Schools on both sides of the Atlantic underwent unprecedented upheaval during Covid-19, which sparked wider questions about what teaching should look like. There was a rapid expansion in home-schooling and increased political tension over curricula, but perhaps most significant of all, was the renewed interest in personalised learning – in particular the way technology can help deliver a personalised learning experience more effectively and efficiently.
Getting personal: The future of education post COVID-19, a new study by Economist Impact, sponsored by Qatar Foundation, compares attitudes towards personalised learning of both educators and ed-tech executives in the wake of COVID-19. We find that:
- Covid-19 accelerated adoption of personalised learning. The pandemic forced schools to adopt student-led and internet-based remote learning, both of which are key elements in personalised approaches.
- Although information technology is a key tool for delivery, it is not enough on its own. Technology adoption does not change culture or approach in teaching: instead the culture changes the kind of technology adopted.
- Greater cooperation between education-technology firms and schools is needed to develop more effective products.
- Students and parents are less convinced than teachers of the benefits of personalised learning. Personalised learning represents a major change from what students are used to, and the way parents themselves were taught in school. Any successful personalised learning programme must convince these groups of its value.