Picture this, you’ve been working on your teaching degree for 4 or 5 years, putting your nose to the grindstone and making real progress… then the pandemic hits and how we teach has been turned on it’s ear. What do you do? Well it looks like help may be on the way.
It’s already established that school wont look anything like we’ve seen before. And with the trial run of the home/online learning this past school year, kids have already gotten a taste of what’s to come.
But now that school districts and teachers have had a chance to sit and digest what they just went through, ideas on how to further education safely are starting to crystalize.
UW-M Professor & Chair of the Department of Administration Leadership, Simone Conceiçao and Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, Candace Doerr-Stevens have come up with a micro-certification class that teaches teachers how to develop their curriculum for the new post-Covid conditions, online or hybrid.
Conceiçao explains, “Our goal is to really help people think about design challenges in their instruction. We’re not going to tell them what to do, we’re going to facilitate their thinking and their problem solving. We’ll also present online course design aspects which people will use as tools to design online lesson plans.”
It also goes beyond creating lesson plans for going online or hybrid.
“It’s not only providing preparation about how to teach online, but it’s also kind of presenting a mind-set to be able to jump in and adapt to situations that we can’t necessarily plan right now. We don’t necessarily know what the fall is going to look like,” says Doerr-Stevens.
It’s not entirely new, though. It seems that education has been slowly shifting toward using more technology.
Doerr-Stevens explains, “I do think this situation has definitely accelerated our thinking about that. But face-to-face will always be a part of our learning experience. That’s a very human part of our learning and collaborating and thinking. But I do think that the capacity of what hybrid forms of learning can do, is coming to the forefront more and more.”
Conceiçao and Doerr-Stevens both hope to have this micro-certification or something like it, included in the curriculum for prospective teachers going through training now.
Conceiçao says, “We do believe that teaching online is an important skill for future teachers, mainly now that we had to do that all of a sudden. It was an emergency, remote teaching, and the skill can be incorporated into different courses.”
At the end of the day, it’s all about how one looks at the situation, you can worry about how to adapt and get through what’s coming this fall or you can look at it in a more positive light.
Doerr-Stevens says, “Let’s embrace this opportunity and try to bring creativity with it. I really think that teachers are a very creative group of people and if we just tap into that creativity and kind of work together and look at this challenge as an adventure, I think that we can get through this. It’s not going to be easy but we can get through this and let’s think and learn together.”
Courses will be offered in two sessions, from July 13 to July 29 and from July 20 to Aug. 5.
More information on the course, including a registration link, is available on the School of Education website.