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ISC Research: How Covid-19 Has Impacted EdTech Use

By Anne Keeling, ISC Research

09/03/2020

ISC Research: How Covid-19 Has Impacted EdTech Use

Technology played a vital role in supporting the continuation of student learning in schools during covid-19. Understanding the use of technology during campus closures and its impact on international schools is the focus of a new report from ISC Research.


ISC Research surveyed 82 international schools in a wide breadth of countries during June, at a time when many schools had been delivering learning remotely for several weeks. The report of the survey results provides insights into the use and effectiveness of learning platforms for distance learning, the solutions that teachers found most valuable for guiding students with their learning while campuses were closed, the role of parents during distance learning and how schools engaged with them, and assessment of students during campus closures, as well as the future technology plans for international schools in light of their recent experiences.


Challenges impact future plans


The report shows that almost all international schools in the survey (99 percent) had a learning platform in place and were able to support children with their continued learning. However, many challenges and opportunities were faced during this time that are now influencing decisions on teaching and learning into the future.


Most schools said that the experience of suddenly shifting to distance learning was far from easy. Their main challenge was lack of teacher skills; both in adapting to teaching remotely, and in technology use. Internet limitations were also a problem for 37 percent of international schools. Assessment proved to be challenging for 90 percent of schools and the report highlights the main hurdles for this.


A wide range of EdTech platforms and resources were put to the test as schools progressed through the period of distance learning. Ninety percent of the schools surveyed said their teachers considered synchronous communication platforms, such as Skype, Zoom and Google Meet, extremely valuable for delivering distance learning to children. Most international schools used a combination of platforms to ensure learning was accessible to every child. These tended to vary depending on the age of students. The popularity of the main brands is identified in the report. 


In addition to relying heavily on technology, 51 percent of international schools said that posting learning instructions to some of their students was also considered extremely important.


Tech support of most value


In the research, international schools were asked to select the resources their teachers found most beneficial for guiding children through their distance learning. Live online lessons proved to be most popular, followed by instructions that were videoed by teachers. Ninety-eight percent of the international schools surveyed used live online lessons at some point during campus closures.


In addition to resources, the support of others was highly valued by many teachers. Eighty-two percent of the schools said their teachers found support from their colleagues extremely beneficial, 23 percent said support from educators in other schools was also very helpful, and 41 percent of schools highlighted the value of proactive support from parents.


“The role of parents cannot be understated,” said Ryan Persaud, Director of IT at International School of Curitiba in Brazil. “Our success with virtual learning would not have been possible without a strong partnership with them and our parent teacher organisation,” he added. The school, like many international schools, has used a variety of tools to communicate with its parents including emails, webinars, school platforms, WhatsApp, and social media.


EdTech post covid-19


Overall, the message from the report is optimistic. International schools generally feel positive about the learning they have been able to deliver during campus closures, many have identified new opportunities, and 84 percent of schools say they are changing their future plans regarding the use of learning technologies as a result of their experiences over recent months.


Alan Morley, Head of English Modern School Doha says his school plans to change its focus towards blended learning as a result of covid-19.


“A mind, once expanded, never returns to its original form,” he said. “There has been so much growth by virtue of covid-19, I don’t think we will ever return to the traditional format exclusively.”


The Impact of COVID-19 on Education Technology in International Schools report is available free from ISC Research at www.iscresearch.com


 




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