According to the EdGlossary, “Learning Loss refers to any specific or general loss of knowledge and skills or to reversals in academic progress, most commonly due to extended gaps or discontinuities in a student’s education.” (Source: https://www.edglossary.org/learning-loss/)
Given the craziness over the past year since the arrival of Covid-19, it should come as no surprise that students have experienced some level of learning loss in core skills like literacy and math. However, on the flip side of this equation, it’s entirely possible that students have made significant gains in other areas that would have never happened if it weren’t for forced quarantine and the shift to e-learning.
What are some of these newly acquired skills? Here are a few examples that might qualify – contact us and let us know if you have some other observations. Let’s find the silver lining!
- Technology fluency – video conferencing is no longer just for the Jetsons.
- New appreciation for personal relationships – missing friends and family in-person.
- Patience, patience, patience.
- New hobbies – boredom and quarantine are great motivators for exploration.
- Global awareness – we are all in this together.
Is Global Awareness a Pandemic Silver Lining?
Significantly, global awareness naturally dovetails into opportunities for driving re-engagement and making Learning Gains. A recent blog by Dr. Cindy Moss (follow her on Twitter @STEMBoss) notes the awesome benefits of Project Based Learning (PBL) to engage and drive deeper learning experiences. In the blog she highlights the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a platform for PBL which draws students into rich learning opportunities to explore global challenges, apply design engineering skills, and think critically about the problems humanity faces. (source:https://blog.definedlearning.com/learning-loss-strategies-pbl)
The arrival of a global pandemic is certainly not the only challenge humanity faces but it was certainly the most “in-your-face” challenge we all experienced together. Perhaps that is a bright side as it has drawn clear attention to the need for the world to work together if we are to survive planetary scale challenges. Let’s take advantage of this heightened awareness to drive change, engage students, and not just regain the losses, but surpass them with extraordinary gains.
Drawing Attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – an opportunity for project based learning (PBL) with purpose.
databot™ Gets Motivated
The development team at databot™, locked up for over a year and with plenty of time on our hands for thinking, has been taking these thoughts to heart and the result has been the formulation of a focused mission to develop learning resources intended to improve the world – it’s our opportunity to contribute. Our mission:
We then took this further and identified four strategic areas of focus for development. Each decision for development or commitment of resources is now aligned with these four strategic areas:
- Science,Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM)
- Climate Change and Environmental Awareness
- Data Science, Data Literacy, and Critical Thinking
- Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
Number 13 of the 17 UN Goals
databot™ is uniquely suited to serve as a platform for PBL activities in all of these subject areas due to its unique set of sensors and its additional capabilities for coding. Our CO2 Science Series is a great example of a multidisciplinary exploration of CO2 through learning modules in Life Science, Physics, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Environment. Looking at the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we’re thinking there is a lot of potential for some awesome projects using databot™ that will engage and excite students, drive learning gains, crush learning loss, and deliver something positive after the past year of disaster, mourning and tragedy. If you have some ideas for great projects – please let us know and we’ll share them here in this blog.
databot™ learning solutions transform the way K12 students experience data, science, and technology. In the classroom, after-school, and in the home, our mission is to make interacting with and understanding data a beautiful, fun, and ubiquitous experience. One that crosses the traditional boundaries of all learning environments. The world is driven by data and we are driven to teach future generations how to use it for good. We create data powered technology and brilliant learning activities that empower students everywhere to think deeply, explore with passion, and solve our planetary scale challenges. databot™ is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, USA.
Contact us to share ideas, comments, and learn more about our products and mission.
databot™ and the NGSS Fourth Practice
Important Practices to Master: The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are an impressive body of work developed to guide science education for the 21st century. One of the three cornerstones of the NGSS are the eight Science and Engineering Practices that are identified as essential for all students to learn. Importantly, the 4th practice is Analyzing and Interpreting data. Whenever students are conducting data oriented activities such as those using databot™, they are learning to collect and analyze data – an invaluable skill that can be applied to any career of the 21st century. The more comfortable we can make our students when interacting with data today, the more successful they will be tomorrow.
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About the Author
Robert Grover is a proponent of STEAM education and educational technology that helps engage and develop the students of today into the thoughtful leaders of tomorrow.