DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: EDTECH

Nothing transforms a young life more than literacy. And, for a few young children in Years 1 and 2, the hours at home during lockdown might have been a blissful opportunity to devour books that they hadn’t previously had time to read. For many others, especially among the 380,000 UK schoolchildren who don’t own a single book, regular reading will simply have stopped when schools closed. With no daily reading record to complete, no dedicated reading time in class and no chance to share stories with others, the gains that these young children might have made in reading fluency and confidence before schools closed will have melted away.

In the final months of 2019/20 schools were forced to adapt, with many attempting live-interaction classes through solutions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts, but the inherent privacy concerns and safety issues of these meeting platforms became apparent.

How's your last term been?

My last term in my new Assistant Head role has been somewhat different. It has consisted of responding to parents each day, Zooming my class and setting learning (Creative writing, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Maths and Topic Learning) each week. Just want to say a big thank you to Pobble @HeyPobble and Maths Shed @mathshed for providing brilliant resources for the children and parents to use.

From as early as January 2020 our school’s leadership team could see we were going to have to prepare for delivering all learning and pastoral care remotely. Education during the pandemic has had to play a crucial role in engaging children whilst key worker parents continue to provide frontline services to the nation. 

The COVID-19 epidemic has fundamentally changed the way we use the internet. According to Ofcom, we’re spending on average an hour longer on the internet every day than we did in 2018. This has been especially true for children, who’ve relied on video calls and online games and lessons as a way to continue learning, socialising and playing. 

What educators and employers alike have learned from lockdown is that you can underestimate how productive people can be when working or studying from home. With a comfortable workspace, the right tools, and a clear goal in mind, people are capable of accomplishing just as much without a physical place of work. When things were normal, distractions were inevitable, whether it’s the sound of heavy traffic outside the window, or taking a tense daily commute to work. And I say that at home right now while listening to construction work outside my window. Although a little background noise can help to restore that sense of normality we’ve lost, right? 

Zoom has exploded onto the stage during lockdown - everyone is zooming everyone, although occasionally grandparents are not quite getting the hang of it. My daughter reportedly spent 10 minutes speaking to my dad’s right ear. Though, to be fair to him, the fact he had managed to find the app on his phone was an achievement in itself (I think he had help).

In the last couple of months, it’s become evident that we are experiencing educational disruption likely to last for the foreseeable future. Most teachers have been looking for opportunities to continually support pupils in the most effective ways, whether the teaching takes place onsite or online.

We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus. 

The current pandemic is forcing companies across the world to rethink the way in which they facilitate routine business activities – and this includes their process for hiring. With a number of roles still open and/or as companies plan for the eventual business rebound, many are turning to technology to find and interview talent remotely while social distancing rules are in place.

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