What have we learned during Covid?

Covid didn’t change directions and it isn’t just a temporary disruption; it just sped up things that were going to happen anyway – Arthur Levine president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

WinterGrassesFirst, we cannot unsee issues that became glaringly obvious during the pandemic:

  • Uninspiring curriculum and pedagogies
  • Technology deserts preventing millions from participating in online interactions that should be routine and time-saving
  • Inconsistency of school and teacher quality
  • Teacher and substitute shortages partly due to teacher burnout from high demands, bureaucratic burdens, and lack of positive rewards
  • Meaningless high stakes assessments that stultify innovation and lock in bad practice
  • Lack of flexible childcare
  • Disconnect between the cost of higher education and the perceived benefits of higher education
  • Gaps between jobs needed by employers and society, skills of the workforce, and live-able wage
  • Anger between segments of society feeling stressed and other segments who they saw as resisting actions that would relieve their stress
  • Budget shortfalls in schools (including universities) resulting in difficult decisions about where to impose cuts
  • Inequity, real gains where children had resources and support structures and substantial losses where they did not that exacerbate demographic, regional, and racial inequities

On the plus side, we’ve seen many potentials to dramatically improve the ways we learn and teach:

  • Live web meeting platforms for synchronous interactions so that people do not have to be in the same place at the same time in order to learn from each other
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to provide immersive experiences and simulations of scenarios that are impractical in real life
  • Multi-media sources to provide a continuum of learning across news sources, research, social media, blog posts, podcasts, documentaries, conferences, and virtual conferences
  • Artificial intelligence to create completely personalized learning
  • Simulations, games, and technology assistance to embed learning into whatever people are doing or like doing
  • Blockchain to maintain a distributed ledger to represent each person’s accomplishments, skills, and knowledge
  • Mobile Technologies, and 5G specifically, to connect at high speeds to anything, any time, and practically anywhere.
  • The ultimate triumph of a concerted effort that created solutions (new vaccines) in record time, which may model ways to solve some of these other issues

What have you learned from Covid; and where do you see that taking education?


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