As a school leader, my primary focus was creating the conditions for success for our students. One area we worked on during the summer was helping our underclass students stay on track for graduation. Therefore, leveraging technology was an effective strategy to mitigate our students’ summer slide.

Working with our teachers, we integrated adaptive educational technology into our summer camps to assist students and minimize summer slides. In addition to offering grade recovery opportunities for students, we also provided opportunities for students to strengthen their skills in preparation for the next school year.

The much-anticipated summer break, while a time for relaxation and family, often ushers in the “summer slide” – a period when students lose crucial academic skills gained during the school year. This phenomenon disproportionately affects core areas like mathematics and reading and is especially significant among students from underserved backgrounds who may lack access to educational resources over the summer.

This erosion of knowledge not only sets back student progress but also complicates the teaching agenda at the start of the new school year, as educators spend initial weeks revisiting old concepts. This review phase can hinder the introduction of new material, potentially exacerbating the educational divide, particularly for students who are already struggling. For instance, research highlights that a student lagging in reading might face a deficit equivalent to two years of learning by middle school, a gap primarily attributed to cumulative summer learning loss.

So, let’s discuss the role of educational technology in addressing learning loss.

Educational technology tools offer a promising solution to this issue by providing engaging, interactive learning experiences that can keep students academically active during the summer. Here’s how these tools can play a pivotal role:

Interactive Learning Platforms

Digital platforms can turn learning into a dynamic and enjoyable activity. These tools often use games, puzzles, and interactive lessons that cater specifically to core skill areas such as math and reading. By making learning fun, these platforms can keep students engaged and motivated throughout the summer.

Accessibility and Convenience

Technology provides a flexible learning option that can fit into various summer schedules. Students can access these resources anywhere, provided they have internet connectivity, whether on vacation or at home. This accessibility is vital for students who may not have easy access to physical books or educational centers.

Personalized Learning Experiences

Many educational technology tools come with adaptive learning features that tailor the difficulty and type of content to the individual’s performance. This personalization helps ensure that all students, regardless of their academic level at the beginning of the summer, can benefit from appropriately challenging activities.

Partnerships with Educational Technology Firms

Schools can collaborate with tech companies to secure free or reduced-cost access to premium educational content. These partnerships can expand resource availability, ensuring more students benefit from high-quality educational tools.

Support for Educators and Parents

Educational technology tools also offer resources for teachers and parents, providing them with data and insights about a student’s progress. This information can help adults better support their children’s learning needs over the summer and beyond.

“Technology is changing the world, and education must keep up.”

-Allison Academy

Educational technology tools are an effective strategy to mitigate the summer slide. By integrating these digital resources into the summer break, schools can help maintain educational continuity and reduce the need for extensive review at the beginning of the new school year. This approach not only aids in narrowing the achievement gap but also enhances lifelong learning skills among students.

Through thoughtful technology integration, we can transform the summer from a learning loss to a period of innovative, engaging, and practical education.


“When students are led well, they learn well.”

The views shared in the Educational Leadership Moment are solely mine and do not reflect the positions of my employer or any entity within the local, state, or federal government sectors.

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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.