How Technology Can Improve Summer School Programs

Author: Tyler Cox


After more than a year of remote learning, students are beginning their return to the classroom. We’re still assessing the effectiveness of that teaching method and the haste with which it was instituted in 2020 as in-person instruction halted. Still, one thing is certain: technology was a critical tool during quarantine, and that aspect of the education process is not likely to disappear. Savvy educators are taking the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing them in the post-pandemic classroom.


One of the stepping-stones back to face-to-face instruction has been the summer school programs. In 2021, the federal government’s American Rescue Plan designated more than $122 billion towards education, with $1.2 billion of that devoted to summer school programs. More accurately described as “summer camp,” many of these programs integrated academic skills into every activity, often in a way where kids didn’t realize they were learning while they were playing. These programs saw their enrollment increase double or triple what it was before the pandemic, with programs designed to fill in the learning gaps that may have affected students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


There’s no doubt that students today are “digital natives,” having been born into a world where technology is developing at nearly the speed of light, so it only makes sense to emphasize the importance of technology in the classroom. According to the American University School of Education, doing so can increase student engagement and facilitate personalized learning.


Even if they aren’t tech-savvy now, they’ll need to be when they grow up. A recent article appearing on the Harvard School of Continuing Education website predicts that digital literacy and knowledge of tech-enabled tools and techniques will be among the job skills most in demand by employers over the next few years.


Bottom line: it makes perfect sense to use technology as a foundation of a summer learning program that refocuses students on the learning process. 


The benefits of technology in education


The opportunity to personalize lesson plans

There are a host of educational resources online, giving teachers the ability to incorporate materials designed to appeal to an individual student’s interest. That might be in the form of videos, audio recordings, or texts a student can view at their leisure. Giving students a say in their lessons is a great engagement strategy.


An appeal to various learning styles

Bay Area University identifies four types of learners: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. Building on those personalized lessons, technology allows teachers to cater to all four efficiently. Video screens large enough to be seen by everyone and clear audio are essential components of success in those efforts.


Easy communication with other students worldwide

Classrooms outfitted with video conferencing systems can help foster communication between students no matter where they are located. A class of students from Chicago, for example, may engage in a friendly Jeopardy-style competition with a class from Houston. And when that’s over, they can each give a short presentation on their hometown and talk about what life is like there.

Development of remote collaboration skills

We all hope another pandemic lockdown never happens, but even if it doesn’t, students will need the necessary skills to collaborate and learn remotely no matter where their education journey takes them. More and more institutions are gravitating to a hybrid model, where students spend part of their time in class and part of their time learning remotely. That will be particularly true when they reach college age. And once they enter the business world, remote collaboration and continuing education, delivered online, might very well be a regular part of their lives.


If you’re an educator, no matter what type of summer school program your institution offers, the importance of technology in education can’t be under-stressed. Check out this article for tips on implementing collaborative learning. If you’d like to learn how the technological tools developed by Yamaha Unified Communication can’t help with your program, let our experts help.