This is an extraordinary time to be welcoming students, teachers and administrators “back to school.” In some areas, back-to-school means physically re-entering classrooms for in-person education. In other places, students and teachers aren’t really going “back” to anywhere other than their desks and kitchen tables with a return to online education. And with social distancing measures in place, some schools may adapt to having only partial days in the classroom with the rest of learning happening online – a hybrid learning model.
As we approach this new school year, one thing is for sure: the role of online education has changed forever. Not only has it taken on much greater importance as a back-up when schools must be closed for safety, our understanding of it and our perspectives about it have changed.
The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the course of education for the 2020-21 academic year, and perhaps beyond. The shift to hybrid and online learning models is changing how schools approach education, and naturally this brings with it some challenges. But it also provides opportunities for schools to implement practices and tools that make these new learning models easier for teachers, students and parents.
Skooler is a great platform for the hybrid education model. Skooler combines the flexibility of online and in-classroom education with its learning tools. Skooler and Microsoft Teams are fully integrated and Teams become the core feature where you can add Skooler learning tools as tabs in the application. The students log into Teams and teachers can easily share a screen so that students at home as well as students in the classroom see the same lecture. Having teaching, learning and assignment/assessment tools that span both in-person and remote learning are essential in making these transitions seamless.
Technology eases the academic challenges for students, parents and teachers
The “fear of the unknown” could easily be the slogan for the 2020-21 academic year. Yet there are many positive signs that the coming year is full of hope and promise. We recognize the importance of technology in providing as much normalcy and opportunities for human connection as possible and our goal at Skooler is to reduce the complexity of using technology as much as possible, so teachers can focus on what they do best: teaching.
Fortunately, the shift to distance learning is made much easier with easy-to-use education applications like Skooler. In the recent months, Skooler has developed new features that help teachers, students and parents improve academic performance and strengthen the lines of communication in a remote learning world.
Technology updates to Skooler include:
- Skooler planning tool -allows you to list districtwide standards which enables parents to see student goals that have been set for the week or the year.
- Skooler Dashboard– a new notification bell with deep links in the Skooler Dashboard is tied to the message tool, planning tool and assignment tool notifying users of new updates.
- Skooler Apps: We’ve updated the Skooler App and Parent App to provide new notification technology with deep links for messages, absence, grades and more.
- Microsoft Teams Synchronization: For those who prefer to make assignments in Teams, those assignments are now automatically synchronized to Skooler Assignments, enabling users to easily tie assignments to Skooler’s Gradebook and other features. Likewise, when an assessment is done in Teams, the information is automatically populated into Skooler Assessment. This enables people to work in whichever interface they or their school system prefers while maintaining all of the robust functionality of the Skooler learning tools platform.
- Moodle in Teams app by Skooler– Last spring we introduced the free app which enables more than 200 million Moodle users to work with their courses in Moodle while taking advantage of Microsoft Teams collaboration features such as the chat, video meetings, file storage and more. https://skooler.com/moodle-in-teams-by-skooler/
- Visual learning with Loops Education– Skooler has also acquired Loops Education, adding the company’s suite of tools for teachers and students to the Skooler learning tools platform. Loops Education is a visual learning app that lets users create and modify visual learning journeys called “learning loops” that interactively engage students and support creative learning processes, whether in the classroom or remotely https://www.loopseducation.com/
We know there are still many challenges ahead as educators, students and parents adapt to our rapidly changing world. We’re here for you, with tools that support a sense of order while sparking the creative energy that will help us all have a successful school year during these unique times.