Following an abrupt shift to remote learning this past spring, school and district administrators have had their fair share of summer homework as they prepare for a technology-first fall term. From filling out funding applications to reworking classrooms to promote social distancing, to choosing the right technology for hybrid learning environments, they’ve been working diligently to prepare for a school year that drives student engagement.
With COVID-19 showing few signs of slowing down, schools will likely not get through the next school year without some form of remote learning. It is also a safe bet that schools will lean heavily on education technology solutions to help ensure teachers can continue to deliver lesson plans to wherever students are located. With thousands of districts around the nation going back to school, the need for online education tools for students, teachers, and parents has never been more vital.
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The key to investing in and maximizing edtech is to know which ones will work best for your district as there are so many to choose from. The following are a few important considerations district administrators should take into account to ensure their investment provides students with meaningful learning experiences – anytime, anywhere.
Maximize the tools you have
Many schools nationwide were already using technology in the classroom when the pandemic hit and learning went remote: Kahn Academy, Kahoot, Promethean, Schoology, Zoom, Teams, YouTube, Edutopia, and other highly adopted apps. However, the critical process of integrating all of these into one unified virtual learning environment might not have been in place since they were secondary to in-classroom learning.
In fact, a 2020 report that surveyed 1,200 U.S. teachers and administrators found that only 20 percent of respondents considered their schools “very prepared to implement remote learning in response to COVID-19.”