There is a certain perspective that comes from being in the edtech industry for over 30 years, and while I thought I had seen it all, nothing could have prepared me (or anyone else) for a global pandemic. Not only did the pandemic upend our lives, it looks like we will be managing and battling surges and outbreaks of COVID variants for a lifetime or more.
There are significant positives about how we as a society have learned to deal with COVID. Much as the problems in our medical systems, for example, have given rise to better and more efficient care, so can education benefit from rethinking its model.
The problems we’ve experienced educating students who are learning at home, either full time or in a part time model, spotlight needed improvements (particularly with equity of access) and spark new ways of thinking.
An interesting study was just released by Kuato Studios last month to ground what I think are the opportunities and challenges we face in 2022.
Kuato is an edtech gaming company that surveyed 1,000 parents and 600 teachers in the U.K. and the U.S about how they had adapted to learning, teaching, and technology in general since the pandemic started. Twelve percent of U.S. parents and 11 percent of U.K. parents felt they did not have the critical tools in place (like laptops, internet connections, and tables) before the pandemic. Additionally, roughly 30 percent of U.S. educators and 20 percent of U.K. teachers felt they did not have the supportive infrastructure to conduct online classes before the pandemic. This lapse was even more glaring among historically excluded groups.
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