#BeyondSchool is a series of interviews with leaders, teachers, parents and students aiming to capture how the use of technology changes over time due to school closures and remote learning necessitated by the Corona virus pandemic.
What does the culture of learning with technology look like beyond the traditional boundaries of classroom walls and how does it change over time?
Prior to this crisis, mobile technology in schools has probably been seen by many as a luxury, a nice to have addition to the classroom. After all, the teacher was always there to deliver lessons and as long as students had something to write with and on, they would be fine, right?
However, along came the Coronavirus, whispering in Asia before extending it’s fingers around the globe and tightening its grip on life as we knew it. Squeezing us into our homes and reducing our contact with others outside our family to pixelated relationships on screens. This was not just the preserve of work or family relationships - school/pupil relationships also moved online. Zoom, Teams, Showbie, Seesaw or just a website. For almost all of the nation's children, their bedroom or kitchen table became their classroom, and to deliver or receive anything remotely required technology.
From talking to the schools we work with regularly, we know there is no consistency or standardisation between what and how things are being delivered. Nor should there necessarily be. Much of what we have observed has been traditional pedagogy delivered remotely, as opposed to a shift towards anything more innovative designed to engage students or consciously develop other skills beyond the knowledge our existing curriculum is set up to do. We are very aware that in these new territories, leaders and teachers are feeling their way and adapting their practice as they gain experience. We are keen to document these changes from multiple perspectives as we don’t see how a single viewpoint can give us meaningful understanding of impact. Doing so over time allows us to document how approaches are adapted during the remaining weeks and months of lockdown and to evaluate any impact on classroom practice once students return to school.
What is the impact of remote learning on technology use once we return to the classroom?
There is no intention to pass judgement or even to proffer solutions. This is purely an anecdotal document of change. We are perhaps more interested in what happens when we do return to the traditional classroom model as we knew it. Will the technology so hastily bought to support children remotely be siloed to gather dust in a cupboard, or will elements of what worked remotely blend to create new pedagogies? Whilst I rather suspect things won’t change greatly, it will be hard to reflect back accurately. Hence regularly checking in with a variety of stakeholders to measure change (or not) over a period of time, will be an asset for us as well as for you
We hope to bring you some of these interviews in a variety of formats. If you would like to contribute or get involved, please do get in touch.