How School Closures Impact Students, According to Research

Lately, we’ve heard a lot of conflicting, unclear guidance from experts about how and when to reopen schools. Though some messages are purely political in nature, research does show real evidence of the importance of in-person schooling for kids. Brown University reports students will have only 63-68% of the learning gains in reading and 37-50% of the learning gains in math following the 2019-2020 school year compared to a normal year due to spring school closures. Also, schools provide other vital…

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How and When Your Schools Should Reopen: 4 Evidence-Based Recommendations

As school leaders, we’ve been given unclear, and often conflicting, guidance from experts about how and when schools can reopen through a strategy that keeps our students, teachers, and supportive staff safe. Let’s break down the scientific research and evidence which can steer us toward a safe return to school. What Does Scientific Research Say About How School Closings Impact Students? A working paper from Brown University predicts that students will enter the 2020-2021 school year with “approximately 63-68% of the learning gains…

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Blended Learning in the 2020-2021 School Year: How Do We Measure Whether Students Master Virtual Content?

As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, school leaders recognize that the 2020-2021 school year must involve some sort of blended learning strategy. Last week, we highlighted some of the key reasons digital learning has the potential to fail various student groups and offered some suggestions for building a successful blended learning strategy. This week, we want to focus on helping your school leaders and educators measure student mastery of content through online learning. How Formative Assessments Help…

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How to Incorporate Different Media Types in Your Digital Learning Strategy

When schools were forced to close nationwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, the inequities in our education system quickly became evident. Students who lived in households without internet connections, who were already struggling with the curriculum, and who had special needs were left further behind because they couldn’t engage in digital learning as easily as some of their peers. As school leaders develop more robust digital learning strategies for the 2020-2021 school year, we shouldn’t assume all blended learning units…

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Why Wasn’t Digital Learning Enough During COVID-19 School Closures?

Now that the 2019-2020 school year is over and we have the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to see just how unprepared most of our nation’s schools were for engaging students during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are just a few reasons that the MacGyver-style digital learning structures schools put together on the fly weren't enough to keep students properly engaged: —The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) estimates 14% of households with school-age children do not have…

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