What to Expect in the Next School Year

The school year is winding up, and while there will be celebrations and goodbyes and acknowledgements of completing another academic year, most school administrators and IT directors have already turned their attentions to next year. Budgets are being planned, and for the most part, we are all expecting to have most instruction occur in-person.

COVID-19 Has Forever Changed Education

We are seeing signs of permanent changes in education as a result of the experiences we’ve all had during the pandemic. Technology is not going away. In fact, the success of edtech has been so profound that some school districts are recognizing the value that remote learning provides in other circumstances. For example, the New York City public school system has cancelled snow days for the 2021-2022 school year, citing the benefit of remote learning.

Learning Analytics Will Be More Effectively Leveraged

Being able to deliver instruction, manage testing, and analyze data has been strengthened in the past year, and reliance on that data will be used to improve the delivery of education to all students. Because educators will continue to use edtech solutions and learning platforms to deliver some in-class instruction, they’ll be able to swiftly adjust to the needs of the students in their classrooms, using the more immediate feedback from the data.

Health Monitoring and Vaccine Tracking Will Remain Essential

Already, governors are announcing that a COVID-19 vaccine will be a requirement to return to school, placing pressure on schools to be able to track and monitor student health more carefully. In addition, because there will continue to be outbreaks of COVID-19, particularly in those areas that have not yet achieved herd immunity, the ability to conduct health checks and contact tracing will remain essential.

Student Data Security Will Take a Front Seat

Speaking of student data, student data security will be priority number one for school administrators and school IT leaders. From the incorporation of blockchain technology to the use of a private, secure platform through which edtech solutions are obtained, such as Bright PASSPORT, there will be a much more formal effort to ensure that whatever edtech is used by schools is properly vetted, securely obtained, and approved for use.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Lumen™ Touch can help you meet the rapidly changing needs of your district, get in touch.

The Future for Education, Revisited

Even before the pandemic, Lumen Touch was working with Kansas schools to envision the future of education. That future is technology, whether in the classroom or when learning from home. Technology doesn’t replace teachers – it frees them from the mundane, repetitive tasks of education and allows them to focus on enrichment and one-on-one development with students. It allows every student the opportunity for an individualized education. This was true before the pandemic and it remains true now.

Identifying the Gaps

What the pandemic has shown us is that while we already have some of the tools we need in place, there are gaps. Some students do not have access to the internet; some don’t have laptops or computers at home; some districts have no budget to provide these things. That’s where we– as edtech leaders, educators, and school administrators – need to devote ourselves as we move forward. The future of education needs to be, above all, more equitable.

Identifying the Opportunities

We have also discovered that, when done well, distance learning can lead to positive outcomes in which students are stimulated and curious and excited about learning. We’ve met teachers along this journey who are adept at leveraging technology to deliver a memorable learning experience to their students. And we’ve found unsung heroes in every corner from businesses that have stepped up to fill in the gap by providing devices and internet access to parents and teachers who collaborate to ensure that students’ needs are met.

Where Do We Go from Here?

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Because even as we see our way through this pandemic, the world of education will be forever changed. Classrooms will not be the same and neither will schools. As we move forward, we need to consider how to design an education system that:

  • Leverages technology without sacrificing human interaction
  • Delivers meaningful, student-driven instruction that is engaging and stimulating
  • Pivots quickly as needs change and as our understanding of learning improves

We recently hosted a live streamed webinar on the future of education. You can watch it here to get more perspective on where we’re headed:

Lumen Touch is dedicated to being part of the future of education. We focus on improving the learning opportunities for children with measurable outcomes. We have been diligently listening to educators and experts to develop and improve our all-in-one solution. We’re discovering through this pandemic how critical it is to have something like Lumen Touch in place for a seamless transition from the classroom to home education without missing a moment. In a potential hybrid-style future, in which split schedules are the norm and education time is divided between school and home, this is critical. We are in the process of expanding our services to all 50 states. If your school is preparing for a permanent change in instruction and delivery, get in touch.