The school districts have finally announced their return to school plans! But wait, what do you mean we have to e-learn? What on earth is hybrid learning?
Kids learning from home.
All-day, every day or alternating days
While you’re also working remotely.
What could possibly go wrong?
Forget about the constant comments about being hungry, being bored, and wanting to go outside, what if something does go wrong? The last thing you want to have to deal with is a malfunction with the tablet or laptop that prevents them from learning for the day.
How can you make sure their technology is working so they can get the education they need?
E-Learning can bring on a lot of stressors, not just for parents, but for the students and their teachers as well. Over 55 million US children were affected by school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many US school districts have opted into an e-learning or hybrid learning regimen to start the 2021 school year. While e-learning can prevent students from losing critical class time, distance learning can present new challenges for parents, students, and teachers as they adapt to and learn in the new system.
Common Struggles for Parents
Technology distractions preventing them from completing their own work
- Everyone working in the same space/place can be difficult. It’s logical to your children that you are the ‘go-to’ for immediate support when you are so close.
- Fixes are not always obvious. Troubleshooting can take time. Few parents can troubleshoot technology issues on new devices or new software programs and complete their work at the same time. The last thing you want to do is miss a deadline because your child had to join a Zoom class and it didn’t connect or they couldn’t hear their teacher.
Sometimes you flat out don’t know how to fix the problem!
- Not everyone understands technology enough to troubleshoot and fix issues. If your child can’t get connected to their class, they’ll miss out on valuable learning time. If they can’t get connected to their coursework, they could fall behind.
- Technology issues are frustrating. Having a time crunch (like a class starting right now!) doesn’t help. The current situation has added enough stress to our daily lives without technology struggles.
- E-Learning Technology is trying to make education easier in these times. It should not be an added source of stress to families as they navigate major changes in many aspects of their lives.
Common Struggles for Students
They don’t know the technology!
- Schools and districts are adapting to the best of their ability. This can include new computers, tablets, and/or software introduced to accommodate new procedures.
- Children feel isolated in their learning. Gone (or at least postponed) are the days of walking into a classroom, sitting down, and absorbing new information with an entire class seated around you.
- Children haven’t been raised to join a Zoom or Skype meeting; new technologies can be scary for them no matter what their age is.
Technology malfunctions can be distracting. Screens are just supposed to work.
- Focusing on the teacher is one of the most important components of getting a solid education. When the video doesn’t work, or the sound goes out on a laptop, students lose much of the learning experience.
- Students with technology issues can also derail the teacher or slow down the class for all until the issue is resolved.
Technology limiting their interaction.
- Microphone won’t detect their voice? Camera not turning on? Part of being “in” virtual class is the ability to still take part from outside the school/classroom. If key components are not working, some students will lose critical interactive channels.
- Collaboration software and tools are designed to promote teamwork and interaction, but when they’re not functioning properly students will not only miss out on learning, but miss out on classmate interaction – a key benefit of school.
Common Struggles for Teachers
Tech issues take away from teaching and learning
- Remote education comes with new challenges. Teachers need fast, efficient technology support to prevent downtime and the loss of class time. Teachers shouldn’t have to struggle to figure out how to fix classroom technology issues on their own.
- Student technology issues distracting them from teaching; having to assist disconnected students
- For hybrid learning, it will be pretty common for half the class to be remote and the other half in person. Technology failures should not stand in the way of every student getting the same experience.
Collaboration and interaction fuels conversation
- Teachers already feel like getting student participation is difficult enough sometimes, but the added stress of technology disruptions limits student engagement even more.
- Technology has the ability to connect people in ways previously unheard of. Teachers shouldn’t have to worry about software or hardware limiting their ability to do class projects or encourage interaction between students.
Technology should work!
- When it doesn’t, getting operational again should take as little time as possible.
- Teachers have a responsibility to give students the education they need to continue to develop and grow.
- For every teacher affected by technology hardships and issues, 20-30 students are impacted. For every 10 mins lost, in a class of 30, to technology issues, 300 minutes of learning time is lost!
- Teachers shouldn’t face the concerns of technical disruption on their own. Teachers should be able to focus on teaching and making sure their students get the best quality education – even remotely.
We all know that technology usually fails when you need it most. Teachers, parents, and students shouldn’t be alone in this journey of figuring out how to work within the new norm. A technology partner can help you get through some of the most difficult changes to online education. We are all in this together.
If you want to talk with our team now about E-Learning Support, contact us today.