Study.com released new survey data last month that sheds light on parents’ evolving attitudes towards the role of schools as students head into the third school year post-pandemic. The education platform surveyed parents in California and Texas to understand their perspectives on their children’s education. Notably, 55 percent and 47 percent of parents in California and Texas, respectively, support extending the school year to provide students with increased learning time, and 46 percent of California parents and 43 percent of Texas parents favor the use of A.I. tools like ChatGPT for academic help in schools.
Across both states, a significant number of respondents believe in a shared responsibility between parents and schools to foster academic growth. Over a third assign a major or complete responsibility to schools in this regard. However, a large percentage of parents in California (28 percent) and Texas (27 percent) feel that schools are taking minimal or no responsibility post-pandemic to help their child catch-up academically. A significant number of parents demonstrated dedication to improving their child’s education through the utilization of district and schoolwide resources as well as support in the home:
- 37 percent of California parents and 41 percent of Texas parents have sought external educational support, such as tutoring or counseling, for their children.
- In California, most parents have sought tutoring or study sessions (26 percent), homework help or after-school programs (23 percent), or educational online platforms (20 percent).
- In Texas, most parents have sought tutoring or study sessions (31 percent), homework help or after-school programs (19 percent) educational online platforms (16 percent).
The enduring consequences of academic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic underpin the motivations driving parents to seek additional support tools for their children’s education. In both states, more than a third of parents reported a substantial negative impact on their child’s academic performance due to the pandemic and related social-emotional challenges.
- 46 percent of California parents and 40 percent of Texas parents say their child faced social-emotional challenges impacting their academics.
- 65 percent of California parents and 69 percent of Texas parents are very or somewhat concerned about the long-term impact of learning loss on their child’s academic, career, and socioeconomic success.
The third school year post-pandemic emerges as a pivotal moment for parents to incorporate effective learning resources into their children’s academic journeys, such as A.I. or tutoring, to help mitigate the wide-ranging negative effects of the pandemic.
“Despite most parents feeling like they have the resources available to assist their child, the majority of them struggle with specific subjects, especially math,” said Rachel Mead, Director of Tutoring at Study.com. “The start of the school year is an ideal time for parents to implement additional learning supports such as supplemental online resources or the formulation of a structured home learning plan.”
The survey data was collected via two Pollfish online surveys during August 2023, with 526 parent respondents in California and 449 parent respondents in Texas. See the full survey data at this link: https://study.com/resources/parents-playing-catchup-in-california-texas.html
Teachers across Canada say it’s time to embrace new teaching models to better align with the realities, opportunities and challenges of today’s classroom and tomorrow’s workplace. In a new survey from Microsoft of over 500 Canadian teachers and school leaders, most said schools need to do more to adapt to the evolving needs of students. Teachers are calling for changes that make classrooms more engaging, inclusive and relevant for a new digital era.
New models for a new era of digital innovation
From AI to interconnected smart devices, teachers recognize that the rapid pace of technological innovation is changing the workforce students will be joining, but few classrooms are teaching the skills students need to succeed in the new digital world. In fact, ninety percent of teachers surveyed agree it’s important to teach students the digital skills they’ll need for modern life, but only half of teachers (52 percent) say students are taught in ways that are relevant to the skills they need for the future.
Strikingly, the survey revealed an overwhelming majority of teachers (79 percent) felt data literacy and digital citizenship were essential skills for today’s students, but these topics were only taught in 22 and 53 percent of classrooms respectively. While teachers have just begun to consider the implications of AI in education, 41 percent of teachers believe that students should learn about generative AI to better equip them for life outside school and in their careers. That number rose to 50 percent among teachers of grades 7-12.
“It’s crucial that we listen to teachers so we can better empower students in their learning and be prepared to contribute to Canada’s economic future” said Elka Walsh, Associate Vice President, Learning & Teaching, at Microsoft Canada. “We have a responsibility to address these gaps, reignite a love of learning, and help students thrive in a digital world.”
Digital tools more prevalent since the pandemic, but not used effectively
For many teachers, the pandemic spurred the adoption of digitally enhanced learning in the classroom. Eighty-two percent of teachers surveyed said their school’s use of digital tools started or increased with the pandemic. But only 35 percent of respondents said most teachers are equipped with the best digital tools to help them teach and a similar number (34 percent) said teachers receive the training needed to use these tools effectively. Six out of ten respondents said teaching methods should change to make the most of these tools. Among the most promising use cases for teachers, according to the survey, was time management. Eighty percent of teachers agree they need more tools to help them manage their time more productively – an unsurprising stat given that 86 percent of teachers rate their workload as high or very high.
