Absenteeism, especially in K-12 schools, can be frustrating for instructors and ultimately have a negative impact on students. However, classroom technology now makes it easier to battle chronic absenteeism in the classroom. Here, the educational technology professionals at SchoolMart examine the tools many instructors are using to maintain consistency in their lesson plans and keep students on track for improvement in all areas of their education.
How Chronic Absenteeism Is Affecting Students
Chronic absenteeism occurs when students miss more than fifteen days of school throughout the year, ultimately causing them to fall behind in their schoolwork and classroom development compared to their peers. In the 2015-16 school year, over 7 million students missed over fifteen days of school—that equates to 1 in 6 students who were chronically absent. The higher the grade level, the more drastic the impacts of absences are. First-to-third graders may lose the ability to maintain grade-level or above reading skills if they are chronically absent from school, and students in middle school and early high school can even fail subjects or ultimately drop out of school due to an excess of absences. It is important for instructors and family members to identify signs of possible struggle or distress in chronically absent students and create proactive strategies to help combat this pattern.
How Modern Classroom Technology Combats Absenteeism
Immersive technology opportunities can allow students to easily complete their work or maintain access to classroom material if they must take a longer leave of absence, and ensure that they are able to progress academically alongside their peers. There are varying degrees of educational technology, or ed-tech, that can be used to help students remain participatory in school. First, programs such as Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams allow guardians to monitor their children’s performance and alert them of any unusual changes in grades or activity. This is a great tool to help parents intervene early on and get to the root of their child’s reasons behind their absent behavior. Moreover, programs that allow for virtual attendance in a traditional classroom setting can be a huge benefit for students. For example, if a student was struggling with social anxiety, allowing them to take part in lessons from home through video is a fantastic way to combat absenteeism. This allows for both comfort on the child’s part and helps the instructor to stay on track with their lesson plans without having students fall behind.
How Classroom Technology Is Changing Education
There are myriad benefits to introducing educational technology in the classroom. First, technology can bring a sense of comfort to students who may be struggling with emotional issues such as anxiety or depression. For example, creating a virtual chemistry lab for those who are nervous about animal experiments allows for students to fully participate in an environment that is most comfortable for them. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, technology brings a new level of engagement to the classroom. Today’s generation has been immersed in technology since birth—leveraging the benefits that educational technology has to offer can help your classroom stand out from the rest and provide a method of learning that is unique. It can ultimately make a real difference for students in the future, and establishing new patterns of teaching can excite your students, reducing the likelihood of absenteeism.
Learn More with the Educational Technology Professionals at SchoolMart
At SchoolMart, our top priority is helping you make the most of what your classroom has to offer, and to raise a generation of innovative and technologically-savvy students. With the increasing rate of absenteeism in many traditional classrooms, creating a program that fosters engagement, as well as varying learning options, can help decrease the likelihood of absenteeism drastically. To learn more about how you can effectively incorporate technology and battle absenteeism in your classroom, contact the ed-tech professionals at SchoolMart today.