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Remote learning during the pandemic was hard! There is no other way to put it. Everyone was unprepared and floundered a bit, but educators and leaders nationwide rose to the challenge and got to work. Results show remote learning was not for everyone and it, in fact, set students back. Still, there were lessons learned and we need to make note as we begin our back to school preparations.

Wins

  • Schools’ one-to-one laptop programs
  • Video-conferencing solutions
  • Improved school communications with parents
  • Teachers’ increased expertise in using a range of ed-tech tools and resources.

Remaining Challengs

  1. Internet Connectivity. 
    • need for nationwide broadband access for all families.
    • federal stimulus funds and state programs helped resolve the problem.
    • going to be a long, hard slog to make broadband an essential utility like electricity and water across the country.
  2. Ongoing Funding. 
    • funding cliffs loom, and once the money is gone, schools will need to find the means to continue supporting the programs and resources they purchased.
    • programs and positions are at risk of falling by the wayside.
    • Some shortsighted people may contend that school-purchased student laptops are no longer essential, but what about digital equity and preparations for the next extended school closure.
  3. Using Ed Tech in Transformative Ways. 
    • collaboration tools
    • personalized learning opportunities
    • media-creation applications.
    • school leaders should help teachers take their ed-tech proficiencies to the next level.
  4. Screen Time. 
    • switch to remote learning and not being able to gather with friends increased kids’ daily screen time.
    • parents and educators are left to address the many issues created by our kids’ overdependence on screens, as well as their use (and misuse) of social media.
  5. Data Privacy and Cybersecurity. 
    • with schools’ increased use of digital tools and applications, more sensitive student data is being stored and transferred between schools and vendors.
    • district data is also being hijacked and held ransom by bad actors.
    • serious concerns for school leaders and district systems.
    • many unsanctioned applications are being used in schools that gather student data from unwitting clients, and without parents’ consent.
  6. Media Literacy. 
    • need to educate them on how to become savvy media consumers is more important than ever.
    • imperative our kids have the skills to discern fact from fiction, and to make informed decisions based on truth.

Summary

  • The past two years have been exhausting for everyone involved in schools, educators, students and parents.
  • We are still learning about the pandemic repercussions.
  • Ed tech has an important role to play as schools work to redefine themselves for the post-COVID era.
  • Possibilities for ed tech to improve teaching and learning remain open and promising.
  • We must also be aware of the downsides of technical advancements, and ensure the opportunities ed tech creates are shared by all.
  • Challenges that lie ahead for ed tech, include the need to manage screen time, make change equitable and teach media literacy.

More HERE

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