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Experts say schools have an opportunity to better use remote learning technology

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Posted at 11:47 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 14:47:49-05

School districts across the country are in the second half of the year. Grades from the first half reflect the struggles many are experiencing during this pandemic.

The Associated Press says schools nationwide are reporting two- to three-times more failing grades than in typical years.

Teachers told the AP that students are skipping assignments and class more often, and that some don't have reliable internet needed to complete and upload assignments.

Teachers say many students also stay "off camera," making it tough to identify who's struggling with material.

One long-time education researcher says schools have a major opportunity to use the remote learning technology more effectively.

“We know that people were learning best by doing things,” said Dr. Michael Allen, CEO of Allen Interactions. “A good use of this technology is to assign tasks for people to perform and then get off the screen and go do them.”

Allen has been studying education and its relationship with technology since the 1960s. He says teachers have to adapt their lesson plans for a remote learning environment.

One idea to do that is to "flip the classroom" and have students prepare a lesson on a topic to present to the class.

Allen believes education should build a person's confidence in their skills, so they can be prepared in the real world. His research found e-learning can be an effective way to do that, if the program is well-developed.

“People feel like it's more personal than the experience of being had in the classroom because they're getting continuous attention that everything is mapped around how well they're doing, what needs they have,” said Allen.

Allen says research has shown people forget they're even working with a computer in some cases.

Allen thinks the pandemic will force districts to develop better remote learning plans moving forward.