A new era of education may be coming for American teachers and students. With ESSER funding now available for schools across the country, each institution and district will assess what is to help students succeed in a post-pandemic world. Unfortunately, learning loss caused by the pandemic may have a ripple effect that lasts years. McKinsey & Company put out findings that state that learning loss from the pandemic disproportionately affects students of color. In order to even the playing field and create equity among students, the learning gap must be closed.
While the disparity in learning is distressing, there is also an area of opportunity. Because of the need for virtual learning throughout the pandemic, it's become evident that technology is a necessity, even for the youngest learners. Even so, 15 million American students lacked access to the internet and devices that would allow them to learn throughout the pandemic. So, what can schools do to make sure that every student has what they need to succeed? It begins with using ESSER funds to provide top technological equipment, furniture, infrastructure, and vital services for teachers and students.
Together with i3Technologies
At MooreCo’s recent Thrive Forward webinar, experts in education and well-being discussed how to help students learn and grow optimally. Lars Van Sweevelt is the Director of Product Development at i3Technologies. He spoke at length about the value of educational technology for schools. Together with i3Technologies, MooreCo has helped to provide technological tools across the nation for schools and offices. Here are a few of the solutions Lars discussed for schools in the coming academic years.
For Air Quality
One of i3Technologies newest products is going to be a must for many schools and offices as we continue to combat COVID-19. Even as cases continue to trend downward as vaccinations increase, schools must remain diligent about community spread to keep their doors open. Keeping students safe and well is a multi-layered approach, which may include protective desk dividers and personal protective equipment for months to come. In addition, an air-quality monitor can help keep student and teachers safer. That’s where the i3CAIR comes in. With user-friendly technology that allows for easy recording and display of each school’s air quality, i3CAIR is a game changer for anyone who wants to ensure better air quality within any space.
Through ambient monitoring and data analytics, i3CAIR can promote wellbeing, health, and safety in classrooms and work environments. Its "Wellbeing Index" accurately measures four different parameters of optimal air quality, including: temperature, humidity, particulate matter and carbon dioxide. Fresh, clean, quality air that is easily monitored through your devices will improve the safety conditions of schools as they reduce the particles that spread viruses. Not to mention that deep breathing can aid in relaxation, productivity, and positive mood.
For Accelerated and Distance Learning
Throughout the pandemic, schools relied heavily on devices and software that allowed teachers and students to stay connected. MooreCo was providing solutions for learning at a distance, in partnership with i3Technologies. Even as the pandemic is waning, its effects continue to be felt throughout schools and communities. There will be a need to help students catch up from learning loss in the coming years. There may also be a need to have distance learning systems in place in the event of future outbreaks of COVID, the flu, or during inclement weather days. For these reasons, the federal government is allocating ESSER funding and stimulus to be spent on up-to-date technology for every school.
With talk of accelerated summer learning, it may be beneficial to ensure that students and teachers can tend to education anywhere, at any time. This doesn't have to be difficult. Throughout the pandemic and going forward, three basic things will be needed to keep all students connected to the same lesson:
- Remote-learning software: Our preferred pick is i3LEARNHUB which combines the lesson creating tools of Powerpoint, the integrated video-conferencing capabilities of Zoom, and is compatible with Google Classrooms.
- Interactive Displays like the i3TOUCH or Interactive Projection Whiteboard like the i3BOARD for the teacher to digitally take notes on the whiteboard app and be able to share the notes at the end of the session.
- Webcam: it is important for both, the students to be able to see the teacher’s face and for the teacher to see the kids to establish a personal connection and to notice nonverbal cues.
Luckily, the above mentioned items are user-friendly, allowing educators and students to focus on the work at hand, rather than requiring additional training for how to operate the newest technology.
For Preparing for the Workforce
In the digital age when more jobs are able to be performed remotely, schools would be remiss to not prioritize technology in learning for students. This extends beyond an understanding of devices and software. Creating environments that help foster an interest in tech and engineering is key. Collaboratoriums, tech labs, and esports spaces will be among the most valuable educational spaces in a post-pandemic era. These environments and courses will help students of all backgrounds become and stay engaged, preparing them for the workforce where collaboration and tech know-how are essential.
For robotics classes and ESTEAM rooms, functional furniture that facilitates collaborative creation is a must. The Compass Line of makerspace tables and cabinets allow lab and art students to work together easily, with well-organized materials plentiful surface space for crafting or experimenting. For esports spaces and tech labs, ergonomic chairs provide all-day comfort for gamers, developers, and designers. The Butterfly Ergonomic Executive Chair and Elate Task Chair are ideal for all-day work at a computer. With lumbar and cervical support, as well as weight-sensing mechanisms, these seats fit perfectly to the user and allow movement throughout the day. The Cocoon Media Space can serve as a hybrid learning space for tech and community learning. For all tech learning labs and game rooms, MoorePower Towers provide all-day charge to spaces where computers are at the center of the curriculum.
We’re Here to Help
Interested in learning more about ESSER and technology? Join MooreCo for upcoming event on how to help students catch up with the best technology for every educational environment. Click here to register for our Get Back to Thriving webinar and the Texas ISD Technology 2021 Showcase! Both will MooreCo and i3products to help guide you to getting your school back on track!