The closure of schools worldwide caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers to face one of the biggest challenges in education: effective learning at a distance.
In fact, according to UNESCO, about 87% of the world’s student population is affected by school closures. In other words, 8 out of 10 students all over the world are unable to attend classes due to school closures, and many of them will be out of the classroom for the next few weeks in compliance with established precautionary measures. In this exceptional situation, many teachers have probably asked themselves what alternatives to implement to ensure the educational process continues with minimal interruption and to prevent their students from suffering heavy consequences due to this sudden change in their learning.
Luckily, there are solutions available to help all of us deal with this situation; we’ve summarized some of their benefits to support teachers determined to overcome this complex educational challenge.
Challenges in education: identifying the appropriate tools to overcome distance while continuing to learn
Although technology has become an integral part of our lives, its use within an educational framework is still limited. However, this crisis is showing us that technology can become our ally, as long as it is implemented properly and with tools specifically designed to provide learning experiences of the same quality that can be achieved in person.
The digital tools that can help you overcome the educational challenge of distance have key characteristics in common:
Attractive User Experience
First of all, it is important to remember that home isn’t usually a primary learning space, therefore, students will have to adapt to this new context and identify it as their new temporary learning environment. In this setting, distractions may be more intense and it may be difficult to maintain high concentration levels and interest. To cope with these problems, it is necessary to leverage digital educational tools with an attractive interface, user-friendly and intuitive for young people, offering them easy navigation to enjoy learning in a fun and interesting way.
Confinement can definitely be difficult to handle! In this unusual situation, it is also important to maintain interactions between students. Luckily, in our digital age, distance does not necessarily have to lead to isolation. In the educational framework, it is important to rely on alternatives that promote collaboration between students, even and especially when they are not on school grounds. As a teacher, make sure that the digital education solutions you turn to offer collaborative features like chats, forums, book clubs, or group writing assignments to ensure inclusive and collaborative aspects in the educational process, even from a distance.
In this educational challenge of distance learning, one of the key elements to take into account is autonomy. Indeed, unlike the situations normally faced in a classroom, students must take an even more active part in their educational process as their teacher is no longer immediately available. That’s why it is also important to rely on digital educational solutions that foster that autonomy, offering:
- enriched materials
- directly available and personalized reading plans
- exercises specifically developed for each age range
- high-quality content and varied formats
This way, each student has a clear and quality learning plan that they can follow independently.
However, developing student autonomy doesn’t imply reducing teacher involvement. In fact, it is essential that teachers are strongly empowered and remain completely involved! To maintain not only the continuity but also the quality of the educational process, it is key to select alternatives that allow you to keep in touch with your students through different chats and forums. But keep in mind that if you decide to use digital learning solutions, it is important that they allow you not only to be in contact with your students but also to monitor their progress and performance in reading activities, \through data such as for example reading times, exercises completed, engagement measurements, etc. And it’s even better if it’s real-time information!
This health crisis is having quite an impact on the educational sector. Nevertheless, turning to adequate support and digital solutions specifically designed for learning is the key that will help teachers overcome this educational challenge of distance learning.
Are you a teacher who wants to continue providing the best training for your students? ODILO, one of the leading companies in digital education with a presence in 40 countries, has opened all its educational technology free of charge to all centers affected by school closings, whether or not they are clients of the company.