The National Center for Education Statistics confirmed fears that American students did not fare well during the pandemic. Math and reading scores for America’s 9-year-olds fell dramatically during the first two years of the pandemic.
Is this an indication that online education does not work?
Teachers and professors moved education online with only days to prepare. They had little training or guidance. And don’t forget the fear and confusion that everyone felt during those days. It was an emergency and educators responded with the creativity and perseverance that Americans took for granted for too long.
What was online learning missing during the pandemic?
What if teachers had the training, resources, and time they needed to prepare online lessons? One possibility is a form of blended learning using phygitals. In Indian Education Reimagined: Phygital Learning in 2020, Neha Gupta writes that educators in India see phygital technology as a path forward to improve online education and increase accessibility to thousands of students with limited access to education.
Phygitals – What are they?
The word “phygital” is a combination of the words physical and digital.
Incorporating phygitals into online education can make a big difference for students. Phygitals can help teachers keep students engaged, monitor student reactions, and modify lessons as needed.
Do phygitals improve online learning?
We don’t really know yet, but teachers are reporting good results. But what is clear is that online learning during the pandemic was not ideal. Phygitals could help make online learning more engaging, effective, and enjoyable for everyone involved.In a recent workshop at the National Organization for Student Success conference, Carissa Gray, an instructional technology coach reported that phygitals help “students develop competitive, creative, and rhetorical skills”.
Phygitals increase engagement
When students are engaged, they are more likely to learn. Phygitals can help keep students engaged by providing them with a more interactive and engaging experience. Smartboards, for example, can be used to create an interactive lesson. Students can use the smartboard to answer questions, share their work, and give feedback.
Classroom management software
Classroom management during the pandemic was chaos for many teachers. Unfortunately, many students just disappeared. Improved classroom management software can help teachers track student progress, give feedback, and modify lessons quickly. New applications arrive on the market daily promising to provide students with a more personalized learning experience by tailoring content to their interests and abilities.
Phygitals can improve collaboration
Phygitals can also help improve collaboration. Students can use tools like Flip, a free video discussion app from Microsoft to work together on projects, share their work, and give feedback. Conference Jamboard a free app from Google gives students and teachers a wide selection of free editing tools to increase creativity and encourage students to reach out of their comfort zones.
Solving the shortcomings of online education will require multiple solutions, but phygitals appear promising.