Covid 19 is having a devastating impact on our society. While the public health crisis continues, educators are learning to be resilient and to search for opportunities to continue the teaching and learning process. The global pandemic calls into question how schools deliver academic content and structure their programming. What will emerge after many months of virtual learning will permanently impact how schools function.
We will never completely return to the classroom physical format as the exclusive space for learning, We are realizing learning can and should happen everywhere and that the home can be used as a laboratory where learning can be made meaningful. Let me say that another way the academic content becomes meaningful in its real world application not as a disparate concept or idea to be written in a notebook, studied and memorized and then repeated back on an exam. We also realize that content knowledge is an open-source document, readily available on a search engine on our mobile devices and not the intellectual property of a textbook or a teacher. Schools will need to deliver both an access to globally networked learning communities and rich, people-oriented experiences on a physical campus.
The affective component of learning, the emotional response when you develop a new understanding, is found in the multiple informal and formal interpersonal exchanges between people occurring on a daily basis at school. We realize that so much depends on the expression in the participant’s eyes, the tone of the speaker’s voice and how people convey messages through body language. Learning is a sensory experience filled with feelings found in the interaction of people sharing a physical location. School is a place for making personal connections, learning to socialize, and develop collaboration and teamwork skills. This human connectivity provides a nuanced understanding of life and allows us to see significance in the academic content. A computer screen and an internet connection will never be able to replicate this.