It’s a New School Year: What have we learned?

September 01, 2021
Back to school

Entering a new school year brings with it the feeling of a fresh start and excitement for what’s to come. Although the start of school this year still remains uncertain, we have an opportunity to take advantage of what we’ve learned over the past year and a half to adopt better digital practices and learning at scale.

Nearly every district has spent time, money and resources investing in new technology. Most districts now have 1:1 devices, digital curriculum, and other educational technology available to educators and students, but the question is how are you using these resources, and are you maximizing your investments?

To help answer that question, we share several considerations below to support and guide your technology planning as we enter the 2021-2022 school year.

 

1) Take advantage of what your students and teachers already know.

Districts have the opportunity to take stock of what they’ve learned during the past year and a half, including how they’ve used 1:1 devices and digital curriculum. There were both positives and negatives that resulted from this shift to digital, but one of the benefits is the tremendous learning experience for educators, students, and their families. Nearly every student has now experienced learning in a virtual environment and teachers have gotten accustomed to teaching this way. We’ve had an opportunity to evaluate what worked and what didn’t when we transitioned to this approach. By tapping into the lessons learned and applying the knowledge students and teachers gained, we can make major traction for the year ahead and into the future for how we want to offer virtual learning that works.

 

2) Not all digital learning is equal

Apps, digitized textbooks, digital curriculum—what’s the difference? And how do you choose what’s best? There’s a wide range of quality among digital curriculum providers out there. Effective digital curriculum is not digitized textbooks, repetitive tasks, or recorded lectures. It’s rigorous and standards-driven, but also provides support when students need it so they are challenged and still motivated to persist.

When students have the opportunity to actively participate in the learning process, they stay engaged and learn more – whether they’re in the classroom, learning in a hybrid environment or fully virtual instruction.

 

3) Using digital curriculum is no longer nice to have, it’s a “must have.”

Your district has invested in 1:1 learning, but now what? It can be a challenge to find the right balance between all of the options available as we merge back into classrooms.

Understanding how to best use your 1:1 devices and enhanced district technology infrastructure to get results, as well as considering flexible learning options for virtual and hybrid learning can be overwhelming. A strong digital curriculum partner will support you with these decisions and help you work through how to seamlessly make this work for your school or district.

 

4) 1:1 Devices Increase Engagement and Personalize the Learning Experience

This unique time has presented new learnings about how to how to accelerate learning and provide more flexible options for students and teachers like never before. Teachers can spend more time teaching and less time on grading and other administrative tasks. Now we also have the ability to provide individualized instruction for each student, which can be particularly useful as educators work to uncover learning gaps that occurred the past year and a half.

 

How Apex Learning Can Help you plan Now and into the Future

Schools and districts using Apex Learning digital curriculum consistently increase on-time graduation rates, lower dropout rates, and improve exam scores. Our proven digital curriculum, actionable data, and integration services combine to support you in achieving your goals and ensuring your students are prepared for college, work, and life. Learn more at www.apexlearning.com.

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