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Maths tops Bramble lockdown learning league table

Maths teaching has taken up more than a third of all the hours spent on the @bramble_io online teaching platform during the lockdown, new figures reveal.

Teachers and students spent a total of 88,751 hours on the platform during the month of May – 22 times greater than the same period the year before and the highest usage figures since the Bramble platform was launched in 2016.

And maths is by far the most popular subject being taught on Bramble, taking up 37 per cent of teaching time on the platform over the month. 

English (17%), chemistry (11%), biology (9%) and physics (8%) were the next most popular subjects to be taught on the platform.

Bramble – created for live online teaching by UK-based start-up Bramble Technologies – was made freely available to tutors and teachers worldwide in early March as the lockdown loomed. Since then it has hosted more than 230,000 hours of live teaching and learning in more than 118 countries. 

Bramble Broadcast, a new version of the platform that allows teachers to reach entire classes of students, whether they are in socially distanced classrooms or online at home, was launched in May.

Bramble is designed for educators and includes features not found on mainstream video conferencing solutions, including an interactive whiteboard and lesson recording augmented by artificial intelligence which turns the words spoken by teacher and student into accurate transcripts that can be used for revision and safeguarding. 

An anonymised analysis by Bramble of the 150 million words spoken during online lessons during May indicates that more and more younger students are being taught on the platform. In maths, geometry is proving a more popular topic during lessons in May 2020, with terms such as obtuse, cuboid and perimeter occurring more frequently than terms associated with calculus, normally taught to older students.

With the massive growth in teaching hours on Bramble the time it takes for 90% of a subject syllabus to be discussed takes roughly a tenth of the time it did a year ago. This ‘syllabus time constant’ – based on an aggregate of all Bramble sessions during May 2020 – shows that it took just three hours for this measure to be met in maths, compared to three days in 2019. In biology it was nine hours, compared to one week 12 months before. 

Will Chambers, Bramble co-founder, said: “Usage of the Bramble platform has exploded during the lockdown and these figures are a clear indicator of the extent learning has shifted online since the pandemic had such an enormous impact on our schools. 

“Our analysis shows that science and maths subjects are the most popular subjects and that the age range of students being taught on the platform is widening, with more younger students being taught maths, for example, and drastic reductions in the time it takes for the bulk of a subject syllabus to be discussed on the platform.”

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