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The Benefits of a Digital Curriculum (Even After the Pandemic)

Jason Kleem

August 25, 2020

Adopting a digital curriculum and remote learning technologies can support learning goals even for students in onsite classrooms. Find out how.

By some estimates, the school closures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted 60% of students around the world. School districts have had to rapidly implement remote learning and fully digital curricula — a sudden shift that has been stressful and full of growing pains for many.

However, the increased adoption of educational technologies and digital curricula have revealed some long-lasting benefits for students and educators alike. Despite the stress of a rushed implementation of a digital curriculum under such short notice, districts have likely unlocked key advantages that can make a big impact in the years to come.

The Key Advantages of Going Digital

For K-12 districts considering how to handle lessons in the years to come, here are the top four advantages of adopting a digital curriculum — even beyond the ongoing pandemic.

1. Providing a More Personalized Education

Perhaps the most significant benefit of digital learning is that it allows students greater freedom to learn at the pace suited for them. This flexibility allows students who might be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners to find learning paths that better align with their preferred learning habits, interests, or strengths, as well other cultural factors.

Digital initiatives allow learning to be more easily tailored to the specific needs and learning paths of students. Before the advent of edtech, it was impossible for one teacher to create customized learning programs for every student in their class. Today, software and remote learning technologies enable educators to measure individual student progress according to personalized lesson plans. Further, digital learning can make it possible to incorporate some of the benefits of one-on-one tutoring into group lessons, and it also opens new opportunities for collaboration and project-based learning.

2. Preparing Students for a Digital World

There’s no denying that we live in an increasingly digital world. As more technology becomes integrated into our workspaces and homes, the long-term success of our students will be dependent on preparing them properly for their lives post-graduation. In fact, more than 80% of middle-skill jobs require a digital skill set — which underscores the value of digital literacy as an ongoing part of student learning. Projects that teach typing skills, how to use email systems, and how to search the web can impart invaluable skills for students before they enter the workforce.

3. Cost Savings and Increased Accessibility

While the initial costs of purchasing and deploying a new learning technology can be steep, many edtech solutions can provide significant cost savings over the course of their life cycles. Textbooks, for instance, are well known for being expensive, heavy, and difficult to update and replace — all of which are concerns that e-readers are able to address. Not only can e-readers provide long-term savings for schools and families, voice-to-text and text-to-voice services help to make learning more accessible.

Choosing lightweight, agile devices over desktop stations for students to use in the classrooms or at home can extend resources, too. Chromebooks are one popular alternative, in part because they also include a variety of apps — many of which don’t require internet access. This can help districts tackle the homework gap facing the millions of students who don’t have adequate resources to complete their schoolwork at home. Online assignments can also reduce paper waste and costs for schools.

4. Closing Achievement Gaps

Research shows that properly implementing edtech can help improve student achievement, especially for at-risk students. In fact, a two-year field trial found that education technology helped students in Maine score 80% higher than anticipated on state math assessments. Not only that, students who scored under the median on the previous year’s test demonstrated the equivalent of two years’ worth of learning in one academic year. Edtech solutions also offer more opportunities for tracking and analytics when it comes to student performance.

Making the Transition

Traditionally, a digital curriculum has been an expensive but worthwhile investment. But as schools consider whether or not to reopen to in-person learning in the fall, districts may still be hesitant to invest in edtech due to the temporary nature of remote learning needs. e-Learning platforms may feel like a non-essential purchase in the face of shrinking budgets, and districts strapped for time and resources likely feel unprepared to undertake staff training at the moment.

Vinson Edify directly addresses these very real concerns and eliminates the barriers to investment in remote learning. Edify is an entirely printable virtual learning platform that guarantees that teachers and students don’t have to change the resources they use in the classroom — even if your district spends the next year pivoting between onsite, hybrid, and remote education models. Edify also boasts the fastest start time in the industry, with an intuitive UI that enables a teacher onboarding time of just 90 minutes.

Finally and perhaps most importantly, the features and capabilities included in Edify’s price are unmatched. Edify gives educators access to more than 550 digital curricula through a single platform, allowing teachers to design and customize virtual lessons with ease. While no one knows for sure what reopening will look like this fall, Vinson Edify is a smart investment that will outfit your teachers and principals with the tools they need to effectively support ongoing learning.

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