12th Mar, 2020 - Laurie Forcier

Learning in the time of COVID-19: the global edu-response

To the Learnit community, 

I’m delighted to have joined Learnit this week as Chief Global Content Officer. I’m inspired by this dedicated community of education leaders, with its relentless focus on creating meaningful changes that make a difference for learners now and in the future. 

My intention in writing to you today was to share some thoughts on my reasons for joining the Learnit team. But at this unprecedented moment, the most meaningful information I can convey is how we, as a learning community, can prepare and act during the global coronavirus pandemic. In some parts of the world, schools, businesses and borders have already been closed. Many more closures are likely in the hours and days ahead. 

Generous colleagues from our networks have shared a number of incredible resources. The six summarised below provide practical information you can use now to prepare for and execute remote learning.

Up-to-date information on school disruption and response

UNESCO are maintaining a running tracker of educational disruption and response worldwide. This includes information on how to plan distance learning solutions during school closures, and a curated list of technology learning solutions, including those suitable for low tech environments. 

Advice for school leaders on scenario planning for coronavirus

The oppi education community, a global network of education changemakers and experts, has compiled a living document for school leaders on getting ready for remote learning. It includes advice on preparing teachers, communicating with parents and a listing of relevant teacher resources. 

Freely available online teaching and learning resources

UK-based Edtech Impact has collated online teaching and learning resources that are free to use for schools that close. The list can be filtered by criteria such as age level, subject matter and desired learning outcome. 

Planning distance schooling

A blog by Harry Fletcher-Wood, a UK-based teacher and education researcher, with five challenges schools will face, and suggestions for what teachers can do to address them. 

Best Practices: Online pedagogy

A resource, compiled by Harvard University, focusing on the most common teaching practices that are effective in an online environment. The advice is designed for a university audience, and makes some references to specific university resources, but has broad applicability for younger learners as well, and useful recommendations for using Zoom, a freely available collaboration tool. 

Ten Strategies for Educators’ Wellbeing

A helpful, to the point, synthesis of well-being strategies for educators from Sea Change Mentoring, which is also relevant to leaders, learners and parents.

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I hope these resources are useful to you, and I invite you to share them with your broader networks. Here at Learnit HQ, we’re also following the reporting of Quartz journalist Jenny Anderson, who has been showcasing stories about the schools, students and educators, who are sustaining learning in these remarkable times.  

I welcome your comments, and encourage you to get in touch (via hello@learnit.world) particularly if:

  • You have a useful resource or product that you are sharing for free (even if on a trial basis),
  • You have a story to share about innovative ways you are supporting learning during COVID-19 closures. (We’re particularly interested to learn about any ways that workplace-based learning is being supported.) 

We’ll be refreshing this information on an ongoing basis here on our website. 

My heartfelt thanks and admiration to all of you for the work you are doing to support educators and learners,

Laurie Forcier

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