Back in July I think a lot of us went on our summer holidays hoping to put the disruption and pain of Covid behind us, and with real hope that by September things would be largely back to normal. But whilst other workplaces are moving forward with a new normal, the in-person nature of schools means that the impacts of Covid are still very much being felt at the coal face.
With large numbers of students and teachers still unable to be in school due to positive Covid tests or the need to self-isolate, the pressures on workloads and the impacts on student outcomes are still very real. So, what's the solution? How do schools balance tight budgets, staff well-being and the needs of both remote and in-person students?
Key pain points
- Students who are self-isolating are missing out on practical lessons, for example carrying out science experiments and observing results for themselves.
- Teachers who are in school are facing an increased workload as they struggle to create one lesson plan for students in school and another (often less rich) one for students who are accessing education remotely.
- Teachers who are healthy but having to isolate due to potential exposure to Covid are struggling to teach from home using systems not built for purpose and processes that don't fit with their standard workflows.
- Heads of Department are trying to ensure that the complex mix of in-person and remote lesson plans are delivered by cover teachers.
- Teachers who are in school are having to step up and cover lessons, often at short notice and outside of their subject area, with the added complexity of simultaneously teaching lessons both to students onsite and remote.
There are lots of other negative impacts that Covid is still having on day-to-day school life. Read on to see how we take a lot of the pain out of the issues listed above.
Is Sparkjar – the realtime teaching and learning platform. Built for purpose, Sparkjar has been supporting technology-forward UK schools to improve student and teacher workflows for over five years. At the start of the pandemic our schools pivoted seamlessly to remote teaching:
"Sparkjar has been invaluable during lockdown in particular, as it has a range of functions for teaching (for example, the whiteboard) as well as setting and marking work. As head of department, I am able to monitor the teaching and learning that is taking place within my department, as I have access to all lessons, materials and student work. This has been particularly useful when ‘lifting’ work for department marking CPD sessions as well as, on the odd occasion, setting cover work. "
Here's how we can help you today, and protect you for tomorrow.
- Our Schoolsafe Live Video was built at the start of the pandemic specifically to answer the problem of enabling secure, remote teaching with student and teacher safeguards built in as standard. Teachers can teach fully remote or hybrid lessons (remote and in-person) at the same time, from anywhere. In the science lesson example above,the teacher runs the lesson as normal with students in the room, using their iPad camera to share the experiment with those at home as part of a Schoolsafe Live Video call.
- Sparkjar is built using Lightwave technology, meaning it is highly responsive and resilient to patchy wi-fi (as well as having numerous features that work offline). This reduces the impact of slow internet on the engagement of remote students with remote lessons. It also means that teachers can confidently deliver remote lessons from both within the classroom and from home, for instance if they are self-isolating but not unwell. If a member of teaching staff can sit in on a lesson, but not have the pressure of delivering it because the class teacher is able to do this using Sparkjar, that takes the pressure off everyone.
- Sparkjar Topics is the perfect place for teachers to plan their lessons, share resources with students and set class and homework linked to the topic. Our Heads of Department love that they can access lesson resources and share them seamlessly with cover teachers, and in an environment that students and teachers find easy to navigate and understand.
"It’s brilliant. It is saving me time, allowing me to give more impactful feedback and it’s weirdly fun to use."
In short, Sparkjar's built-for-education features allow schools and teachers to be agile and flexible when responding to last minute absences of staff and students. The easy-to-use interface reduces stress and cognitive load for teachers, students, and parents, helping to ease the ongoing impact of Covid on the whole school ecosystem.
Take a look at Sparkjar features for
Or you can contact one of our Pre-Sales team to see if you are eligible for a free trial.
For a deeper look at technology within education you can download our whitepaper by filling out the form below.