Like nothing before it, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended teaching and learning in the United States and around the world. The numbers have fluctuated, but in August of 2020, UNESCO estimated that 1.6 billion children had been affected by school closings. According to a report in October by Bellwether Education Partners, 3 million U.S. students had stopped connecting with their schools.
Meanwhile, principals, teachers, students and parents have been forced to work online, where they have navigated an array of unfamiliar technologies. Despite efforts to distribute laptops and other tools, disparities in access to devices and the internet have widened the gulf between wealthier, primarily White districts and those serving poorer families of color.
When the crisis first shuttered schools, Teachers College faculty spoke at town hall meetings, offered advice in televised appearances and opinion pieces, and worked directly with schools and teachers to ease emergency adjustments.
More recently, in a landscape in which digital is the new normal, they have moved to the forefront in partnering with schools to realize the medium’s potential to better engage, inspire and empower students.
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