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Digital Empowers and Ignite My Future in Schools Host Global Educator Roundtable in Partnership with Discovery Education

With the world having now experienced over a full year of pandemic induced lockdowns, many regions are now seeing an end in sight, thanks to accelerated vaccine deployment. Despite this, we also know that the world has changed, technologies have advanced, and lifestyles have shifted. 

Among the many transformations we’ve seen, the education landscape has undergone a major shift with technology being the main driver of change. At its peak in mid-April 2020, COVID-19 caused nationwide school closures in over 190 countries, negatively impacting almost 90% of enrolled students, globally.

On June 10th, Digital Empowers and Ignite My Future in Schools partnered with Discovery Education hosting a round table with educators from the US, Canada, Mexico, and the UK to share their experiences, their latest insights, and explore solutions for creating an equitable and inclusive education experience for all students.

Speakers included Diego Vela, Grade 6-7 STEM Teacher at Colegio Ingles Americano in Mexico; Sarah Dawson, E-Learning Development Officer, Cardiff Schools’ ICT & E-learning Education Support in Wales; and Terra-Lee Gratton, K-5 Teacher, St. Paul Elementary in Canada. The session was moderated by Emily Wirth, Senior Manager Global Programming at Discovery Education in the US.

Key takeaways from the session include:

·         Ensuring connections, communications, and leadership were critical in the early days of the pandemic. Acting quickly, implementing digital platforms and tools, and maintaining bonds between students and teachers helped preserve learning continuity.

·         Computational thinking proved instrumental for the challenges that presented throughout the year. Educators were faced with teaching from a distance, meaning students had to be independent problem solvers. Teaching that computational thinking isn’t always about computer science but rather a method to think critically, solve complex problems, and how to integrate this application of learning into their experience helped students adapt to new technologies and virtual learning environments.

·         A return to in-person learning will and should look different. Educators know that technology is here to stay, so integrating digital tools into traditional pedagogy is critical. Schools are also heavily focused on social-emotional well-being and providing support for the whole family, rather than being fixed on learning goals determined by grades.

To learn more about the impact of the pandemic on learning and explore recommendations to adapt to a changing educational landscape please read Digital Empowers Global Insights Report – Leading in a New Beginning.

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