This is the third in a monthly series of blog posts based on the findings from our Education, Content, and Insights team about educators’ experiences during this unprecedented school year. For November, we asked educators about their students’ greatest needs right now and how they’re using digital tools this year.
Finding: Academic remediation is where students need the most support this year.
According to one-third of educators (33%), academic remediation was their students’ greatest need this year, followed by needing more social interaction with peers (24%) and social-emotional support (17%). When comparing the responses across grade levels, there was a significant difference between primary teachers who identified academic remediation as their students’ greatest need (37%) versus secondary teachers (25%).
There were also notable differences concerning students’ needs by learning models. For educators whose students are fully remote, 33% of them indicated that social interaction with peers was their students’ greatest need more so than academic remediation.
In order to better understand how teachers are trying to meet their students’ needs, we asked how teachers are filling learning gaps. Seventy-seven percent of teachers said that they are monitoring their students’ progress, 74% are prioritizing the most critical prerequisite skills and knowledge, 52% are spending time reteaching, and 51% are adapting their scope and sequence/pacing guides for instruction.
Regarding the specific instructional strategies that educators are using, 71% of teachers said that they’re conducting small group instruction and 56% said they’re providing 1:1 instruction.
Finding: Teachers are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of digital tools, but the majority are also excited by the potential of these tools to improve student learning.
Educators are using more digital tools this year than they did last year, but for many, adoption is time-consuming and overwhelming.
- Over 75% of educators report using three or more digital learning tools that they didn’t use at this time last year.
- Over half of teachers (53%) say they feel overwhelmed by the number of digital learning tools they’re expected to use. And the more tools teachers use, the more overwhelmed they feel.
Despite feeling overwhelmed, teachers see digital tools as the key to delivering differentiated, effective, engaging instruction.
- Teachers want tools that allow them to tailor instruction to meet students’ specific needs — when asked what is most important when selecting digital learning tools, 77% said tools that give them the ability to easily differentiate instruction for students.
- More than two-thirds teachers (69%) believe digital learning tools are effective for student learning.
- More than half of teachers (54%) say that digital learning tools help them keep students engaged no matter if the instruction is in-person, remote, or a hybrid of the two.
Learn more about the challenges teachers are facing delivering instruction in our October report, and check back next month for our December findings.