The sudden shift to distance learning in the spring of 2020 brought about distinct challenges and quickly changed the education landscape forever.
After nearly a year of remote and hybrid learning, we wanted to check in to see how teachers and their students were doing. We surveyed 465 teachers to get their thoughts on the best and worst things about learning from home, including their insight on topics like student and parent engagement, 21st century skill building, the role of technology, and more. As we study these emerging trends in education, we can use our findings to better understand the changes and challenges that are still ahead of us.
Here are a few of the top trends uncovered in the survey, including insights from education experts on the Lenovo team:
1. We saw a shift from asynchronous learning to synchronous learning over the course of the past year.
It is important to maintain a balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning, preparing adaptive plans for students not able to join synchronous classes due to the digital divide or other challenges brought on by learning from home.
-Rich Henderson, Lenovo’s Director of Global Education Solutions
2. Although the transition to distance learning comes with a steep learning curve, many educators are optimistic about their ability to learn and incorporate new technologies into their teaching methods.
We know there is a significant learning curve with distance and hybrid learning for both teachers and students alike. In the spring of 2020, sudden school closures required educators to quickly implement updated policies, revised curriculum plans, and new technologies. Although 50% of the teachers we surveyed work in large districts and may be predisposed to using more technology, it is still encouraging to see that 49% of those surveyed say they are very comfortable learning new tech with an additional 36% saying they are fine or comfortable with it. We found that many educators used the summer months to reconvene on which elements of their distance learning program were working and which needed revising. In the end, the teachers we surveyed reported that they felt moderately prepared for the fall semester, although they were more confident in their school’s preparation than their own. Overall, teachers have been required to make effective impromptu decisions, proving their resilience and resourcefulness. Additionally, while 91% of educators said they are using 3+ digital tools on a regular basis, almost a third of them also said more tools would be helpful.
The transition to distance learning is a steep learning curve. Many teachers are leaning on each other for help, from asking for advice from colleagues to joining online Facebook groups. In some cases, individual classrooms have been left to implement new technology solutions on their own.-Coby Gurr, General Manager at Lenovo Software
Teachers’ resources and time are limited, and new ways of tracking metrics for student engagement and mastery will be studied. This will ultimately result in new artificial intelligence and machine learning integration into learning platforms to help teachers with better real-time decision making.-Rich Henderson, Lenovo’s Director of Global Education Solutions
Ultimately, engagement is key to student success, and educators we work with advocate for implementing the teaching methods and tools necessary to better integrate engagement into learning – whether that happens in the classroom or in a remote environment.-Coby Gurr, General Manager at Lenovo Software