The original ambition that primary school pupils would have at least four weeks in school before the end of term is now looking unlikely. The reality is that schools are finding it difficult to create the space needed to practise social distancing when teaching, resulting in some teachers and parents feeling uncomfortable with increased student numbers.
As many teachers will agree, students are naturally more engaged in a classroom environment with a teacher, than at home with a parent. Some teaching is beginning to take place in schools, and even if they are unable to teach the whole curriculum those students who are able to attend classes are receiving valuable face-to-face teaching across key areas.
However, as a number of students are still at home, this risks widening the attainment gap between those who are in school and those who are yet to return.
Providing a mixture of online tuition and face-to-face instruction coupled with the right technology can, in the short term, give students a balanced experience
With this in mind, it seems that a blended learning model could be a practical solution to support all students, whether at home or in school. Providing a mixture of online tuition and face-to-face instruction coupled with the right technology can, in the short term, give students a balanced experience, offering structure to their learning and time with their teacher.
By using existing classroom technology to facilitate lesson delivery, teachers can integrate a blended approach into curriculum delivery with Promethean.
For students learning in the classroom, the ActivPanel acts as a hub for teacher modelling, interaction and demonstration. At the moment, as students can’t physically work together, a teacher can safely address the group from the panel using a selection of applications and lesson delivery software to enhance and transform the learning environment.
With advanced interactivity and access to a range of pre-loaded apps that support ‘in-the-moment’ learning, students can communicate and work together from a distance.
The Promethean Screen Share App can also encourage interactivity within the classroom by connecting all students using handheld devices. As an opportunity to support student-driven conversation and peer assessment and measure class understanding, Screen Share is a chance for individuals to collaborate without the need for physical engagement.
Also providing students learning at home have access to the internet, Screen Sharing allows them to work with their peers in the classroom by enabling teachers to connect to student devices wherever they are. As teachers can interact and work with students at a distance, Screen Share encourages engagement and drives lesson collaboration even if the students aren’t in the classroom.
Similarly, the ActivPanel could also be used to connect those students who are learning from home using video conferencing software. If both the teacher and student has access to a webcam, the panel’s ability to access these apps enables home learning students to view and contribute to classroom lessons using these tools.
The ActivPanel is supplied as standard with ActivInspire, interactive software which supports teachers to prepare and deliver dynamic and engaging lessons in the classroom.
To ensure educational continuity, ActivInspire’s built-in screen recorder functionality has given teachers an opportunity to create bitesize videos of lessons, talking students through the key learning points whilst learning remotely.
When adopting a blended approach, ActivInspire can be used in this way to support those in the classroom and those still at home. Additionally, students can use ActivInspire at home with Windows, Mac and Linux devices.
Teachers can create interactive flipcharts and share with students to work on independently, providing a consistent learning experience for all students – wherever they are learning. Flipcharts can also be exported into PDF format for those students working on a range of different devices.
For schools facing the need to teach those students in the smaller classes and those who are still at home, adopting a blended approach to learning may be the best solution to adapt and maintain curriculum delivery. This can help to ensure that all students achieve a level of face-to-face interaction with the teacher and can ensure all members of the class have access to a level of continuity whether at home or in the classroom.