Reimagining Literacy: How Education’s Biggest Challenge is Evolving
For more of Lexia® Learning's thoughts on how literacy is evolving, check out our conversation from the ASU+GSV Summit.
When the lights went out in classrooms in March of 2020, district leaders quickly turned to technology in an effort to continue supporting students’ educational needs regardless of their location. As educators grappled with how to navigate new technology, this sudden change also raised concerns around student access to technology at home and lack of parent or caregiver support when it came to distance learning.
As we enter the 2021-2022 school year, we have taken time to reflect on these challenges and the resulting trends that developed during the pandemic, which has left us wondering — what has changed, what themes will remain and will these themes prove to be opportunities for growth?
Addressing Student Preparedness with Edtech
A recent survey found that over 71% of educators are worried about student preparedness for the upcoming school year. Many wondered whether students would be adequately prepared for their grade-level curriculum. Educators also expressed concerns around their ability to properly assess students in a remote or hybrid environment, as many students are still trying to catch up from the interrupted learning over the past school year. If this tumultuous year has emphasized anything, it’s the importance of having proven, innovative digital literacy solutions and professional learning services that can help both students and teachers right now. Fortunately, edtech solutions like the ones offered by Lexia have enabled teachers to better personalize instruction, even when remote — offering greater visibility into student readiness for the upcoming school year.
At Lexia, we have had many conversations with district leaders about what the new school year will look like, and to no surprise, there is a lot that needs to be considered. While some feel optimistic about returning to in-person learning, the recent spike in COVID-19 cases points to a prolonged hybrid or distance learning future. This means that edtech solutions will continue to help teachers moving forward and further underscore the need for districts to adopt products that support flexible learning models.
Efficacy and Equity: An Evolution
Through our work with school districts across the country, emphasis on two themes emerged — efficacy and equity. And while these themes have been the topic of conversation in the field of education for years, the COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on these issues and encouraged a shift in perspective in how we look at them. As district leaders and educators are preparing to catch students up from a challenging year, efficacy has never been more critical. Students and teachers have no time to waste and school districts need to put a focus on programs that can provide more than a year's worth of growth in a year’s worth of time.
On the topic of equity in education, there has been a powerful shift in perspective about the gaps that exist in national test results, transitioning the mindset from viewing them as achievement gaps to opportunity gaps. At Lexia, we believe that literacy can and should be accessible to all, and using our adaptive blended learning model, we can ensure that every student has access to literacy without wasting any time. We believe and hope that school districts across the country will adopt this mindset which will help them remain flexible for the upcoming school year no matter where the learning takes place (i.e., remote, hybrid, in the classroom).
Through a singular focus on literacy and a full spectrum of solutions to support students and educators, our products have the ability to help more students read, write, and speak with confidence. While we can’t predict what will happen this school year, our solutions can be used together or individually to meet structured literacy learning needs for any student as well as the teachers who support them.
For more of our thoughts on how literacy is evolving, check out our conversation from the ASU+GSV Summit here.