– Errol St.Clair Smith –
Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked. – Warren Buffet
The second wave refers to the looming threat of the return of COVID-19 in the fall that may drive another round of school closures and remote learning. It also refers to the second round of contingency planning and preparation we all now need to do.
Perhaps the only thing more difficult than preparing to act on short notice is preparing with limited clarity about the road ahead. Which raises the question:
What should educators and education leaders be doing right now to prepare for the uncertain future of school and remote learning?
First, a look back…. On March 3rd, the Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences (AALAS) along with the Flipped Learning Global Initiative, released RTOL, a 12-step crash course on making a rapid transitioning to online learning. The program was based on the Flipped Learning framework and global best practices. It covered the 12-domains of effective Flipped Learning identified by 100 educator-delegates in 49 countries as part of a year-long Delphi research project.
The RTOL course was selected by the New York Department of Education to help their 80,000 teachers make a rapid transition to online learning. The program was subsequently picked up by CUNY college of education, and then by a director of teaching and learning at Pepperdine University. Through word of mouth, it was shared with a network of university centers for teaching and learning around the nation. Next, the Michigan DOE embraced the program, followed by school districts from Pennsylvania to Santa Barbara, California. The program was eventually adopted by school leaders and university professors in 69 countries.
The result is that in the past two months, a diverse constellation of educators, school leaders and organizations have formed a loose affiliation around the RTOL program.
What we learned from surveying the first 2,000 applicants in March is that the magnitude of what we had to know and do was overwhelming. But so are the volumes of innovative strategies educators devised to make the leap. Many of the lessons learned are globally applicable and invaluable.
This issue of FLR kicks off the Second Wave Summit. The Summit is a multi-day, multi-tracked virtual event that is free to the community. As we all begin to prepare for the return to school, AALAS is hosting a global town hall to enable the community to cross-pollinate insights and strategies.
The event is bringing together administrators, centers for teaching and learning, instructional designers, teachers, university professors, education technologists, deans, schools of education from around the world who were part of the RTOL program and embraced the Flipped Learning framework.
We invite you to join this interactive virtual event to hear educators unpack the strategies and insights that are relevant to you as schools reopen. Most importantly, you are invited to exchange and explore the most valuable lessons and takeaways as we all begin to plan for the future of education in a post-COVID-19 world.
You can begin to get a taste of the sorts of ideas we hope to uncover and share during the Second Wave Summit by watching the video preview and perusing in this month’s issue:
Dr. Thomas Mennella
Dr. Thomas Mennella
Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy
None of us knew what to expect or how to respond when the first wave of COVID-19 came to their shores, but we all know much more now than we did a few months ago. Although there are still many uncertainties, the one thing every K-12 and higher ed educator now knows is that we need to be prepared for the second wave.
If the history of pandemics is prologue, the first wave may have just been a lightweight dress rehearsal for the big one.
The message is clear: don’t fear, prepare.
Join the Second Wave Summit mailing list for free access to the virtual event. Registration starts on June 6th here.