The past 18 – 24 months has been an exercise in building the plane as we are flying it. We had no other options because the Covid pandemic forced the nation and largely the world into virtual learning. What did we learn from the experience?

Making Lemonade from Lemons

Many districts have wanted to increase their technology use and didn’t know how to finance it. Now that the nation has gone 1:1, how will we move forward? Will the millions of dollars we spent on hardware be wasted? Will the devices and hardware sit unused at the back of classrooms, or will we embrace the opportunities that 1:1 affords us?

For now, these are the top 10 things I learned from our forced virtual learning experience. Will we handle it better not if, but when we have a hurricane, tornado, snow day, or outbreak? Now is the time to coach teachers to prepare for well-thought-out technology integration.

Here are the top10 lessons I learned from virtual teaching:

  1. Owning and collecting knowledge is no longer a superpower. The Internet provides more knowledge than anyone could ever use in a lifetime and is searchable in seconds.
  2. Our tests and assessments are largely based on recall and students can easily google the answers.
  3. Completing work does not equal learning. Learners must prove mastery.
  4. Relationships are the foundation for most classroom learning. Sense of belonging drives much success. That goes for teachers on a team, too.
  5. Empathy and learner profiles are powerful in reaching learners and getting them to take risks. That includes teachers who are learning daily.
  6. All work and no play makes kids not want to show up. Including fun activities increases learning.
  7. Student engagement and interaction need to be at the top of our activities list.
  8. Collaboration is a skill that we must teach, practice, and nurture.
  9. Reflection is worth the time it requires.
  10. Teachers have the same needs as students. Treat them as humans not robots. 

I’m hoping to have the opportunity to blog about each one of these items. Each needs to be unpacked fully to make sure we do more than just see the problems. What will you DO about each of the items? If you are looking for ideas and support, consider scheduling a call with us.

If you would like to add to the list, please add your thoughts to the comments below. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, I’d love to hear from you.