Thursday, April 21, 2022

Opportunity to Align Policy With Existing Digital Practice Post-pandemic

Zancajo, Verger, and Bolea (2022), suggest the COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in only incremental changes to education policy, with "digitalisation". The rapid investment in equipment and software to teach students kept off campus, but not resulted in structural changes, the authors found. I suggest this undervalues the effect the legitimization of online learning can have. The gradual adoption of the Internet in the 1990s saw use preceding policy. It was only after adoption that policy, and law were changed to retrospectively endorse what had already happened

Zancajo, Verger, and Bolea also point out an increasing learning gap udring the Pandemic. However, exact cause of these is not explored. Was this due to a lack of access to technology for online learning, disparity in digital skills, or external factors, such as low SES households needing to focus on getting food and shelter. 

Zancajo, Verger, and Bolea also address the adverse effect of the pandemic on teachers. They note calls to update teachers’ in-service training, not just in digital skills, but also "motivational and emotional competences" to improve resilience. Teachers’ autonomy also gets a brief mention. This I suggest needs more emphasis in initial teacher training, as does training in professional skills. 

Computer, and engineering students now routinely receive training in project management, working in teams and dealing with a client. The also receive some professional ethics training. I suggest that teachers could also benifit from similar training. The aim would be to equip the teacher to decide the best way to teach their students with the resources available.

References

Adri├ín Zancajo, Antoni Verger, Pedro Bolea, Digitalization and beyond: the effects of Covid-19 on post-pandemic educational policy and delivery in Europe, Policy and Society, Volume 41, Issue 1, January 2022, Pages 111–128, https://doi.org/10.1093/polsoc/puab016

The cabal that connected Canberra, Communications Update, 1995. URL http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/CLCCommsUpd/1995/56.pdf

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