Not to inject any more doom and gloom into 2020, but the fact is the results of our Digital Transition Survey overall indicate that we have a far longer journey than suspected before this year subsides. By the numbers, over 32,000 schools and districts interacted with the survey, and some of the nationwide trends we are seeing need to be addressed immediately (if not sooner).
- Huge losses in enrollment. We are talking tens of thousands in some districts. Administrators in trusted close relationships with the Learning Counsel are indicating that some of those districts may soon “shut down entirely.” This is cataclysmic and cannot be sugar-coated.
- Huge losses in teacher retention. We have even found attrition as teachers join PODs to be paid directly by parents to run a small neighborhood co-op of kids whose parents are just “out” of the system.
- Most administrators and educators agree that “normal is not coming back,” as seen on over 60 webinar discussions hosted so far this year by the Learning Counsel.
- AWOL students and huge losses in achievement even when they are enrolled, and not just from scheduled video conferencing calls, but from physical arrival when schools are allowing that.
- Opt-out or various forms of delinquency are happening everywhere. We’ve turned a corner and it’s not only about the pandemic, it’s also about a split in affections for public education, all combined with a startlingly sky-high increase in expectations of consumer-level digital workflow experience in learning. Now it appears a great many Americans want more, a personalized perfection of digital learning interwoven with humans that is flexible in both time and space, a much more appealing option than move-the-class-to-Zoom. From the consumer viewpoint, this only makes sense. Amazon is now the first trillion-dollar institution in the world and a five-year-old can figure it out.
The question is, if normal is not coming back, are we going to give up on public education? I am certainly not, but I am rapidly rethinking traditional public education. I believe there is a new model emerging, and the Big Fix is coming. You will have to stay tuned to see what that is but suffice it to say that there will be blending at the institutional level, not just by teachers at the hybrid classroom level. That is so 2019, which in people years is decades ago.
Before you can even grasp the Big Fix, you will need to level up first with your knowledge of the scene and this should include everyone on the both the school and district teams.
If you do not know the scene, you’ve no doubt missed many of the Learning Counsel Special Reports. Lucky for you, you can start with the new EduJedi Dictionary. Just for fun, here is your first definition to absorb:
From Section 2: Categories: ACTIONS: Functions of the code that do things, generally singularly and discretely without involvement with other processes.
DEFINITION: 1. Annotating
Is a function that provides users with the ability to place notation, highlights, comments, etc. into the body of the content, presented through the use of a cursor, mouse, digital stylus, voice, or touch. These annotations can be stored, and even possibly organized and manipulated, for later use by the student or other intended audience for reporting, collaboration, or assessment.
Up Your Digital Game
The first thing you need to do right now is get everyone reading it and understanding these definitions. That means volunteer to review every section and grow your knowledge like a ferocious beast intent on devouring everything on the road to evolution, to fit expectations and regain the confidence of parents and students.
Sign up for the Meetings.