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SMART Innovation Team

Written by: SMART Innovation Team

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4 Minute Read

A picture is worth a thousand words. Our new survey shows how educators around the world are dealing with the new demands of remote learning.  

How do you help make sure remote instruction leads to real learning? Well, we wanted to know, too. So we asked hundreds of educators globally to share their experiences during the pandemic.

And not only can we tell you the results—we’ll show you.

Our new “Are You Remotely Ready?” infographic highlights the results of that survey, including how prepared teachers and administrators thought they were in ten key areas. How do you think your school measures up?

Key Takeaway: Educators were far more upbeat about the effectiveness of teachers teaching than about students learning online.

But we found that educators who said their schools were highly developed in all ten areas were seven times as likely to report effective remote student learning. That’s impressive.

Involvement: Parents, a lot. Students, not so much.

Buy-in to a plan is important to its success. But while both students and parents were equally likely to be completely involved in remote instruction planning efforts, a lot more students—four times as many—were said to be not at all involved. 

Yes, it’s very lopsided.

Here, “not at all” for students means, “We have not involved students in the planning or implementation of remote online instruction.” The better flip side was students were encouraged to own their schedule, process and outcomes. About one in ten were.

Student engagement has been a hot topic throughout the pandemic. To really ensure we’re engaging our students, getting their feedback is a great place to start.

Teachers and students need ongoing remote support.

One big takeaway is that the urgency around social and emotional learning (SEL)—already making strong inroads into schools before the pandemic—has only been accelerated by the stresses of remote instruction. Some 58% of educators said their approach to SEL had mostly or completely changed, recognizing that additional resources are needed to help with student well-being. 

Teachers abruptly thrust into the largely unfamiliar role of remote or blended instructor need support as well. Nearly half of educators said teachers were mostly or completely up-to-speed on how to best conduct classes, communicate and collaborate virtually. It’s almost inevitable that since this survey was taken in the summer, that skill set has improved.

Let’s not forget about the curriculum.

No good remote instruction works well without good content designed for remote settings. But there still seems to be a way to go.

One in five said they’re completely set. But 72% are still at the in-progress stages, aiming toward having a “significant body” of content developed for remote delivery. 

Teaching and learning effectiveness vary.

Ultimately, the goal of all this is to have teachers teaching and students learning effectively. But the results were mixed during this survey’s snapshot in time. Educators were pretty evenly split as to whether teaching was effective or not. But the perception of student learning was less happy, with more than double the number of those who rated it highly calling student learning slightly or not at all effective.

Keep in mind this is viewed from the perspective of the educators. And a lot in the middle thought both learning and teaching were moderately effective. Still, it was a troubling gap at the time the survey was taken.

Now, time for an eye chart.

Earlier we mentioned there were ten areas of preparedness. Here they all are, along with how educators in the survey figured their schools were doing.

Remember that key takeaway earlier? It bears repeating: educators in the survey who said they were highly developed in these ten capabilities were seven times as likely to report effective student learning. That’s a nice multiplier.

The fine print. And the print print. 

Everything you’re looking at and reading comes from the September report, “Remotely Ready: Global Insights Into Effective Teaching and Learning in a Pandemic.” If you want to dive into the results, including fascinating key findings and conclusions, you can download all dozen pages here

If you’d like to dive even deeper and learn how your school or district can prioritize EdTech work and investment for better results, the SMART EdTech Assessment Tool’s self-evaluation will result in a free profile with useful recommendations at

Either or both ways, don’t forget to download the full “Are You Remotely Ready?” infographic and see how it all comes together.


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