- Jigsaw24’s lockdown learning survey finds 50% of schools would like more support when delivering remote learning.
- 70% reported struggling during the UK’s first lockdown – in some cases, up to 80% of students did not engage.
- However, 75% of schools say issues are on the mend thanks to resilient staff and investment in mobile devices.
At Jigsaw24, we’ve been providing IT solutions to schools, colleges and universities for nearly 30 years. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in that time, it’s that things go better when schools work together. However, recent circumstances have made that difficult: communication has become harder, pupils and their families are facing huge challenges when it comes to accessing essential resources, and teachers have struggled to maintain access to their usual resources and support systems.
But schools across the UK have risen to the challenge, each finding their own way to handle remote learning and the pressures of lockdown. We spoke to teachers, IT teams, admin staff and school leadership teams from 12 schools across the UK to find out which devices, apps and strategies have served them best, and are sharing the results in our latest whitepaper. We hope schools will be able to see how organisations like theirs have adapted, and earmark solutions that they want to try going forward. You can download the full whitepaper here, or read on for a few of our key findings…
Platform-agnostic apps are the way to go
Because the initial lockdown happened so quickly, many schools struggled to provide devices for each child to take home. To offset some of this uncertainty, 33% of schools chose to connect with pupils primarily over email and 25% relied mostly on phone calls. However, multi-platform apps were also popular. Google Classroom, which can be installed on a device or accessed via a browser, was used by 33% of schools.
We typically recommend using an app like Showbie, which is device-agnostic and allows for the sharing and feedback of work in a single, unified environment. Some anecdotal feedback we’ve received from parents shows they’re not familiar with apps like these, which are primarily designed to facilitate student-teacher interaction. In those cases, checking in with parents via methods like emails, phone calls or text to ensure they’re aware of what their children should be working on has proven to be hugely helpful.
Parental engagement is schools’ number one concern
As any educator will tell you, lockdown learning has not been without its issues. 70% of schools reported having issues at the start of their remote learning programme, the most common one being a lack of pupil engagement – in one case, up to 80% of students were failing to engage.
Other issues included pupils having to share devices with parents who were working from home (and therefore not being available for synchronised activities like class Zoom calls or live streamed lessons) and an inability to reach parents.
But staff have risen to the challenge
Teachers are nothing if not resourceful, and 75% of respondents said their initial issues – including that worrying dip in engagement – are now fixed. This is largely down to the amazing from staff across the school. 60% of respondents said teachers adapted quite well or very well to remote working.
If you’re one of the 40% of schools that are still struggling with the transition, we can provide training that will help boost your team’s confidence. As well as providing basic and subject-specific skills training on new apps and devices that your school has rolled out, we can deliver training on how best to structure remote lessons and keep pupils’ attention on task while they’re learning from home.
Mobile device management plays in a key part in safeguarding
Managing devices while they’re off the school network is a key safeguarding issue for schools. Asked how they managed their devices, 60% of respondents said they’d invested in dedicated device management software, which allows them to control permissions, block apps and send alerts to the school when students may have used their device inappropriately. 30% said they have outsourced device management to an external provider, while just 10% said they manage each device manually.
The great thing about software-defined MDM is that it can be done “over the air”: devices are managed over the internet, so IT teams have the same level of control (and can offer the same degree of protection) wherever a student or teacher may be. Applications like Jamf Pro and Apple Classroom make it easy for admin staff to group students into classes or year groups and apply granular, age- and subject- specific restrictions in a reliable (yet invisible) way.
Only 30% of schools received support from DfE – and 50% would like more support
It’s clear from our survey that schools have worked hard to make the most of limited resources and offset the very real hardships their students are facing. But 50% of respondents wanted more support in order to improve remote learning going forward.
That’s what we’re here for.
Our regionally based team includes former teachers and IT engineers who can help you make sure your remote and in-person teaching is perfectly synced. From supplying hardware (including pairing schools with compliant financing partners) to device management and ongoing support, we’re here to help schools tackle any technical issue they may face. You can get started by downloading the whitepaper here.
For more insights from lockdown learning survey, and to find out more about how Jigsaw24 can help schools manage remote learning, visit Jigsaw24.com/education. Alternatively, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com