Digital learning is one way out of the greatest threat to our children after Covid-19, says Kim Antoniou, Founder/CEO of Auris Tech Ltd., groundbreaking voice technology for literacy, developed specifically to support children’s reading and literacy. It is also the tech behind the DfE approved and award winning reading platform, Fonetti.
It has been reported that the number of children struggling with literacy, as a result of lockdown learning, has risen by 30,000 over the past year and, according to unpublished government figures revealed recently, more than 200,000 primary school pupils will make the transition to secondary school without the adequate literacy skills for their age.
The Government is expected to unveil a new four-year ‘emergency plan’ in May as a direct response. This could include after-school and holiday clubs as well as small group tutoring. But, is manpower enough to solve this?
Says Antoniou, “You can reach more children with technology. There’s no way reading can get back on track without it. It does however require a different approach and is essential that digital technology is normalised, not seen as just another screen.
“It is the greatest way to reach people and, is also a great leveller.
If digital platforms are the foundation of future learning, smart technology applications are the perfect partners to guarantee success”.
Continues Antoniou, “Digital learning with smart AI and safe technology is a recipe for positive results. It provides a level playing field to all pupils, not just those within a radius of a school ranked as ‘excellent’. Schools simply don’t have the people power to offer 1-2-1 tuition for every child without technology. Accessibility is key to learning and indeed to literacy.
“The Government has made a massive in-road to schools with technology but they need to install the right smart tech to guarantee success. The Hungry Little Minds campaign ( https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/) is just one example of this.
“Reading is a foundation to learning. It’s a building block for every other academic subject and it’s essential in providing key skills for life. Confidence in our children is at an all time low as a result of the pandemic. Many children have had limited verbal interaction with their peers and these communicative skills can all be boosted through independent digital learning, as can vital life skills.
“Children are very comfortable with technology. Primary school pupils, in particular, are digitally native and expect technology to play a part in their lives.”
She concludes, “Schools have relied on support from businesses to keep them connected throughout this pandemic. Whether it’s providing devices, technology support and expertise or by sponsoring subscriptions to educational apps like Fonetti, there’s no doubt how smart tech and independent digital learning has played a huge part in lockdown learning. It’s now down to the Government to invest in the right AI and smart tech to complement this initial foundation for schools to build on for the next four years. Auris Tech Ltd. will be ready to take their call.”