Utilizing Quick Social Movies to Complement Pupil Studying |
contributed byJorge Cauz, CEO of the Britannica Group
For many teachers around the world, student reintegration will be an uphill battle after several school closings and bans. While some children did not have reliable access to digital devices or adequate space to study at home, others faced loss and grief from an early age. In addition, all children had to cope with the daily turbulence of a global pandemic.
The COVID-19 performance gaps study (April 22, 2021, Drew H. Bailey, Greg J. Duncan, Richard J. Murnane, Natalie Au Yeung, Natalie Au Ye) found that much of the progress is being made In reducing the benefit gap for disadvantaged children, the lockdown could have reversed throughout the lockdown, it is clear that the educational implications for future generations of children could be far-reaching. Similarly, teachers struggled to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic: A report in Education Week by Catherine Gewertz highlights how the mental health of “teachers” has suffered from the pandemic.
What role could complementary curriculum materials play in tackling some of these issues in practice as both students and teachers continue to grapple with this uncertain new landscape?
Differs from a comprehensive “core” curriculum and is defined differently as “materials that more fully cover a topic in a course, address different learning needs and support the use of technology in the classroom” or “those elements that extend and support the Used in teaching “and responding to the needs of all learners,” complementary curricula can provide nimble, focused, and flexible tools to help teachers adapt to the frequently changing circumstances they find themselves in.
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You can emphasize the importance of accuracy and fact-checking
It was hard to avoid conspiracy theories during the pandemic, from 5G and microchips in vaccines to hydroxychloroquine. With the deluge of COVID-19-related misinformation soaring that the World Health Organization dubbed it “infodemia,” it is more important than ever to ensure that the information is accurate and from trusted sources.
As a global knowledge guide that has stood for reliable information since it was first published in 1768, Britannica has set itself the goal of helping Internet users in and outside the classroom find verified information. Given the multitude of platforms on which curious knowledge seekers “consume” content, we continuously evaluate the places we need to be present and the types of content and experiences we need to create to suit each one.
To that end, we recently partnered with YouTube to create bulletin boards attached to videos and video searches that point to fact-checked background information to help stem the deluge of misleading content. Other useful initiatives include browser extensions (like ours) that freely fact-check and filter out reliable, knowledgeable information from any “searched” content.
But no one is better placed than a teacher to dispel untruths, and this can only be achieved if they are equipped with the tools themselves to combat this “infodemia”. Since a 2019 study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that most supplemental study materials lack quality, it is important that curriculum improvement programs do just that – improve, not degrade.
See also Questions to help students think critically about the news
Videos are engaging and easier to personalize than traditional content
Teachers often report the pressure to fight for student attention in the form of short, crisp tweets or TikToks that often distract them from attending class or focusing on homework. However, some of these platforms provide a great opportunity to spark curiosity and create important moments that increase the use of reliable complementary materials like that of Britannica. If supplementary material is to stand a chance against 15-second videos or constantly updated newsfeeds, it has to be at least as exciting to arouse real joy in learning and curiosity in children.
Fortunately, short, funny videos can can be used effectively to get students excited about real learning, as we found with our successful TikTok series.
It is also crucial that supplementary learning material is agile and can be adapted to the individual needs of each student. The material must be digestible, downloadable, or even printable online for students without access to a reliable internet connection, and the content itself needs to suit students with varying levels of reading and comprehension skills. Multimedia, “reading aloud” tools and articles offered at different reading levels are therefore becoming essential, especially in environments where mixed, distance, or independent teaching is the norm.
See also This is how you practice your classroom
Social videos can take the pressure off teachers
With teachers routinely spending 1-2 hours each evening preparing for the next day’s class, many are frustrated by the time-consuming search for curriculum-related text and multimedia material from reliable sources.
Ready-made content that is suitable for teaching massively reduces the already stressful workload for teachers and gives them the freedom to do what they do best: teach.
After nearly a year of struggling to meet teacher training requirements during the coronavirus crisis, a troubling report from CNBC found that nearly one in three educators (27 percent) are ready to change careers or retire. Colin Sharkey, executive director of the Association of American Educators, said, “The demands placed on them are off the charts.” The challenge, however, is that the US needs more teachers, not fewer, to get schools back up to scratch can be opened.
For this reason, Britannica has developed easy-to-digest “LaunchPacks” in which content related to the current lesson topic can be easily delivered to the student and supplemented by the teacher for engaging and unique assessments. The teaching profession urgently needs to be freed from its role as a “fourth emergency service” and any resource that can help to achieve this through streamlining the workload is essential.
It is clear that complementary learning is a small but important cog in the broader education system. As teachers around the world continue to respond to the demands and consequences of the pandemic with remarkable agility and resilience, this should play a key role in the future recovery of education.
Jorge Cauz, CEO of the Britannica Group (home of the Encyclopaedia Britannica), explores the multiple roles that complementary learning can play in the classroom; from increasing engagement and bridging the performance gap to tackling staff wellbeing and the teacher retention crisis.