announced a set of new services to meet the online learning goals for different schools and districts. The company has shown during the lockdown that it can help school districts across the country create tailored, local solutions for online learning.
A tailored approach would mean dynamic tools and resources for students, teachers, parents, and administrators to ensure overall student success. The modules are designed to ensure that schools and districts have the chance and flexibility to respond to changing needs quickly.
Ed-tech companies are innovating to create online education delivery platforms that will help teachers cover core subjects via engaging curricula, hundreds of electives, and offer career readiness education. The platforms are also incorporating teacher and parent training to succeed in the online environment.
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