Listening to CNN right now about school closings. And so, for example, my State, Florida, has decided that if parents want their child to repeat the school year they can.
It somewhat makes sense. They mention how the experience will manifest traumatically in students as they “walk back into” the experience that is school.
Now… talking about the “school experience”… that his where my thoughts have differed from when I was in the classroom until now.
I agree that when students go back to school, however they return, the reality of their experiences will each be different and as such the way they are each taught needs to align just as well.
The new paradigms of teaching have been difficult for many teachers to grasp, though. My teaching was at a magnet school, or Choice school I. Miami-Dade County Public Schools. My program was a business and technology based program of which I was the academy lead. My students were learning with a purpose in mind. This was high school (9-12), and so they were each focused on what came next – after graduation. My classes were almost completely based on Project Based Learning (PBL). They were tested, yes. They were consistently assessed. But my students created an agile business analysis for a publicly traded company for their 4th grading period project cumulative of the school year for their business analysis course. In Human Resources management they did strategic plans throughout the year along with other work they were assigned ie studying SAP S4/HANA Success Factors. This is what seems to be the upcoming state of education now.
There is a big change in our perspectives of what everything entails and while there is more work involved for all of us… it is all work that has much more meaning now. That previous statement transforms into pleasure and what in psychology we term or consider “flow” – a perspective aligned with positive psychology.
I do not know how nor when the remainder of us may return to education. Students are reluctant to pay $50,000 yearly tuition to see their professors via Zoom. That is understood. I recently was part of a PhD course where Virtual was the basis of our experience. And you know it does not have to be all that bad. Remember there are large conglomerates like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft… and the possibility of Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and possibly more avenues we have not be introduced to as of yet.
Please keep in mind that I do not recommend nor believe in the exchange of in-person experience to a virtual one. I do, though, believe that virtual can be much more than “virtual” as we know it. Also, we will eventually become much more particular in choosing where we truly want to be.
My question is this. What if you have a meeting in San Francisco at 11am and one in NYC at 2pm the same day. Would you prefer Zoom to stay in one place, or an exemplar method of traveling from one to the next to be in each in person, face-to-face?
In the meantime, let’s be thankful for Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc!