I grew up in a small town with a lot of dirt roads, so the saying “from ditch to ditch” has always resonated with me on both a metaphorical and visual level. For those unfamiliar with the aphorism, it basically means overcorrecting in the face of decision-making and action; hastily going from one extreme to the other instead of making more cool-headed decisions to stay in the center lane of sanity.
Last week, the most populous county in America re-instituted a face mask mandate in light of increasing COVID cases among the as-yet-vaccinated, causing alarm amongst the media and government, education, and business leaders fearing their respective cars would be careening toward the COVID-era ditch they’ve been eagerly veering away from. It’s an issue and a ditch imbued with myriad political, public health, and social perspectives with ramifications once again potentially threatening the way we work, learn, and live. Déjà vu at its worst.
Some of the ditch-dwelling may be unavoidable if virus spread and uncertainties prevail, putting more people and health systems at risk. Ditto for businesses who persisted or prevailed in the virtual realities thrust upon them last year, who can easily retreat to remote work.
But an area far too important – and altogether unnecessary-- to ditch (as both a verb and a noun) is education.
In what equates to rubbing the coarsest salt in an already deep wound, students in both K12 and Higher Education experienced significant learning loss in our first lap around the COVID track, with McKinsey estimating the average K12 learning lag ranged from 3-14 months and the heightened learning gap between white students and students of color decreased U.S. GDP by over $500B.
Stephen Merrill’s recent Edutopia piece provided good tips and glimpses of optimism for educators amidst all of this learning loss skepticism, but another area of proof – not just hope – in closing the learning gap between in-person and remote learning can be found in the right technology.
Authentic Hybrid Learning technology solutions, like those offered by Turning and used by thousands in K12, Higher Ed schools, government and businesses around the world, are proven methods to avoid the ditches of learning loss and lackluster student/learner and educator/instructor engagement.
For example, Turning’s new Dojo360 platform – recently enhanced with assignment administration and assessments -- now offers the most comprehensive suite of content, assignment, assessment, and student/learner and educator/instructor engagement tools in both synchronous and asynchronous learning. The Dojo 360 platform also interfaces seamlessly with existing LMS platforms and other popular technologies like Blackboard, Canvas, D2L, Moodle, and others, so educators/instructors don’t have to choose between one ditch or the other in that regard, either.
Ditch-free hybrid learning is very necessary and, with innovative platforms like Dojo360 from Turning, very possible as our educators/instructors and students/learners around the world navigate the next few months (years?) of our world’s “new normal”, which is anything but.
How are you prepared to avoid your learning ditches this fall? Tell us your ideas and stories here at email@example.com.