Newsela Tackles Lost Learning Head on with 'Learning Found' Campaign
The pandemic has upended children's learning. Phrases like learning loss, covid-slide, remediation and intervention are just some of the ways educators have described this period. And with students about to return, en masse, to in-person classrooms, there are major challenges facing teaching and education administrators, alike.
But the pandemic has also helped shine a spotlight on the benefits of educational technology. One such online platform is Newsela. The app, which takes authentic, real-world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction-ready for K-12 classrooms, now boasts over 2.5 million teachers and 37 million students among its users.
Building on this momentum, Newsela is launching its first-ever campaign tackling learning loss head-on. The theme is 'learning found' and seeks to flip the learning loss debate on its head. The campaign will target school district administrators, who are the actual buyers, along with teachers and educators with a message to focus not on the learning that’s been lost, but on how to best re-engage students moving forward.
“Teachers and students have gone through a grueling year," says Dan Cogan-Drew, co-founder and chief academic officer of Newsela. "The last thing we should do is recreate learning environments that isolate students and feed them rote exercises with a catch-up mindset completely outside of the context of teacher-driven lessons. We must be focused on acceleration, not remediation so that every hour in the classroom counts.”
To help communicate the advantages of its interactive learning approach, Newsela partnered with Episode Four, a boutique creative agency, to create an eight-minute filmed exercise that documents the difference between skill and drill programs and teacher-led classroom powered by Newsela's instructional materials. Two groups of middle school and high school students were separated. One was taught via skill and drill; the other, using Newsela.
The film is scheduled to go live in May, across paid, owned and earned media channels. It will be accompanied by supporting materials, including a white paper, additional videos on Newsela’s landing page as well as a sponsorship with EdWeek, display and influencer outreach. And, as the film concludes, the challenge it poses to educators is how to make sure every hour spent in the classroom counts for every student.
"It is our hope with this campaign that educators take a pause and ask themselves some honest questions about what it would look like for every student in our community to be fully engaged in learning, how that looks different from learning pre-COVID, what stands in the way of our vision for an engaged learning environment, and what we’re ready to do about it,” said Dan.
Creative Agency: Episode Four
Founding Partner: Teddy Lynn
Founding Partner: Mark Himmelsbach
Art Director: Emily Galvelis
Art Director: Emily Kim
Executive Director of Strategy: Leslie Walsh
Executive Director of Strategy: Sarah Greenfield
Executive Creative Director: Andrew Miller
Executive Producer: Lindsay Fa
Production Coordinator: Aaron St Jean
Account Director: Athena Livadas
Director of Operations: Jenny Lynn
Production Company: Neighborhood Film Company
Director: Michael Medoway
Producer: David Raynor
Producer: Jon Applebaum
Edit Company: Neighborhood Film Company
Editor: Michael Medoway
Post Supervisor: Micah Malinics
Post Production / VFX
Color: Company 3
Sound Company: Defacto Sound
Category: Corporate, Social and PSAs , Education