The results also indicated a clear difference in approach to technology in the classroom between those schools with an established sustainable digital strategy and those without. When asked if students were more engaged when digital tools are used in the classroom, three quarters of respondents with a digital strategy agreed. Among teachers in schools without a digital strategy, fewer than half agreed technology helped to increase engagement.
Engagement and inclusion need a boost
It is apparent that teachers are struggling to keep students engaged, particularly when faced with the emotional and wellbeing challenges related to the pandemic. Only half of teachers surveyed (51 percent) said students are taught in ways that engage them and keep their interest and only a third (35 percent) agree schools are succeeding in helping to address students mental and emotional wellbeing.
Today’s teachers know inclusion and accessibility is crucial to help every student reach their potential. Ninety-five percent said inclusive and accessible teaching resources are somewhat or very important. But only 48 percent say current teaching methods are inclusive and only 46 percent feel students are taught in ways that are responsive to their individual needs. Teachers also want schools to do more to address the mental and emotional wellbeing of students (74 percent) and feel students are still emotionally challenged by the disruption of the pandemic (72 percent).
“Canada’s teachers are telling us we need revitalized learning models so their students don’t get left behind” said Marc Seaman, Vice President, Education Segment for Microsoft Canada. “New models are critical to improve outcomes for all students and prepare them for the digital future.”
The “The State of EdTech: Product-Market Fit in a Post-COVID, Blended Learning Environment” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.
The objective of this report is to inform and inspire the EdTech community – including educators, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and investors – by synthesizing the views of innovators who are active across a wide range of EdTech segments and educational institutions.
This report aims to provide insights and guidance for EdTech companies seeking to achieve product-market fit in a post-pandemic blended learning environment. It does so through a combination of qualitative interviews with EdTech leaders and quantitative data analysis to address the challenges and opportunities in the EdTech sector.
The report emphasizes the importance of EdTech in nurturing the intellect and character of future generations and highlights the significant impact it can have when it succeeds in its mission. Achieving product-market fit in EdTech is not just about creating a successful app or platform; it’s about equipping learners with the tools they need to thrive, understand the world critically, and face life’s challenges with resilience.
By providing a holistic understanding of EdTech’s transformative potential and the dynamics of the sector during the pandemic, the report aims to help EdTech companies make informed decisions and execute thoughtful strategies. It underlines the need for strategic planning and execution to ensure that EdTech products are aligned with the needs of learners and educators.
EdTech innovators must also navigate various challenges, including diverse educational needs, institutional norms, and cultural considerations. The education sector operates differently from the tech world, leading to potential tensions among stakeholders. Aligning timing and planning is essential to ensure that EdTech products meet the evolving needs of both learners and the broader community.
Practicality often trumps high-end features in the EdTech industry, as schools seek tools to address everyday challenges like grading and classroom management. As classroom sizes increase, there’s a growing demand for solutions that can manage larger groups and ease teacher workloads. The focus is on technologies that integrate seamlessly into education to enhance the learning process.
The shift to online and blended learning models, accelerated by the pandemic, is likely to continue. Institutions see these models as opportunities to reduce costs, increase enrollment, and provide flexibility to students. However, maintaining the quality of education and socio-emotional skill development remains crucial.
Accessibility, flexibility, and inclusivity are key considerations in EdTech. Accommodating diverse learning styles, facilitating asynchronous learning, and ensuring equitable access to tools are priorities. Personalizing education to individual student needs is a prominent trend.
Collaboration with educational institutions and the public sector is often essential for EdTech growth. Navigating bureaucratic procedures and bridging gaps can lead to successful partnerships.
EdTech should enhance the learning experience rather than replace it. While technology can amplify effective teaching, it cannot compensate for poor teaching. The human element, including social connections and mental well-being, remains vital in education.
Balancing analog and digital content is an ongoing conversation, but the pandemic emphasized digital access as a fundamental right. A surge in funding has led to the launch or expansion of many new platforms and tools, requiring those in the EdTech industry to assess their position in education budgets.
Preparing for profound changes in the EdTech ecosystem is crucial. Supporting educators, upskilling deployment teams, and ensuring organizations have the resources to sustain digital progress are integral to future growth. Additionally, the potential of AI to drive alternative assessment methods could reshape educational practices and outcomes.
This report will provide answers to the following questions:
- How can EdTech providers best achieve product-market fit?
- What are popular views on blended learning environments?
- How has the pandemic impacted the reputation and viability of EdTech?
- Which areas of EdTech are being overlooked?
- What are the benefits and risks of gamification and other digital trends?
- What strategies and trends signify potential growth trajectories for EdTech?