One of the definitions in the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ecosystem as “something (such as a network of enterprises) considered to resemble an ecological ecosystem, particularly in view of its complex interdependent parts”.
When you look at a classroom, several interdependent parts work together to create a successful classroom. Students, teachers, technology, curriculum, physical space and furniture all play a role in creating a successful learning environment – and as we have seen with the pandemic, a disruption of this ecosystem can have disastrous effects.
According to a Rand Corporation report, teacher stress levels are at an all-time high and are threatening the teacher pipeline. At the same time, according to a McKinsey report, the pandemic has caused students to fall months behind in learning math and reading and caused older students to disengage from their education.
As schools and districts seek to address these issues while addressing underlying systemic inequities that the pandemic has brought to light, in part due to access to technology, thought leaders and education administrators share their thoughts on how classrooms need to evolve. The good news is that there is money available like never before to try new things to put the needs of students and teachers at the forefront of innovation.
Here are some of our takeaways:
Make classrooms student-centered: As everyone knows, the number of student devices has skyrocketed since remote learning began due to federal funding provided during the pandemic. Although some schools have already implemented 1:1 programs or have implemented BYOD programs, many schools are experiencing this type of learning environment for the first time and without much time to plan.