The Game changer in Education has already happened
Why we need to act now
I have already written about this many times. These last two/three months, no school, no exams, teaching online, testing online. All bad? No.
Working from home
After two or more months working from home, many are considering this on a permanent basis. Twitter was quick to say «Work From Home Forever» to all its employees. Many are intrigued. How about a combination? Some days home, some days at work? It seems reasonable. Less traffic, less time spent on travel, more time spent on work. Then why aren’t we Considering this for our students? Could the same be applied to schools? Work at home when convenient come to school when you need to? I for one would like to explore this.
I recently read this article in Forbes written by Linda Darling-Hammond, A new Deal for education in America. I’m including what I think applies to other countries here. Because honestly, most countries do not have the same challenges they have in the Us.
- Emphasize authentic learning and assessments.Schools that successfully motivate students to engage in learning even when schooling has been disrupted are connecting lessons to real world applications, allowing students to explore the world around them.
- Strengthen distance learning. Access to devices and the internet alone does not ensure high-quality learning. Education leaders must pair efforts to close the digital divide with supports to enable educators and families to deliver high-quality distance learning. They should also prepare for blended learning when students return to school sites. Educators are hungry for opportunities to collaborate with and learn from their peers on how to deliver engaging learning experiences and to build new approaches to pedagogy that can enrich the way they use technology to support student learning both during and after this pandemic. Transmission teaching in which students “sit and get” information has long been archaic; now, more than ever, students need to develop skills to conduct research and evaluate information on-line; discuss and debate ideas in zoom classrooms, via chat, and in-person; collaborate to design tools, conduct investigations, write up results, and give and receive feedback as they revise their work. These pedagogies should be used to teach students cognitive strategies and reflective skills that enable them to become self-guided, independent learners.
- Use formative assessments that support growth. These expanded learning opportunities should be informed by thoughtful diagnostic assessments.
- Expand learning time. I’m attempting my own interpretation here. Not only summer school for those who need that but less time for some, more for others. Equals up.
Let’s look for the brave leaders who are willing to take the chance. Even if most countries are struggling with the economy now. Because this isn’t difficult or costly. It is easy and sensible.