Leaning into 2021 While Stuck in Remote Teaching

Will we disregard this year of remote teaching and return to business as usual, or will we treat this school year as a year of intentional learning?

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Rethinking Technology in Our Schools

The opportunities of the future will demand not only technological skills, but creativity, tenacity, empathy, and the ability to solve complex problems. These are often referred to as soft skills or noncognitive skills, and are deeply intertwined with digital learning when done authentically and purposefully. Rather than considering technology integration as simply learning the language of computers, we can broaden this concept to connote a robust collection of noncognitive problem-solving skills that work alongside technology, but also transcend technology. Technology is, after all, simply a tool.

Snapshots from the Classroom

I am a storyteller and believe in the power of narrative. As such, I provide a few examples of elementary-aged students and their teachers who are already working to create equitable spaces for students as they develop critical problem-solving skills by re-conceptualizing technology integration in small but powerful ways.

Lessons as we Lean into 2021

These examples are simply snapshots, but in unpacking these snapshots, I see benefits that have come out of remote learning as these teachers have taken the lead. First, remote learning has forced us out of our subject-area silos, where literacy is taught in the morning, math in the afternoon, and science and social studies are sprinkled in when feasible (or some combination of this). The International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards are cross-cutting skills and aptitudes. Remote learning has nudged us to examine these standards more closely and to put emphasis on authentic learning experiences that draw on multiple forms of knowledge, rather than keeping subjects distinct.

Learner, teacher, author, scholar and passionate advocate of education.