Let’s face it, the Covid-19 pandemic has forever changed what education will look like. You know what? We should not be surprised that we were not prepared for it. We knew it had to change, however the powers who control the purse ignored it.
Since I became a teacher there has been discussion, research, and writing about changing the face of education. Cooperative learning, peer tutoring, incorporating technology into the curriculum were all being discussed and proposed. We had been hearing how we had to stop using the 19th Century Factory Model of education and bring it to the digital age, one where today’s kids can take their mastery of simple, and sometimes not so simple, technology and easily use it to enhance their educations. Yet, then it was all talk. Now it’s reality.
The 19th Century Factory Model Education has been the working model for nearly all P-12 education systems in the US. Students go to school at early in the morning, go to school for 7.5-8 hours, come home and do homework. Not much different than their parents who worked in the manufacturing industry that grew out of the Post Civil War era. Made it easy for parents to work and provided an educated workforce for the low skilled, high paying (post unions) jobs they would take over from their parents.
While it has been incredibly frightening and frustrating to move into the new digital learning environment, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Teachers can move from becoming didactic educators to learning facilitators, or as Richard DuFour called them Learning Leaders. We just need to teach our educators how to be those digital learning leaders, use the same platform and provide the support parents and students need to be successful in this new environment, it can be done, it just takes the will to do it.
I’m in, who is with me?