Education thought leader Alan November isn’t shy about discussing what he believes is a key misstep that many educators are making in shifting to web-based instruction during the pandemic.

Instead of taking the same techniques that teachers have used in their classrooms for years and trying to apply them within a remote learning environment—an experience he compares to forcing a square peg into a round hole—November believes teachers and administrators should view the pandemic as an opportunity to reinvent education.

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“We’re trying to recreate the traditional school experience online,” he says. “What we should be doing is looking at models for learning that are very different.”

How to structure remote learning in a way that leads to deeper learning and engagement is a question that remains very relevant, even as the current school year winds down. New guidance on reopening schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that students be spaced six feet apart when they return to school, at least initially—and K-12 leaders will have to apply some ingenuity to make this happen.

Dennis Pierce
About the Author:

Dennis Pierce

The former editor of eSchool News, Dennis Pierce is now a freelance writer. He has spent the last 20 years as an education journalist covering issues such as national policy, school reform, and educational technology. Dennis has taught high school English, math, and SAT prep. He graduated cum laude from Yale University. He welcomes comments at