Congratulations to the teachers/faculty, students, administrators, parents and IT staff who supported the successful transition from face-to-face teaching to remote learning in such a short period of time. This period has shown how agile, flexible, creative, and dedicated the education sector is - to be able to support the ongoing learning of students in many different modes using a variety of online tools and videoconferencing systems.
The same group of people that championed the transition to remote learning is also to be congratulated on transitioning students back to face-to-face teaching using new protocols of physical distancing, washing of hands, cleaning of surfaces - a new norm of running an educational institution.
There are been many achievements and learnings made along the way. In reflection we have increased student agency - where students have had more control over their learning. They have set goals, reflected and acted responsibly rather than being acted upon.
We have increased teacher agency and parent agency as teachers/faculty have had to quickly adapt, learn and engage using new technologies and techniques. Parents have had to quickly come up to speed with the routines and content as well as gain a better understanding of the true academic performance or gaps in their own children’s learning.
Many of these characteristics are described in the OECD future of education and skills 2030 report which provides a set of broad educational goals with a focus on students fulfilling their potential and making a positive contribution to community and the planet. It is incredible to think that these recently set goals were seen as 2030 goals not 2020 goals. Yet due to circumstances outside of our control, some of these 2030 goals have now been achieved.
Besides achieving these goals earlier than expected, the recent experience has fundamentally changed educational delivery - broadening lived experience about what’s possible, ways that education can be delivered and positive outcomes that can be achieved.
So how do we use the technology platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, and a blended learning approach as the mainstream practice in education institutions?
The Microsoft Transformation Frameworks for Higher Ed and K-12 are a great place to start to consider the key questions and areas of focus - often starting with a new vision for learning and the way ICT will support that vision.
In Higher Ed where courses have been delivered using either face-to-face or online modes, how does a more blended or hybrid mode of learning occur where students only come on campus to gain access to specialist facilities that they can’t readily access from home? This can be accomplished with face-to-face and learning delivered via a technology platform like Microsoft Teams.
In the K-12 space, how do teachers continue to record lessons, add content, collaborate and deliver one style of learning - blended learning- to all students. Can we continue to enable students to work in classrooms where the lesson is delivered online for those at school and not at school, particularly for post compulsory aged students?
There are many user cases and ways in which blended and “deep learning” can be achieved that enables the gains to be locked in rather than lost.
If you're interested in learning how you can adopt a blended learning module in your institution with Microsoft Teams, book your free Education Assessment today.