Education has been dramatically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic for millions of students and their families. For all of us, this is an undeniably challenging time.
And yet, consider the perspective of Saku Tuominen, creative director of the education nonprofit HundrEd, “The silver lining is that this is a massive learning experiment,” he said during a global Zoom call this week. “And hopefully we can learn something really valuable.”
At Remake Learning Days Across America, we agree. This is a catalytic moment of rethinking learning, and many families have quickly risen to the occasion by becoming deeply involved in their children’s education. Caregivers and teachers are embracing a wide range of digital tools, while also getting kids involved in safe, hands-on making at home.
They’re learning math and crafting skills while sewing a tote bag out of an old t-shirt. They’re using science skills on a walk through the woods. Along the way, we are all — literally — learning lessons about learning every day. And we’re remaking learning throughout our communities at lightning speed.
With so much happening so quickly, our team realized we need to document what’s being discovered. We need to learn as much as we can about where education innovation stands today and where it needs to go in order to prepare the next generation of problem solvers.
So we’re asking you to tell us what you’re experiencing and noticing. What have you been impressed by, and what are you wishing could be different? What little discoveries have you made? What frustrations have you run up against, and what has made you laugh?
Post anything you wish about this on your social media channels and please use the hashtag #LearningLessons, or post at our Facebook page, so we can collect all this knowledge and share it widely throughout the coming months.
Observations can be big or small: “I’m learning more about my kid — about her personality, how she learns best. I consider this a blessing,” one Florida mom told us. We heard this from a mother in Los Angeles: “I’m realizing that I know more math than I thought I did. But my kid’s only in fourth grade, so this is probably the extent of it.” Also: “I have a renewed appreciation for what our teachers do every day. Keeping one 10-year-old focused feels like herding cats — I don’t know how they do it all day, every day, with 33 of them.”
Since our inception, Remake Learning Days Across America has focused on education innovation, learning ecosystems and the importance of parents and caregivers directly engaged in kids’ learning. It’s a natural fit for us to help preserve the discoveries being made right now and to explore what’s coming to light during this seismic behavioral experiment. We’d love your input on that.
So please, tell us what you’re discovering and questioning: Did traditional school days start much too early for your learners? What aspects of online or remote learning are working well for you and what isn’t working? What are you wishing your children could be learning right now? How are family interactions changing? And how do you see all of this affecting equity and the education gap between communities?
Our nation has a new awareness of just how challenging it is to educate kids. How do we harness and build on this, and how can we better connect the educators who were already remaking learning with families who are now more involved than ever? When many of us eventually go back to a version of “normal life,” how do we keep and build on the parental involvement and hands-on making that’s now happening in homes?
Even the smallest (or funniest) observation can be the kind of meaningful data that leads to further innovation, whether you mention it in a brief Tweet with #LearningLessons included or you come to our Facebook page to say a few words about it. Across the social media landscape (and by email, too), we’re listening.
If you’d like to receive updates on what we’re discovering from gathering these #LearningLessons, sign up here.