As the school year winds down and summer vacation begins, a recent poll suggests technology may help prevent the summer slide in students. This time of year is exciting for students and troublesome for parents and teachers. While students view summer vacation as a time for water balloon fights, lazy days spent at the pool with their favorite page-turning best-sellers, parents worry about how to keep students’ skills sharp and encourage learning retention and acquisition throughout the summer months. If you are like most parents, each summer brings new challenges to find fun, yet engaging activities to promote summer learning.

VOCABULARY 180Well, one answer may be technology. According to a poll published in the latest SmartBrief on EdTech, technology is being used as both a summer learning tool for student and a professional development and enrichment device for professional educators.

In the poll, just about half of the participants reported that school districts/individual schools offer tech-based learning for students, teachers, or both. Additionally, 1 in four participants reported that if such options are available through their home district, they are still recommended or suggested. The final 25% of participants reported that online learning during the summer is neither offered nor suggested by their home district.

For students, online learning during the summer is reportedly used most for credit recovery, according to about 45% of respondents, while 25.81% said students are using Web-based apps and other tools for skill development. Another 22.58% of respondents said students are employing tech-based learning for these uses as well as for enrichment.

For educators, nearly one-third of respondents say online learning during the summer is being used for professional development related to the Common Core State Standards, while subject-area knowledge and instructional strategies are also popular goals. Just over 18% of respondents report that tech-based learning is being used by educators seeking advanced degrees.

These findings are not surprising in that they point to technology being used to meet what could be considered currently the most pressing needs of students and educators — namely credit recovery and common core implementation. But they do suggest that online learning and Web-based resources are being underused by both groups as a tool for enrichment, skill development and advancement.

CONTINUE READING – Can technology boost summer learning?

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