There seems to be a growing tendency to go "back" to old models of school in planning for the return (whenever that may be). It seems that the inequities between learners will be so pronounced that we need to think very carefully about our next steps.
The next steps are certainly important, but in terms of Triage / Right now needs, I think some attention needs to be paid to teachers (who are doing so many great things in a short amount of time) who are trying to apply in-person pedagogies to asynchronous remote learning. There is a huge spotlight on equity for some of the big things like access and self-direction. But there are other inequities emerging: students sharing their homes as backgrounds on web interactions, students who have no support for their work because their parents are also working, students who don't have working printers, students who are in environments where learning cannot occur, social and emotional support, access to print texts, etc. Those are some "right now" things that are on my mind at the moment...
It is interesting to see how many differences are emerging regarding access to technologies and the ways that we make assumptions about "home" work. We assume that there is a home in which can be done, that there is a space in which learning can take place, there are the tools available, and that the work can be done by self-direction. Some serious considerations when school policies require homework. How might we think about meaningful work that extends the learning in school and has actionable assumptions?
Right now our district is discussing learning management systems within the context of student engagement. Specifically, as remote learning progresses during the spring, less students were engaged and started to drop off in participation.
The challenge for some faculty now is how to balance the expectations on them to ensure students are learning with the needs of the kids to have more ownership and control over their learning. Popular LMSs such as Google Classroom don't seem terribly conducive for this release of responsibility. (I wrote more about LMSs here while taking a class with Dr. Richard Halverson.)
I welcome ideas and questions! -Matt
@bena good questions. One thought is to ask the families what their needs are, and scaffold these surveys to better ensure the right questions are being posed. We may assume families know what they need when it comes to learning.
@michael-fisher on my mind too! We definitely need to engage in some mindshifts about teaching and learning from a distance. The best approach seems to be through conversation: gradual, consistent, and with a healthy sense of urgency.