Two months after the COVID-19 crisis forced educators across the United States to leave their classrooms and start teaching online, the scope of the changes and challenges has now become clear, and educational leaders have started to identify what’s working and what still needs improvement.
During a recent edLeader Panel, the superintendent of one of America’s largest school districts spoke with a former state superintendent and other education leaders about key issues affecting students, parents, and educators, including digital access and equity, online privacy, and funding.
Overall, the panelists are optimistic that the transition to online learning will hasten the adaptation of technologies and teaching methods that will better prepare students for 21st century careers. And while initial plans are being developed for students to return to classrooms in the fall, the need for effective online education will not only remain, but will be more important and better integrated going forward.
Changing the timespan from decades to days
The integration of new technologies in schools has been an ongoing process that sometimes seems to take longer than it should. Tom Luna, the former state superintendent of Idaho, remarked that “it took 20 years to get the overhead projector out of the bowling alley and into the classroom,” which makes the quick transition to online learning required in March of this year all the more remarkable.