What have we learned from COVID-19?

We can’t go back to the old “normal”.

This has been a great time for collaboration – cross phase, cross sector & International. Some of the documents produced include Protecting LearningLeadership Bulletin  Developing Digital  Continuing LearningHomeLearningUK  and more on ISCDigital

A person sitting in front of a store Description automatically generatedHere are some comments that we found useful to understand what we can learn

” I must admit to feeling overwhelmed at how incredibly adaptable our staff, pupils and parents/ carers have been to this new way of working, overwhelmed at how unbelievably supportive the online community of educators across the globe has been, sharing resources, advice, successes and failures with each other and overwhelmed with relief that we made some of the strategic decisions that we did over the past few years with regards to prioritising the use of technology for learning with our Chiltern Learning Trust schools”. Emma Darcy Director of Technology for Learning, Chiltern Learning Trust  First week of lockdown

1. Our VISION must be simple, inclusive, clear, referenced and communicated effectively

Most importantly, we must make sure that our learners continue to feel that the school and their teachers are still there for them, guiding and supporting every pupil through these challenging times.”

A person standing in front of a building Description automatically generated2. We need to MANAGE change with empathy for everyone

“Covid 19 has given us all reality check on our education system and the use of technology. This is our moment to shape EdTech and future proof our teachers with the necessary skills. To take on the challenges of today. This digital guide is a great resource to support teachers and provide a clear framework we can use in schools.” Mark Martin MBE


A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated Teachers will need ongoing training to continue to adopt a wide range of pedagogical strategies and adapt to make the most of changes in technology.

Technology has been necessary to continue teaching and learning from a distance.   Schools have been training staff and developing their infrastructure so they can redesign content delivery to get the most value from using online learning platforms. Further investment in creating bite size curated content will continue to support individualised learning. Rachel Evans – Director of Digital Learning & Innovation at Wimbledon High School

Investment needs to be focused on teacher wellbeing with increased investment in the work of Education Support – the national charity for the wellbeing of teachers. Protecting learning

4. We must continue to develop our INFRASTRUCTURE to be consistent and reliable so that online platforms can be effective tools for teaching and learning

A person looking at the camera Description automatically generated

The immediate experience of lockdown has school leaders wanting to be more prepared for a ‘Hybrid learning’ environment. I believe there are further opportunities that can be harnessed through a 1:1 technology programme in any school.  Operational and learning efficiencies must be considered when embarking on such a journey. A change of mindset and a willingness to ensure equitable access for all students is the foundation of this change’. Abdul Chohan – Director of ThinkSimple Ltd, Co-founder of The Olive Tree Free School

For me & for my students the fact that everything is under one sign in is an absolute joy, having access to both Office and Google software, plus a huge resource bank, all of which complies to regulations. The @HwbNews team are also willing to keep developing it for us.
Reflection on Welsh Hwb platform by Becki Bawler Risca Community Comprehensive School

There needs to be immediate investment in not only digital infrastructure but in digital devices to facilitate and protect learning at home. The digital divide across the UK is real, impacts on social mobility and provides a block on the ability of pupils to access learning remotely. Protecting learning

5. We must SAFEGUARD everyone and our data and look after the wellbeing of the whole learning community

Within Glow safeguarding of pupils has been done at a national level. Every pupil has access to range of digital tools that can aid learning (infrastructure at home dependant) and there is also a wide network of support from teachers across the country. Sarah Clark Queen Anne High School

Whilst it is important to ensure students are safe and on track with their learning, they still need to know they are greatly valued and important members of the school community. Ian Phillips – Staff WellBeing

6. We need Partnerships of trust to develop our learning Communities

We value partnerships with EdTech companies based on trust to capture the access to consistent superfast broadband for schools and families. In England, particularly, we recommend establishing a unified superfast broadband infrastructure to be implemented by Government investment, partnership with Telecom companies and building on existing superfast networks or approaches. Ty Goddard

We value our physical communities. Some of us have learned we can work from home and co‐exist with our families during these challenging times while others may be anxious to return back to the normality of it all. Keeping the school structure, timetable and placing importance on like‐minded interests with social interaction may be important in becoming mindful for student’s social and emotional needs. Students, as well as people, need a sense of belonging and supportive atmosphere to foster positive thinking and connectedness. – Neelam Parmar Digital Learning and Innovation in Ashford School – 5 lessons from COVID-19

See more in Developing Digital a Guide and Toolkit  for Senior Leaders 

Flick through the Guide in ISSU

Aome of my thoughts from  my  What have we learned Gov.net Webinar