The end of the academic year has arrived. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has crystalized over the past few months and as schools close for the 2019/2020 school year, there is much to reflect upon.
Isn’t it amazing what can happen when we are “forced” into whole scale change! The shift from face to face teaching to distance learning wasn’t by choice; it was thrust upon everyone. Many teachers had to adapt and learn new technological skills overnight. While some may have struggled initially, we learned, adapted, problem solved, and embarked on a new pedagogical path.
Hopefully, over the past few months teachers moved from an emergency response teaching approach to a more dynamic and engaging learning experience for the students. While there may be some variance on the success of distance learning, it has brought education (or more precisely, teaching) into the world’s spotlight.
While time will tell if students have gained any real benefit from the experience, early signs of teacher learning can be seen in their adoption of a wide variety of technological platforms, apps and programs as they grappled with meeting their students learning needs in a different workspace.
Given the thrust into distance learning and the uptake of many (and varied) digital applications, there has been a loud chorus of enthusiasts calling for changes to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic education delivery. In January 2020, before the pandemic, the World Economic Forum released “Schools of the Future: Defining New Models of Education for the Fourth Industrial Revolution“. This report calls for implementing a global framework for shifting learning content and experiences towards the needs of the future. Now that would disrupt the one size fits all high stakes testing!!