Back when the eSchool News Hero Awards program was hatched last spring, the hope was that these words would be written in the past tense—that the pandemic had passed—and schools were back to normal. Unfortunately, we know that’s not the case, which may make it more important than ever.
Many myths have been busted in the course of this crisis: Teachers and administrators have (hopefully) discovered newfound respect from parents; The perception of technology as bogeyman—replacing teacher jobs—has instead shown that edtech is an important tool to assist them; and maybe most importantly, access to the Internet has proven essential for every student.
These three grand prize winners, plus all the finalists listed here, are testament to those busted myths. The descriptions of preparedness and planning, of swift responsiveness and going the extra mile (literally), and of empathy for students and staff are the metrics our judges used to decide the incredibly difficult choice of who to highlight. After all, every teacher, every principal, every IT department member has been and continues to be a hero during these difficult times.
I hope these stories can inspire you, embolden you, and support you as we continue to try and serve students through this ongoing crisis. I want to congratulate every school that was nominated as well as the edtech providers that sponsored them. And I want to encourage everyone to apply for next year’s awards, which will be opened next month!
–Kevin Hogan, eSchool News Editor-at-Large