Three months into the new school year and homeschooling has become the norm again for many.
Within our Trendspotters teen and kids panels of 70 kids and teens aged 7-16 across the UK there hasn’t been a single family who hasn’t been affected by a school COVID outbreak. With the latest Department of Education statistics revealing that 46% of secondary and 16% of primary schools have pupils isolating, split learning has become a reality.
But homeschooling this time around is a very different picture to when schools and pupils quickly adopted it back in March. The acceleration to digital learning in the last two months has been vast.
Each month we create a Map of Hotness, our monthly take on what's hot - and what's not - with kids and teens aged 7-16. It provides a month snapshot of the most talked about themes with our qualitative ethnographic panels, backed by our vast quantitative data from Beano.com. Each theme is marked as Hot, Warm, Cool or Evergreen, giving a time-series view of which themes are on the rise, and which ones are already on their way out.
And digital learning is definitely hot. In the first lockdown there were a few mentions of educational platforms such as Times Tables Rock Stars and spelling app, EdShed. But now, after years of promised adaptation to the modern world, education has really gone digital.
School now has so much more in common with the modern workplace with education apps (bringing gamification to learning) being joined by “professional” platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom where kids can log-on receive tasks and manage their own workload. Lessons on how to use Zoom (and on any video platform) have become the norm.
This switch to digital learning has continued parents’ and carers’ visibility and interaction with their children’s education which happened during the first lockdown. The curtain has been swept aside and, although many parents and carers do not want to resume an educator role, they are enjoying the increased transparency digital education provides.
Again Gen Alpha and Gen Z have proved both their resilience and their digital sophistication. With 37% of kids preferring a mix of home and school learning and 40% enjoying using computers more as part of their learning, this transition has been effortless for them and many are finding that their classroom experiences, when they are able to be there, have become more important to them. And now assessments and education tracking are easily done through the digital platforms, it should allow more time for interactive and creative lessons.
Is this blended, digital education here to stay? We believe so and there’s a huge opportunity for brands and organisations to help facilitate this. Not only will educational providers be looking for new and better ways to teach and assess students digitally but parents are also looking for soft learning apps for their children to help homeschooling and isolation.
Like to know more? Get in touch, we’re here to help.