The State of Play: Education as the 2020-2021 School Year Approaches

The world of education faced a major disruption at the beginning of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close across the country, sending students home and forcing educators and administrators to attempt to quickly adapt curricula to exclusively online learning.

The current states of primary, secondary and higher education is still in flux. Potential strategies for the 2020-2021 school year range from a continuation of fully remote learning to the traditional, fully in-person approach, with plenty of hybrid models in between. A high degree of additional complexity stems from the fact that decision-makers across the country will select different forms of learning for the year. Additionally, an outbreak of COVID-19 in a school using a hybrid or traditional model can quickly force students and teachers back to exclusively digital learning, which muddies the waters even more.

Understanding the state of play in the world of education is vital for edtech businesses so that they can offer their products and reach out to prospects in an effective and relevant fashion. Meredith Biesinger, an education specialist and experienced classroom teacher and school administrator, offered some insight into the world of education as the next school year approaches.

online learning now

Online learning will continue for at least some school districts in the 2020-2021 school year.

Concerns around special and high-need education

While digital learning options that connect students and teacher represent a major improvement over the available options during past widespread school closures, they are far from perfect. Students with special or high needs who benefit from face-to-face interactions, instruction, therapy and other forms of assistance face difficult challenges due to limitations on in-person meetings. Even with highly engaged and active parents or guardians involved, a lack of high-level training means they can’t provide the type of intervention needed for personal growth.

Additionally, services like speech, occupational and physical therapy are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Schools are in a difficult position in terms of addressing these students’ needs while doing so in a way that takes public health limitations into account.

Different learning styles

Students of all ages learn in different ways. Some may thrive with the type of instruction common in remote learning plans, but others do best in a traditional classroom setting. For the best chance at success, learners in the latter group need to have the gap bridged between the limits of remote learning and the environment in which they thrive. Support from parents and guardians is one important piece of the puzzle.

This is also an area where edtech companies with relevant and effective products can offer valuable support to educators, providing tools that support student achievement even as in-person learning opportunities are limited.

All schools face some type of challenge

Larger schools in more densely populated suburban and urban areas have to develop useful educational workflows that serve an incredibly broad array of students. The more students there are, the greater that challenge becomes.

Rural school districts, meanwhile, face issues like a more widespread lack of dependable, high-speed internet connections – the type needed to effectively engage in online learning.

Additionally, schools in all areas must contend with the loss of a physical space that may be the only place some students feel safe or where they can reliably get a meal.

Supporting edtech company efforts in the face of uncertainty

It’s vital that edtech marketers understand the specific challenges faced by the schools, districts and individual professionals they interact with. Agile can support your efforts with accurate, consistently updated data related to a variety of different educational areas, from opening schedules to contact information. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

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