As awful, and horrific, this pandemic is, with the enormous number of people, infected, and dead, as a result, wouldn’t it be worse, if public officials, in positions of creating policies, and making crucial decisions, failed to learn some lessons, so this won’t recur, to this degree? With nearly all students, having to transform their learning experiences, from, in – person, to virtual, while some areas, schools, and systems, did an amazing job, others seemed somewhat overwhelmed, and had far less – stellar results! Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense, if we re – think, and consider, how we teach, on all levels, so we are better prepared, for any future contingency, and might, seamlessly, proceed forward, into the future? With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 considerations, in order to focus on this essential need/ focus.
1. Economic/ cost considerations: While, during a crisis, it’s often necessary to stop considering economic/ cost considerations, it is, both, unrealistic, as well as poor policy, to do so, for a recurrent period of time! How to achieve, the best, bang – for – the – buck, without sacrificing quality education? Where, is there, waste, etc? While few will probably do so, the best approach, is to begin budgeting, with a zero – based, approach, and methodology! This means, don’t merely accept, the same – old, same – old ways, but fully consider the bigger – picture, with an open – mind! What might be the options and alternatives, and what are the relative strengths, and weaknesses, of each of these?
2. Online strengths and weaknesses: This crisis has forced us, to use, virtual teaching, because, in – person, was impossible, and unsafe! Rather than harp, on what, didn’t work, wouldn’t it be better, to identify, the strengths, as well as potential weaknesses? Since, certain classes require far more inter – personal contact, than others, might a hybrid approach, be a wise one? For example, large lectures, as are the normal, in preliminary/ pre – requisite ones, might be perfectly designed, for online presentations. This way, a larger number of people might participate, the course material could be available, at a variety of times, and, it would enhance the potential, for adequate, Social Distancing, as a preventive measure! On the other hand, certain courses, do not fit, as neatly, into being virtual, and by eliminating the large lectures, smaller class – sizes, for these, might be more easily achieved!
3. Creating a hybrid: The classrooms of the future, might be best achieved, by using and creating a hybrid approach! The challenge is, for public officials, and educators, to open their minds, to alternatives and options, and envision, how this might present a somewhat, ideal solution!
4. Improving remote teaching: While some school systems, and specific teachers, took, to this, and achieved quality education, others seemed, either, somewhat, unprepared, or, overwhelmed! Wouldn’t it make sense, therefore, to train educators, how to be better, remote teachers, and simultaneously, improve the technology, to achieve the best results?
5. Trades: One thing, we should have learned from this, is certain trades, and trade workers, were essential, to our every – day lives! Wouldn’t we be wise, to introduce these necessary trades, such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc, and develop and cherish, these workers? Perhaps, we should realize, our current system is less – than – ideal, and believing, everyone must go to college, may be wasteful, and less than efficient/ effective!
Wake up, America, and use these lessons, to demand, our education system adapts, and addresses potential weaknesses, interruptions, health – issues, etc. If we don’t do so, now, when will we?