Done Right, Online Learning Could Meet Our Education Needs

The pandemic can be a catalyst to bring long-sought change

Last Sunday’s insights article “A Better Way to Do Online Learning” is perfect and a must-read for educators, policymakers, and parents.

Online learning, when deployed correctly, has the power to transform education to provide a more personalized experience at a time when our students need it most. Using the online lessons he created, the teacher in Thomas Arnett’s article “empowered his students to drive their own learning so he could take a step back from the delivery of lessons as a whole class and focus its attention on the individual academic, social and emotional needs of its students.”

In our 2014 report, “The New Opportunity to Lead” the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education has advocated for this “blended learning” approach. Education has been slow to embrace technology that can dramatically improve teaching and enable students to learn anytime, anywhere, at their own pace. This needs to change, and the pandemic can be the catalyst.

School closures and remote learning have forced school systems to ensure access to the devices and connectivity that make this kind of learning possible. Federal relief funding enables the state and districts to make the necessary investments to build on this foundation to modernize teaching and learning.

Strong and visionary state and district leadership must drive this major cultural shift. The time has come and our students are counting on us to make it happen.

Ed Lambert

Executive Director

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

Boston

To teach differently, educators must learn differently

Thomas Arnett argues that as schools struggle to get back to normal, they must resist returning to a conventional, one-size-fits-all, ‘mass production’ model. He makes a compelling case that we need an education system that values ​​individuality and personalization over standardization and conformity.

At the High Meadows Graduate School of Teaching and Learning, we totally agree. We believe that to teach differently, teachers must learn differently. That’s why our teacher candidates learn their craft through a competency-based curriculum that empowers students to manage their own learning, with guidance and support from our faculty, while mastering the skills and knowledge they need. need to guide their own students. Our program has proven to be an effective model of the changes we need in our schools. We hope others will follow our example. The students are waiting.

Deborah Hirsch

President

High Meadows Graduate School of Teaching and Learning

Cambridge