How is EdTech helping child development continue at home during COVID-19?
Our CEO, Chris Reid, recently spoke to Education Technology about the role EdTech plays in bridging the gap between education practitioner and parent.
If you missed the original write-up, you can catch up below…
The current climate presents challenges for everyone across the education spectrum – including teachers, parents and children themselves.
And one of the main obstacles facing parents is keeping their children motivated. This is where tech has a huge part to play.
Whether it is in an Early Years, primary, secondary or Further Education setting, in normal circumstances, parents tend to have more of a peripheral involvement in their child’s daily learning. Childcare and teaching staff are usually the only ones who are fully aware of how each pupil has been developing and progressing – tailoring content to their strengths and weaknesses.
And given the big challenge parents have been presented with during the current climate – which sees them manning the home-schooling activities – it is vital that there is an effective communication bridge between the two parties, to bring parents up to speed on their youngster’s current level.
Additionally, this can prove to be pivotal for a child’s learning journey because they are developing seven days per week, not just from Monday to Friday.
But, EdTech is not solely beneficial for parents and children, it also has its advantages for educational professionals too.
The pandemic, on a much wider scale, has increased a sense of community across the country – with thousands of people turning to technology, such as video calls and multi-user apps, to help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
And digital methods connecting practitioners to parents and their children’s progress, help them to feel supported, as well as close the feedback loop – helping to keep students’ progress on track even during the limitations of lockdown.
Extending education outside the classroom
In addition, irrespective of Coronavirus, there has been lots in the pipeline from a Government perspective regarding extending learning in the home. Having invested millions in educational strategies, techniques and training has not been a wasted effort, but there is arguably a better way – much closer to home…
Through the technology that parents use every single day.
Channelling the resources families are most familiar and comfortable with is the most effective means to foster child development in the home setting, because it feels less daunting and more achievable.
Whether it is a school-wide platform to deliver online lessons or an app-based education resources library, the foundation is the same. Parents need to feel buoyant with resources and teaching aids, to help them home-school effectively, and educators require contact with guardians to keep abreast of pupils’ progress, so they are able to plan successfully when the education timetable restores some normality.
Improving parental engagement
Truly successful EdTech solutions should not alienate the traditional learning environment, instead they must disrupt and enhance it – while giving parents an active role to play in the process.
Taking the nursery sector as an example, infants may display different reactions or characteristics with their parents, than they do with nursery staff. So, it is vital to capture all their reactions to gain a full picture of how they learn best.
Observation is a core component in helping to determine where infants are on their journey. And if EdTech can give parents inspiration and the ability to upload key moments in their child’s day-to-day life, this keeps the learning cycle running smoothly and transparently for practitioners.
But, technology can only do so much. While there is lots of talk about digital transformation and EdTech leading the way to a more digitised way of working, face-to-face contact is still massively important.
Teachers need the ability to communicate easily and parents also need to feel a sense of united camaraderie during these unprecedented times, because one without the other may drastically impact a child’s development.
Disruption which dictates change
In truth, the reason there is such an upsurge in EdTech usage at the moment is because there is no other way of delivering the content to pupils. But it is this ‘forcing of the hand’ which has seemingly erupted a welcomed shift in mindset across the sector.
Ultimately, the learning and development of children is at the heart of the entire education industry. So, while technology offers a way to stay connected in these disconnected times, it should also be seen as a solution that is way beyond the realms of COVID-19 – offering teachers, children and parents a permanent means of delivering a cohesive learning experience.