Among the excitement of summer’s long awaited arrival, parents and educators are bracing themselves to face a familiar challenge. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.” With years of research proving the typical school-free summer months to have a detrimental impact on student learning, the summer learning loss is a real concern. Advancements in EdTech are helping to tackle the issue, providing resources specifically aimed at keeping students actively learning, developing essential skills, and engaging with educational content, independent of school and teacher. But how do we encourage students to continue learning, at a time when fun takes priority?
1. Assign a Project
Assigning a project is one of the best ways to dodge the summer slide, despite the obvious challenge of motivating students to get involved. By providing as much choice as possible, students are given more control and encouraged to take initiative, be innovative, and test their abilities over the summer months. With the power to generate their own resources at will, a learning platform like Fishtree makes PBL as simple and engaging as possible, encouraging every student to take part.
2. Create a Class Blog
A class blog is a great asset for any time of the year, especially summer. As a hub to check in, and to share resources, ideas and experiences, a blog keeps students connected and learning, while developing their reading and writing skills. Elevating student voice, a class blog essentially builds a learning community that is accessible from anywhere, at any time, even acting as a go-to point for summer reading lists and activities. For any educator attempting to tackle the summer learning loss, this is must-have!
3. Introduce a Personalized Learning Tool
There’s simply no point in assigning summer learning activities without a platform to provide content, and to facilitate collaboration and communication. Taking it a step further, a personalized learning tool will motivate even more student learning, with all resources and activities tailored to their needs. Within a self-paced, adaptive, and independent learning environment, students can use this free time to develop their skills, test their knowledge, and find out about their learning habits, styles, and abilities.
4. Connect on Social Media
Class communication generally comes to an abrupt end once away from school gates. Without this, students lack the ability to engage in peer learning, to receive critical feedback, or simply to interact with their classmates. Social media provides the ideal way for teacher and class to stay connected, share resources, and engage with one another over the summer break. Using a learning platform like Fishtree, all social media activity is monitored by the teacher, providing a safe alternative to the norm.
Like what you’ve read? Help your students to avoid the summer learning loss with the 21st century learning platform, meeting students where they are!
About the author:
Lorna Keane specializes in language teaching and has taught in second and third-level institutions in several countries. She holds a B.A in languages and cultural studies and an M.A in French literature, theory and visual culture. Follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.
Image credits: benscherjon / CC BY 2.0