This past school year, researchers Justin Reich and Jal Mehta asked over 150 teachers to interview their students about pandemic learning and what they think should happen next year. One of my favorite student responses was one that Reich shared on Twitter: “Please don’t be like ‘they missed so much social interaction; let’s give them [a] bunch of awkward conversation starters to create friendships.'”
According to the U.S. Education Department, energy costs are the second biggest expense for K-12 schools after salaries, with districts spending nearly $8 billion on those costs annually. Given the massive influx of stimulus funds coming to districts, they have an enormous opportunity to target the infusion toward their energy usage. In addition to upgrading aging facilities, energy investments offer cost savings that can help fund future priorities while providing a safe and comfortable learning environment.
One of my favorite parts of being an educator is the sense of community that is created with each new class of students. Fostering that feeling in person has its challenges of course, but is a bit easier to administer and coach when you’re face to face. When asked to build that same sense of community with my students through a computer screen as we went into a distance learning mode, my brain started to misfire. How am I going to do that? Are the students going to be engaged in their learning? Will they be able to feel that sense of belonging in a virtual classroom setting? So, after a few days of crying and worrying, I accepted this new challenge.
According to data from National Student Clearinghouse, undergraduate enrollment declined by nearly 3 percent this spring, following a similar drop last fall. These statistics have inspired dire headlines such as “Higher Ed in Crisis” and even “The End of the University,” but the truth is more nuanced. While college admissions may be down at most universities overall, graduate school enrollments are up significantly.
According to Newzoo, the live-streaming audience for games will hit 728.8 million viewers in 2021 globally. For reference, the NFL is projected to hit 141 million viewers. Clearly, esports’ popularity is growing exponentially. However, many people are still unfamiliar with esports, especially the emergence of scholastic esports in education.
With school out and summer break here, administrators are planning for the fall – but much still remains up in the air. Despite rising vaccinations, it seems inevitable that just like hybrid enterprises, hybrid schooling will continue to be the new normal. So how can district IT teams continue to handle the infrastructure impact that hybrid environments create?
Esports programs continue to grow at a rapid pace at both the collegiate level and at the high school level in the United States. With that growth, there are often salient questions that parents have when their children dive into the new world of scholastic esports and content creation: Are scholastic esports legitimate? What will they teach my child? Are you actually serious about a bunch of kids playing video games?
The coronavirus pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for schools. Teaching became a juggling act. Educators were forced to navigate the never-ending stress of new local, regional, and national rules and the ongoing adaptation of their classrooms. A dizzying amount of flexibility was required. Materials, strategies, and techniques needed to reach students in-person, online, and in hybrid settings had to be adjusted on the turn of a dime.
The COVID pandemic has changed much about how we live and how we work. Nowhere is this more evident than in our schools – in how we safely teach our students and how our students learn, safely. The challenge with schools is that, from a safety perspective, educational institutions were already under siege.