As we all adjust to the new (ab)normal that exists in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been reflecting on how the ISTE community responded to the crisis. In two words: You led.
In fact, you exemplified the vision of empowered learning, and despite everything that was going on in your own homes, districts and communities during the coronavirus outbreak, you stepped up.
You shared lessons, strategies and best practices for online learning. You provided tech support. You worked tirelessly to keep the needs of students with special needs in the forefront of our minds. You raised up others as you served your own students. You calmed panicked parents. And most of all, you made sure remote learning was meaningful and engaging.
Your commitment exemplified our vision that all educators are empowered to use technology to accelerate innovation in teaching and learning, and inspire learners to reach their greatest potential.
It also highlighted the importance of preparing year-round to ensure learning continues no matter the challenge. That preparation allowed the ISTE community to lead in the midst of a crisis.
You can read the stories of many ISTE members who led during this global crisis in our extended feature that covers how districts, schools and educators responded to the challenges of COVID-19 school closures.
While we hope that we’ll be able to return to school in the fall, we also have an opportunity to return to a different education experience than the one we left in March. We can continue to bring in experts virtually to bridge physical gaps that keep children from interacting with the global community. We have the opportunity to reconsider the rigid schedules that limit students’ ability to move at their own pace. And we have the chance to make sure all teachers know how to use the best tools to make learning meaningful. Taking advantage of these opportunities requires innovative leaders.
One thing is certain: The ISTE community is up to the challenge!
Bill Bass is the president of the ISTE Board of Directors.