At this point in 2021, it seems considerably easier to name positions that haven’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than to name those that have. It’s been a major shift for almost every organization, from public to private, but one that we’ll focus on today deserves special attention: educators.
Faced with the daunting task of maintaining quality and availability of learning to students through virtual learning, often-dangerous in-person teaching, and complex hybrids of the two approaches, teachers have felt the disruption of COVID-19 restrictions often more acutely than many of us can imagine.
Education Week’s Madeline Will articulated the problem further, including its effects on learners as well as teachers: “[Teachers are] trying to engage students who are emotionally checked out or hard to even reach. In addition, many teachers are caring for their own children, worrying about high-risk relatives, and otherwise grappling with mental fatigue of living through a pandemic.
The situation calls for more than stop-gap fixes that change as new guidance and data appears. Solutions like Squigl can provide teachers a way to reach and truly engage students with short, retainable videos, without adding a laborious next step to educators’ already overwhelming tasks.
It really is this mental fatigue and sense of being overwhelmed that is causing the teacher burnout situation, as Will notes in a later article from this year—of approximately 1,000 former public school teachers interviewed, 43% of the teachers who left voluntarily did so because “the stress and disappointments of teaching weren’t worth it”, a number nearly double those who quit for pay-related reasons. Making a short, enjoyable video with Squigl can remove some of the stress and frustration that’s all too common for teachers in the current environment. In a the family of learning techniques known as micro-learning, Squigl videos can be brief, visually-driven stories to communicate ideas to learners clearly and engagingly.
Much of the stress of teachers’ day to day experiences now comes through technology challenges, Will points out—how can we ensure engagement with a lengthy lesson plan, remotely or in the classroom, when the teacher who made the plan is already overtaxed, and students are struggling to maintain focus?
By design, Squigl creates high rates of engagement with your message, and increases the rate at which your learners retain them. By synching your chosen visuals to keywords in your voiced script, your video maintains engagement with your message through visual reinforcement of the corresponding narration. The one-to-one relationship ensures that the visuals don’t distract, but instead focus learners’ minds on the information they’re hearing.
And Squigl’s customizability gives teachers the freedom to choose which visuals they want, and which keywords are most important to their messaging. The short, enjoyable process of video creation can take the place of drawing up lengthy presentations or classroom lectures—a major advantage when a principal concern is students’ engagement with those long-form, traditional learning modes.