Prior to COVID-19, students were used to going to school every day, being around their friends, and attending in-person classes with teachers present and ready to answer questions. The pandemic was a traumatic experience for many students and has caused many students to have negative feelings, anxiety, depression, and a hard time concentrating on schoolwork or other activities. All of these effects can make it especially difficult for students to feel motivated or to be engaged in learning. To say that the pandemic has changed the way we teach students and how students learn is a monumental understatement.
Do you remember what made you excited to learn when you were in school? Perhaps you were the lucky class who got brand new books or your teacher made the test review into a Jeopardy-like game that was super fun to play. Maybe you were most excited when you got to do a hands-on activity or work as a team with your classmates. Regardless, there were certain things that made learning fun and more effective.
We need to reintroduce students to the excitement of learning.
Because of COVID-19, educators can’t teach children the exact way they did before. Students need to be re-inspired and schools need to adapt to new educational methods and tools.
This is where JASON Learning can help! There is no other innovative, digital-first library of STEM curriculum and resources in the PreK-12 education market that engages students, teachers, and the community more than JASON Learning (JASON). Students solve real-world issues when using JASON, which is particularly important when trying to deepen their learning.
Over the last 32 years, JASON has progressed from satellite broadcasting to an innovative Digital Platform and currently reaches over 5 million students nationwide and engages them in STEM education and exploration. JASON does this through its hundreds of digital resources, experiential activities, and opportunities to solve real-world problems like climate change, broadband Internet access, and microplastic pollution. Especially during these stressful times, it is important for educators to think about students’ emotional well-being as well as academics. JASON resources can help teachers inject unique and enjoyable activities into their lessons while introducing students to real STEM topics and making up for learning loss.
JASON’s method of teaching and learning STEM is through an interdisciplinary, project-based learning approach. The application of STEM knowledge and skills are integrated through real-world problems or challenges that demonstrate connections between school, community, and business. All JASON elements promote student agency and boost self-efficacy, which is critical for students who have been affected negatively by school closures and learning from home.
Students’ voices are elevated through JASON with lessons that provide opportunities for collaboration, learning about what is important to them, and serving different learning styles such as visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Even during normal times, JASON resources are helpful, engaging, and effective in increasing academic development. During the pandemic, they were crucial. We hope that as schools continue to recover across the country that they realize the importance of engaging students and helping them stay motivated by giving them high-quality learning resources and greater agency over their learning.
Co-written by Jenna Davis and Eleanor Smalley