In the spring and summer of 2020, Brooklyn Preschool of Science closed down for six months due to COVID-19. During those same six months, almost 300,000 people left New York, so there are certainly fewer families in our zip code than there were in March.
Even so, our independent preschools are back to serving 300 families at three locations, offering in-person classes for students ages 2 to 5. Parents are trusting us with their children not just because of the safety precautions we’re taking, but because of our pedagogical approach, which begins with a spirit of inquiry and ends with students who have a lifelong love of science.
As we sift through the consequences of the pandemic for our children, educators and education researchers are likely going to be learning lessons about our school system for years to come. One truth has already been made clear: learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom.
That may sound like a prosaic observation, but the pandemic has put it front and center in a visceral way by bringing teachers, via Zoom, into all the places children are learning—none of which are classrooms. Teachers have been able to see how hard parents work to support their children’s education. They’ve also seen that, whether due to lack of ability, resources, or their own educational experience, not all parents can support their students’ education to the same degree.
Instead of the usual hustle and bustle through bright and crowded exhibit hall aisles, edtech trade shows kept exhibitors and attendees at home this year and took a virtual approach.
During FETC and TCEA in late January and early February, virtual attendees attended presentations and engaging keynotes–and also had the chance to explore the online exhibit hall full of new edtech tools, products, and solutions to help educators as COVID learning approaches its one-year mark.
As I meet with team leaders in my suburban Chicago school district, I ask: What is your department doing to create equitable and inclusive learning conditions for all of our students?
It’s a complicated question in the age of COVID-19. As we discovered in the spring, some families still lack the devices or broadband connectivity they need for remote learning, despite mobile computing being a ubiquitous facet of our lives. That sad reality had school districts scrambling to provide devices and broadband access to students when the pandemic originally closed schools.
While the numbers are constantly changing based on fluid circumstances and data, it’s safe to say that millions of students across the U.S. are engaging in virtual learning. This has largely been the way of life since COVID-19 caused school shutdowns nationwide in March 2019, and the path forward toward in-person school as we knew it is still unclear.
As most institutions and school districts are well aware, remote learning brings with it a host of cyber security threats and considerations. These concerns have brought the idea of encrypted data to the forefront of the discussion, because student data is now being stored in, and accessed from, a variety of locations.
It’s important for teachers to find ways to teach social-emotional learning and character development to help their students build the skills necessary to process the events of 2020 and to persevere and succeed in (for many students) a distance learning or hybrid environment. This can be challenging, especially for ELL teachers.
I teach a first grade dual language immersion program at an elementary school outside of Madison, Wisconsin. Our school district has made character development a main focus and I’ve found some specific strategies and resources that can be helpful for early elementary school teachers – and especially for ELL teachers – who are trying to teach SEL and character development remotely.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped education compliance, both in K-12 and higher education. As classes went fully online, it has become incredibly difficult for school IT administrators and teachers to keep track of all the elements of compliance.
From the cybersecurity of students’ and teachers personal devices used for lecturing, the monitoring of various communication channels, to preserving all the business records, which are in themselves an ever-evolving topic, the past year has been quite a challenge for legal and compliance professionals working in schools, as well as teachers, school tech teams, and administration.
In this MarketScale EdTech Today podcast from host Kevin Hogan, remote learning expert Sal Kahn and Anne Wintroub, director of Social Innovation for the AT&T Foundation, discuss a variety of topics related to edtech, COVID learning, and connectivity.
Hogan, who is also Editor-at-Large with eSchool News, discusses COVID-19, digital equity, online learning, and what education will look like post-pandemic.