According to a recent survey, while nearly nine in 10 schools have adopted a learning management system that every teacher is supposed to use, fondness for functionality is hit-and-miss. While 85% of respondents said their schools have adopted an LMS, only two-thirds (64%) reported being satisfied with the current choice.
— Read on thejournal.com/articles/2021/08/05/educators-say-meh-to-school-lms-choice.aspx
9 in 10 Teachers are Open to Hybrid Learning with the Right Tools and Resources and More Than 70% of Parents Support the Idea
What’s the news? As schools across the country wrap up another unusual school year, most K-12 education is still being facilitated with remote learning. However, educators are beginning to see the long-term value in a hybrid approach to teaching, according to AT&T’s* 2021 Future of School Report released today.
94% of teachers are open to the idea of hybrid learning with the proper resources, curriculum and support
71% of teachers support virtual days for inclement weather
78% of teachers are in favor of virtual tutoring sessions or enrichment programs
60% of teachers are open to livestreaming their classrooms for students who are home sick
These sentiments are consistent across teachers of all grade levels and low- and high-income schools, as well as parents:
83% of parents support virtual school days for inclement weather
84% of parents support virtual tutoring or enrichment programs
85% of parents want the option for their kids who are home sick to join class virtually
Today, 66% of teachers and parents say that students are still learning either fully remote or in a hybrid format. While remote learning got off to a rocky start, with 43% of teachers noting their experience a year ago was challenging, many have adapted to this new environment and learned tips, tricks and best practices to navigate virtual classrooms. Additionally, 48% of teachers voice a need for curricula better suited for hybrid or online teaching. Assistance from administrators was widely acknowledged by teachers with 83% reporting they felt supported with new online teaching technologies and strategies.
When Susan Fletcher began teaching 37 years ago at the school she had attended, she never envisioned that someday she would be instructing students on a computer, from her living room.
In fact, she said, she wouldn’t have imagined it even as late as Christmas of 2019. By that point, she was a veteran educator, but a technology newbie. She had heard the term “Google Classroom” in passing but had never seen the technology and had no idea what it was. Her classroom had just five computers, all “ancient dinosaurs,” Fletcher said.
That changed last March when school shut down for in-person instruction because of the pandemic. Fletcher and her colleagues at Aycock Elementary School in Henderson, N.C., were given two days of training on virtual instruction. “Then it was, get it up and running,” she said.
A year later, Fletcher can create a Google classroom, use Google forms, Google slides, and Google documents. She can develop interactive lessons using Nearpod. She starts each day by showing her students a “bitmoji” of herself (a tiny digital avatar), usually wearing or doing something that reflects what the class is studying or the time of year. (Her avatar rode a rocketship during a space unit, and recently popped out of an Easter egg).
Fletcher also set up a digital library for her 3rd graders, many of whom don’t have their own books at home. And her students, nearly all of whom are eligible for free or reduced lunch, now each have their own digital devices. That helped enable the school to be fully virtual for much of the 2020-21 school year. (The school district was planning to shift from the hybrid model it is currently using to mostly in-person instruction sometime this month.)
Her teaching, she said, has transformed for the better just in a year, even after decades in the profession. “We will never get back to what once was,” she said. “We can only move forward.”