Boosting student engagement through independent, multimodal learning

Qahir Abdulla Damani and Louise O’Gorman of Britannica Digital Learning on why digital, curriculum-aligned content is key to student success

As teachers, we know that technology offers vast learning opportunities for children of all ages. However, it’s also important that we, as teachers, have faith in the quality of online materials we’re providing. This way, we can be confident that the technology is not only boosting engagement, but also helping students learn while consolidating our own subject knowledge.

Understanding what our students need and wanting to elevate teaching and learning provision, Shireland Collegiate Academy partnered with Encyclopaedia Britannica to create LaunchPacks – a multimodal learning platform that covers the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Student engagement

Most teachers recognise the benefits of synthesising traditional classroom learning with technology. The majority of school-age children communicate regularly through various forms of social media, meaning that online learning platforms feel familiar and relevant to them. Indeed, we have noticed how readily they have been able to integrate their learning.

Many students relish the opportunity to take control of their own learning, and it’s clear that our students have also done this. The expansive nature of the internet means that young people often face uncertainty when tasked with independent learning, so it’s important that online learning resources provide them with the assurance of validity.

Independent learning is a vital skill for all our students as they begin their journeys to further education and beyond.

Opportunity for students of all abilities

It’s vital that technology helps all students, not just those who are already confident in their subject area. As teachers, we know that some students feel apprehensive of raising concerns out loud or mentioning that they feel behind, so they must be allowed to solidify their understanding independently, in a way they feel comfortable with; while on the other hand, students who want to delve deeper into a subject are given the resources and freedom to do so. This ability to go back and revise certain topics means students feel empowered to take learning into their own hands.

Remote learning during COVID-19

In recent weeks, the media has been paying lots of attention to the implications of coronavirus on schools. With all schools now closed, it’s possible for teachers to see how technology can bolster other, more traditional teaching media.

In a time of deep uncertainty, we are delighted that we can trust the content our remote students are using. It’s also good to know that we can pick up where we left off once the situation is under control. We will have a clear sense of what they have been learning whilst away, which is vital for tracking progress and development.

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